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The Republic Tea and me

Stay away from sugar and Splenda

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So where were you when you heard the big explosion at the Atlas Foundry in Tacoma’s Nalley Valley? I was sitting here at my computer when my back door practically shook off its hinges and I fell off my chair. I was also witness to the big fireball because the window next to my computer faces south toward Nalley Valley. Right place at the right time you might say. I still can’t believe no one was killed. Tacoma was fortunate this day.

On a lighter and completely desperate-for-a-topic note, why do pre-sweetened beverages need to be over-the-top sweet? For example, I stopped by Cash-N-Carry last week to pick up a few items and while perusing the flavored syrup aisle I noticed a bottle of DaVinci Green Tea and Yerba Mate concentrate, sweetened with Splenda. For some of you, this sounds horrible. For those of you like me, this beverage has possibilities.

I have a hard time drinking my eight glasses of water a day, so I have to trick myself into doing it. Adding some substance to my water is helpful in the deception. Staying away from sugar is also a goal of mine, so I take advantage of the sugar substitute when the need arises. The key here is one must be in control of the sugar substitute, so why can’t they make all beverages sugar free and let us add our own if we choose?

Oh, that’s right. We live in a lazy-ass society where we need everything done for us. For the most part, I prefer my beverages without sugar, but I am in the minority. A few weeks back I wrote about another green tea beverage from Smirnoff that had a little more kick than the DaVinci concentrate because of the five-percent alcohol bonus. Like the concentrate, it had good flavor but was icky sweet. It will never change. Drunk sorority girls have more marketing appeal than a woman in her 40s.

But then, the heavens opened up and the angels began to sing. One of my beverage representatives turned me onto the Republic of Tea restaurant-only bottled ice tea line. These teas were designed with ME in mind. They are unsweetened, all natural and available in restaurants only.

According to their marketing propaganda, “The Republic’s bottled teas are available in flavors that enhance a wide variety of foods typically found on restaurant menus: Blackberry Sage is the perfect accompaniment to roasted fowl or gourmet pizza. Available in both regular and decaffeinated versions, Ginger Peach compliments pork and spicy dishes. Jade Mint Green Tea lends a fresh and healthy note to all types of Asian cuisine, lamb and duck. Other flavors include Republic Darjeeling which goes well with shellfish and veal, Mango Ceylon which pairs nicely with salads, seafood, risotto and polenta, and Raspberry Quince which enhances the flavors of lamb, roasted meats and poultry.”

Wow. Look out wine, here comes the Republic of Tea! Food and wine pairing is a passion of mine, so naturally this intrigues me. However, I still would prefer a Pinot Noir with the roasted fowl, Sangiovese with gourmet pizza, Riesling with the Asian cuisine, Chablis with shellfish, Sauvignon Blanc with salads and Shiraz with lamb and roasted meats. However I say kudos to the Republic of Tea for opening up the world of food pairing for the non-drinker. It’s a lot of fun. A simple tip to remember when pairing food to a beverage: you want to look for flavors that are complimentary not competitive. No flavor should ever overpower another.

Well, with the holidays coming soon you can look forward to me blabbering quite a bit about fun foods, adult and non-adult beverages, plus a host of other festive ideas to make you smarter, faster and stronger than your friends when it comes to entertaining and celebrating this holiday season. In the meantime, stay away from sugar, Splenda and the Nalley Valley until things are cleaned-up.

Eat out Tacoma. We need your love.

Sandee Glib has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for more than 12 years as a server, bartender, cook and owner. Her opinions are expressly her own and she is always right.

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