Monday, March 21, 2011

Origins of Sweet Tea

While we were in Charleston, SC last week, we took our daughters on a carriage tour of the historic downtown area. If you go, be sure to check out Palmetto Carriage Works as they provide terrific tours.

Anyway, our guide Eric (who was fantastic) pointed out that Charleston was where tea originated in the United States. Turns out that he was right on this point: botanist Andre Michaux was responsible for developing the first tea plantation in the United States. They also can claim their own tea party in 1774 (Boston wasn't the only city to host one).

But the most interesting tidbit he offered (and I haven't been able to confirm this for certain) was that Charleston was the origin of that Southern elixir known as sweet tea. According to what Eric told us, residents found the local water was still too brackish tasting even after brewing tea. So their solution was to add a whole lot of sugar. Consequently, they developed sweet tea.

As I said, I don't know whether there is any truth to this but it sure makes for a good story.

By the way, here is a recipe for how to make perfect sweet iced tea. Enjoy!

No comments: