Thursday, May 22, 2008

Orange Soda

I can almost guarantee that once I confess what I'm about to confess, I will lose friends left and right. Those who know me well know there's nothing I love more than a really cold, icy Dr. Pepper. Decanted is best, but I'll stoop to drinking it out of a plastic bottle or can, if need be. But that's not what I have to confess.

What I have to confess is this: Of late, I have taken to drinking orange soda. Orange Crush, to be precise. In a pinch, Fanta Orange.

I know!! Gross, right?! What am I? Five?!

Seriously, folks, it's becoming a problem. So much so that this evening I was craving one so badly, Bee and I walked to the grocery store to buy Orange Crush.

That's bad. And the worst part of all this, I've sworn off Dr. Pepper in the last month or so. I haven't had a Dr. Pepper in the house since late April. (I did, however, consume a can the other night while at my parents for birthday dinner. Otherwise, I've been cold turkey on the stuff.)

I know why I've purged the Pepper, but I have absolutely no clue why I'm all over orange soda like a hoard of kindergarteners on pinata candy. I'm at a complete and total loss to explain it.

Well, that's not entirely true. I do know how and where it started and I'll tell you why: because Dr. Pepper in the fountain dispensers at 7-11, Five Guys & Fries, and just about every other serve-yourself retail location is abysmal.

It started at Five Guys & Fries a month or so ago. I stopped in for a quick bite in the middle of running a bunch of errands. As I stood in front of the soda dispenser, I thought, "I can't bear the thought of another inconsistent Dr. Pepper. They're either too soda-y or too syrupy. They're never just right and I'm in no mood to be disappointed today." That left me with several unfavorable options in beverages. I finally narrowed it down to either water or orange soda. As I already had a bottle of water in my car, I figured, what the heck. And I chose the orange. And I haven't looked back.

What I discovered is that, beer aside (and I have no personal experience with that. I'm going purely on anecdotal evidence from friends), nothing goes better with a greasy burger and fries like the sticky sweetness of orange soda. And now, that's all I get when I go to Five Guys or when we stopped the other day at Wawa on our way home from Richmond or wherever.

I'm not sure what to make of all this. I don't even know how long this craving will last. I hope it will fizzle (no pun intended) and go flat (pun intended) quickly. I dropped Dr. Pepper cold turkey because I don't need the calories and caffeine. Lord knows, the same is true with the Crush.

In the meantime, pray for me. I'm off to suck face with a 12 oz. long neck in orange.


Cele said...

Oh mi god too funny. I love Orange Crush, but it's just not the same as the old cold bottles that you have pictured in your blog. And Strawberry Crush, yum.

I don't drink soda often, but yum if I can't have Pepper or Crush (no lie) I go for lemonaide.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Cele: I hear ya on glass bottles or nothing. I buy Orange Crush in bottles at my local Safeway. If I could conveniently get Dr. Pepper that way, I'd buy it in bottles, too. Unfortunately, I don't live far enough below the Mason-Dixon line to get the Pepper in glass. :-(

lacochran said...

Perhaps you are a descendant of the Waponi Woo!

Have you seen the movie "Joe Versus the Volcano" - a wonderful though silly movie/fable? In it, they describe the Waponi Woo, a gentle people who inhabit a south Pacific island and are completely addicted to orange soda.

Blame ancestry!

LG said...

Funny ... I'm experiencing a similar experience. I love, LOVE Mountain Dew but have sworn it pretty much off because it's soda, it's caffeinated, blah blah. But somehow I got my hands on a root beer about a month ago, and it's been non-stop - even to the point of conducting a taste test last week (Kemper's is the best, btw). I don't know what the hell. I can't identify with the orange soda thing, though - too sweet for me.

Hey, what's that Five Guys and Fries place like? They're about to build one here, and there are signs all over the place for it.

Di said...

I love Orange Fanta, I drink it every now and then too.

Wicked H said...

First, if you were trying to lose us as friends, you need to try harder.

Second, there must be a 12 step program available to de-orange you if that is what you really want.

Third, I am now both hungry and thirsty.

Lucy said...

When I was in high school and a complete idiot, we used to boil Dr. Pepper and drink it hot in the wintertime. That sounds so terrible now. If I ever want to have a flashback to memories on the farm in Idaho, I drink Shasta Strawberry. Have no idea why. Same thing happens with watermelon. They both must have been such a real treat then. In glass bottles, of course. Well.. except the watermelon of course. I don't even like watermelon today. I eat it so very rarely.

