Chai Something Different

Last night, Alton Brown talked about how the entire world seems to revere the eggplant — except for Americans.  It’s true.  Asians, Europeans, Middle Easterners, just name a part of the world and they have multiple favorite recipes for eggplant.  In the U.S., you might hear someone mention eggplant parmesan, you might not.  It’s hit or miss.

I think the same could be applied to tea.  Sure, Americans love iced tea, but I would venture to guess that only a fraction of the population consumes tea the way the rest of the world does.  The fraction that does drink tea, probably uses tea bags, instead of properly brewing a cup.

It seems that both the eggplant and tea may have something in common when it comes to the American palate: if it takes time to prepare, it’s not going to be very popular.

Eggplant requires time for degorging or “sweating.”  This is a process that requires the plant be peeled, sliced and salted.  The salt draws the water out of the slices and removes the bitterness.  It can take up to three hours for one medium eggplant to be properly sweated.  Skip this step, and your eggplant dish could be very un-savory.

For tea, you not only need time on your side, but you also need proper equipment.  Sad to say, but tea requires it’s own special pots, kettles, and even cups.  If you want an entire detailed step-by-step process on how to properly prepare a cup of tea, I suggest you visit this site.

Instant teas, tea concentrates and bottled tea are slowly but surely making their way into American homes.  Their quality maybe questionable, but they are fast and easy, and therefore, growing in popularity within the U.S.  Perhaps grocers will soon stock over-processed, vacuum-packed, pre-sweated eggplant?

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