Some Like It Hot


Nina: Nana, what are you drinking?

Nina: None of your business.

Nina: It’s coke. I’m going to tell Mama. You’re not allowed.

Nana: Shut up, will you? It’s so hot. I really wanted an ice-cold cola. It’s been ages since I’ve had one. It’s only one small glass.

Nina: Fine. But then let me tell you an interesting fact about sodas.

Nana: Go away, and let me enjoy my drink in peace.

Nina: Fine. I can tell Mom.

Nana: Okay, okay, you pint sized blackmailer. I’ll listen, but I won’t be happy.

Nina: Then you’ll be you. I only remembered this, because you said the heat was making you crave a soda. Did you know that the soda shops in America around the time of the great depression were doing booming business?

Nana: Sure. People needed to bubble up.

Nina: But there was a problem. The shops did roaring business through summer and some of the warmer moths, but no one wanted cold sodas in winter. So the shop owners had to get creative in winter. Do you want to know what they came up with?

Nana: I’m not holding my breath.

Nina: Never mind, I’ll tell you anyway. They sold hot sodas.

Nana: <spluttering and choking on his drink> What? That sounds disgusting.

Nina: Well they used the syrups, phosphates and fruit acids from the soda machines, but added hot water instead of cold soda.

Nana: I suppose that could work. Were these popular?

Nina: Very. But some options were a lot more nutritious and strange.

Nana: Nutritious soda? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Nina: The hot soda recipes often included egg and were served with crackers and some people had them as a light lunch. Some were even made with clam juice.

Nana: Egg in soda? Yeww!! Clam juice. Gross.

Nina: Yes, Nana. Drinks like Hot Cherry Egg Bounce and Hot Egg Lime Juice Fizz were popular. I’ve got the recipes for them. Want to try some?

Nana: I think I’ll pass. Did your Mom put you up to this?

Nina: Whatever do you mean?

Nana: I don’t feel like drinking my soda anymore. Just the thought of eggs in soda is disgusting.

Nina: Oh, no problem. I’ll be happy to finish it for you. You can have the hot soup Mama made, instead. That too was served at the hot soda counter. Besides, the hot soup should help you stay cool too.

Nana: Whatever are you talking about?

Nina: Researchers have found that a hot drink can actually help you stay cool on a hot, dry day! Wacky, isn't it?

PS: I tried the Hot Egg Lime Juice Fizz, more as an experiment, than hoping for a decent drink. But it was surprisingly tasty! Nana should have tried it. Thanks Gastro Obscura for sharing such an interesting fact and awesome recipes.

This post is a part of the #NinaAndNana series I co-host with Lavanya Srinivasan. Her posts can be found here.

Tags: recipes, culture, Nina and Nana, humor, cuisine, history, family, fun fact, food, funfact