Anonymous said...

This has to be the funniest thing you have ever written--I love the line about the hordes of kindergarteners, and sucking face with the 12-oz longneck. Awesome.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Lacochran: Whatever/whomever I'm a descendant, I have no idea, but if it explains this current craving, so be it! Actually, I think I must be channeling late maternal grandfather. He had a super sweet tooth; he loved soda and those nasty chocolate orange jelly candies. (Well, everyone else thinks they're nasty. I'm the only grandchild who inherited a liking for them. See? Something is obviously very, very wrong with me...)

LG: Like seriously, what's up with us?! So Kemper's is the best root beer, eh? I'm partial to IBC myself, but I'll try your recommendation. One thing I know about root beers, I don't like the overly sweet, creamy kind. Yuck. As for Five Guys & Fries, think In-n-Out Burger only with better fries. Actually, if Five Guys had In-n-Out burgers and In-n-Out had Five Guys fries, it would be a match made in heaven!

Di: I am shocked! Shocked, I tell you! I thought for sure you'd be the one to say, "Euewww." Wow. I learned something new about you today. Well, the next time we get together, we'll have to raise a bottle of Fanta or Crush!

Wicked: First, phew. Second, if this craving goes beyond June, then let's worry and look into an intervention. Right now, though, I have the problem under control. (First sign of addiction: denial.) Third: Get thee to a Five Guys! Now!

Lucy: Oddly, I think the strawberry and watermelon ones would be too sweet for me. Although, I would like to try pineapple Fanta. Isn't it odd how our tastes change over the years?

JaneAnne: :-D

Cele said...

They make pineapple Fanta? I really do live in the boonies.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Cele: Yep! I see it in those big liter bottles in the Hispanic grocery stores all the time, but I don't want a liter bottle. I'm looking for something smaller, like a 12 oz. bottle or a 10 oz. can. Maybe I should look in a 7-11 in some of the area's more densely populated Hispanic neighborhoods... Hm.

ME said...

We're so far south we can get Mexican Coca Cola and Fanta made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup. And Mexican markets have great soda options--and try the candied pumpkin if you see it. It's also orange and seriously YUM.

Can't remember the last time I had an orange soda, but as a teen I had a spell of trying all the flavors of Crush I could find. Pineapple Crush was the ooey gooey fave for a while, along with Aspen apple soda. Remember that? It wasn't around long and got banned at our house when mom discovered it had caffeine. (Tab-drinking hypocrite).

Me? I have the occasional craving for Fresca.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Orange Crush is the bomb. But...and you may hate me, I can't stomach Dr. Pepper. I have never ever been able to tolerate it. WAY too sweet.

*running for cover*


Anonymous said...

This post is making my teeth hurt. But if this is what gets you through the day, then I'm for it :)

- Phoebe

Brad and Kimberly's Family said...

We are with ya! We've got the orange and strawberry fanta and the grape crush at our house today for the Memorial Day bbq. Ice good.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

SML: Not everyone can be a fan of The One and Only True Carbonated Beverage, but I love you so you're forgiven.

Phoebe: I know. Is sort of cringe-worthy, isn't it?

Brad and Kim: Grape soda, yum! BBQ in Arizona?! Seriously? I think I feel heatstroke coming on.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big soda drinker, though I do drink ginger ale or Fresca when I have the stomach yuks. Lately I've been enjoying the fancy sodas--today a friend coming to lunch brought a couple of four-packs of Izze Pear soda. And our local high-end (local, organic, house-made pepperoni, blah blah blah) pizza joint has branched into soda production, and it's fan-frickin'-tastic. Look for Hot Lips soda in flavors like blackberry and, again, pear. Made with real fruit and real sugar, no flavor extracts or corn sweeteners.

[end commercial]

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

JA: Sounds yummy! Another good brand is Boylans. I've seen Izze sodas but haven't tried them. Perhaps I will. And I'll keep my eyes peeled for Hot Lips, though I suppose that will likely remain a regional deal???

Holly said...

I still drinking dr pepper hot. I'm drinking some right now. It's my breakfast beverage of choice.

My favorite fancy soda is Reed's Extra Ginger Brew. If you really like ginger, you'll like this.

