6 Food and Drinks That Bring Out the Snob in All of Us

Tea, pasta, coffee, chocolate and bagels. Photo Courtesy: iStock/Canva

When it comes to fizzy water, I’m a total Ted Lasso. I think the best course of action with the sparkling beverage is to spit it out right away if I accidentally drink it. I never understood the allure of bubbles in water. I never understood the allure of bubbles in any drink, but that’s a conversation for another time.

Yet about half of my colleagues at Ask seem to have a fixation not just with any sparkling water but with Topo Chico, a Mexican agua mineral that stormed Texas a few years ago and is now the refreshment of choice for hipsters and gourmets alike. Coca-Cola bought the company in 2017, widening its distribution and contributing to its effervescent success. Of course, this isn’t the only carbonated mineral water to have gained a devoted following in the U.S. Before Topo Chico, there was the Italian San Pellegrino, the French Perrier, and the only-French-in-name and naturally essenced LaCroix.

Even though I think Ted Lasso’s spot on when it comes to water, I don’t share his views in tea. Unlike what the TV football coach and London transplant believes, it is absolutely not “hot brown water.”

Just listen to Dame Maggie Smith in The Second Most Exotic Marigold Hotel. Her character is on a business trip in the U.S. and she’s desperate for a decent cuppa. So she decides to lecture an assistant on what constitutes proper tea. “Tea is an herb that’s been dried out. So to bring it back to life, you have to infuse it in boiling water. That is BOILING water. Everywhere I’ve been in this country, they slap down a cup of tepid nonsense with a tea bag lying beside it.”

After years of intensive research, I can confirm that having a good cup of tea is possible in this country — you just need to avoid it in most places. Not sure whether to avoid or try? Just perform the test: if the very legitimate question, “What types of teas do you have?” is followed by an answer similar to “black and green” without any more specifics, maybe don’t order the tea. If the answer is: “We have a herbal chamomile,” leave.