Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Drink Weird Chinese Drinks

One of the best things about 21st century immigration into Ireland is the new wave of foreign food the migrants have brought with them.

Most Irish people seem to have missed the opportunity this offers so far, perhaps wary of unusual flavours or ignorant of how to prepare them. I understand this, I'm a poor cook and generally stick with simple, Western dishes.

This is why snacks and soft drinks are so much fun. Whenever I get the chance to pop into a Chinese, Polish or Nigerian shop I do so, and immediately browse their fridges. My personal favourite is the International Supermarket on Dublin's Parnell Street, not far from Cineworld. Below is a sample of Chinese drinks I got there on my last visit:

From left to right is a Nescafé iced coffee, some kind of honey milk tea, olive juice, and another milk tea, this one jasmine flavoured. You might notice that the drink on the left is already half-empty: I had intended waiting until I had a camera ready but love it too much to resist knocking it back.

The Chinese lady working in the International Supermarket now recognises me, finds my presence in the shop hilarious, and complimented me on my taste in Chinese drinks on my last visit :-)

To me, though, it's just rather fun to skip the usual Coca-Cola offerings and try things loved by hundreds of millions of (noticeably slim) people. They're popular in China for a reason: they're delicious, reasonably priced and at least some are probably healthier than our sugar-heavy soft drinks.

So I strongly recommend readers to pop into an international shop and pick a few drinks at random too. You may be pleasantly surprised... even if the olive drink honestly doesn't taste remotely of olives.

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