Finally, you've never had a beer? Seriously? I have to agree with Benjamin Franklin that I consider beer proof that god loves us, so I'm just kind of curious about why you've never tried it.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Holly: Bottom line on beer--can't stand the smell or the taste. It's bitter and smells like piss.

I'll have to check out Reed's. Another good ginger beer is Cock & Bull.

LG said...

Beer is good when it's a good beer. I don't drink a lot of it, but sometimes it's perfect with that juicy bbq burger or slice of pizza.

And generally, I recommend staying away from the ones that smell like piss.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

LG: LOL! Yeah, generally, that's a good recommendation!

Holly said...

I personally hate really hoppy beers, and one of the qualities hops provides is indeed bitterness. Another thing hops does is make beer easier to transport and store, which is one reason cheap American beer--Miller, Budweiser, etc, is so bitter and nasty--but there are some great microbrews that don't overhop their beers. I love visiting a set of friends in Ithaca because there are so many great beers in the town.

And then there are Belgian beers.... my god, they're life-changing. I remember sitting at an outdoor cafe on my first trip to Belgium, saying, "I didn't know beer could taste like this!" I make it a point to sample as many different beers as I can each time I go. There are these fruit beers that are heavenly.... those can be hard to get in the US, however, and they're often really expensive. Of more standard imports, my favorite is Guinness. It tastes like a glass of dark bread. I love that you can taste the grain and tell what the beer was originally made from.

I'm not trying to turn you into an alcoholic or anything like that, or convince you to down a six-pack every day or every week--I often go weeks if not months without a beer. But really, beer can be a source of profound pleasure, both from the taste and the very gentle buzz you get from drinking, say, two, and it just seems sad to me to miss that because you think all beer smells like piss. I'm with LG: avoid those beers.

ME said...

I'm not much of a beer sampler, but I can vouch for the heavenly combination of blackcurrant vodka and San Pellegrino lemonade! And pear cider is pretty tasty, too.

OMG, I'm going to be dealing with Utah's weird liquor laws soon. I hope I can get Absolut Kurrant there...

Liz said...

Now I really want an Orange Crush! This post made me so nostalgic. And when it comes to soda, my first choice is fresh from the fountain with lots of ice and a stripey straw; second choice is an ice-cold glass bottle. Cans CANNOT compete.

Have you been listening to REM lately?? :)

LG said...

me: I can personally vouch that Absolut Kurrant is available here. Take that from a vodka fan.

Amazingly enough, there are some amazing microbrews here. I missed them when I lived in Baltimore, Memphis and Cincinnati because it just wasn't part of the culture like it is here in Yew-tah.

I love responding to comments on other blogs :)

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Holly: Excellent breakdown on the beers! That said, though, I can't get past the smell on any of them. I think there's something in my olfactory senses and metabolism that just can't get past the odor. Oddly, though, I have been known to cook with beer, though I much prefer cooking with wine.

ME: You're right on the vodka flavored drinks, but it's the buzz I don't like. I think I'm just destined to never drink.

Liz: Come on over! I've got two bottles left. And would you believe, I didn't even know REM had a song called Orange Crush. I'm so out of touch and unhip.

LG: You crack me up! Feel free to hijack anytime! :-D

ME said...

Hijacker LG:

Please take me liquor shopping when I get to Utah +/- June 14!

LG said...

Certainly. Of course, make sure it's not the 15th since it's Sunday and all the Mormon liquor cashiers will be at church. Then we'll just have to go to the grocery store to get piss-scented beer, as long as it's after 1pm. At which point we'll get disapproving looks from all the Mormon cashiers who were forced to miss church to ring up heathen customers.

ME said...

Wow, so many new rules to remember.

Does Costco sell liquor on Sundays? What are my chances of getting a mimosa with Sunday brunch?

LG said...

Mimosas are not hard to find at Sunday brunch. There are a few great brunch spots in town, and they've all got them.

I've only been in Costco once since I moved here, but as far as I recall they do NOT have the Ginormous Liquor Cage of Delight like the ones I experienced in Memphis and Chicago. Bummer.

ME said...

Don't mind us Tewkes, taking over your comments and making it all about Utah booze shopping instead of orange Crush. Just call us guest bloggers. ;)

Good to know about the mimosas and good brunch.

I'll bet the Utah Costcos are the only ones with a profit margin not based on liquor sales--just on get-your-years-supply/feed-your-family-of-12 volume.

j.m. tewkesbury said...

ME and LG: You gals are crackin' me up! As I said, hijack away!