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Food Cravings: Trying To Source Rootbeer In the UK!

Updated on August 4, 2012
Creative Commons Licence Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Creative Commons Licence Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source

Are you a person with exotic tastes in food? And by exotic, I don't necessarily mean complex and fascinating ethnic cuisines (although maybe I do, some of the time!) What I really mean, is the strange, idiosyncratic regional and national food products that are almost incomprehensible to those of us not native to the region or nation involved. Like? Like root beer, I'm maybe thinking: but you no doubt have your own examples. Like Japanese drink cartons made out of slimy edible fungi and water chestnuts (yaaargh!), like German frikadellas, burgers in all but name and awesome in their bland greasiness, like Indian milk-powder and sugar sweets that will rot your teeth the moment you bite into one of them.

If so, then be very afraid indeed. For what you can guarantee, if you become addicted to a food that doesn't fit into absolutely standard mainstream fare for your own locality, is that the supply will be swiftly curtailed. And in my experience, it happens every time!

Take root beer. (I would. If I could. I just can't damn well find any.) It's a carbonated beverage that's ubiquitous and popular in the United States of America, I believe. Over here in the UK, however, it's not so popular. To the point of most people you might mention it to never having heard of the stuff.

Why would this be? Well, you could certainly describe it as an acquired taste. To my mind the thing that the taste of root beer most resembles is the smell of Germolene. Yeah, the anti-bacterial sticky pink gungy stuff. It totally does! Go and have a sniff!

Well, you used to be able to actually, relatively easily get rootbeer in the UK: even though it was a minority taste. Asda stocked it. Sainsbury's stocked it. But no more: or at least only at certain privileged, extra-special branches. Why oh why can I not drink all the medicinally scented artificially sweetened sugar-water my little heart desires?

So beware. You got a culinary specialist taste? Stock up on it, that's all I can say!


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