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May 12, 2009 06:21 PM

East Coast and Soda--Love Affair?

Over the years I have noticed that more families back East seem to drink cola for lunch and dinner compared to those on the West coast. To be specific, I've noticed more cola drinkers in New Jersey, MA, and PA than say in CA, OR or WA. This is based on my observations during my travel (albeit limited) and reality t.v. show watching.

A caveat, the families on these t.v. shows are of a certain socioeconomic status and probably have a higher tendancy to drink soft drinks, regardless of geographic location. That said, it still seems to me that cola drinks are more prevalant on dinner and restaurant tables on the East coast.

This isn't a judgmental post, I promise. I just love spotting trends, whether they are only in my head or actually out there.

What say you, chowhounders on either coast?

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  1. I don't know if it is something unique to the east coast. I live in the midwest and have always seen people drink pop with their meals. Milk is also common, but plenty of people drink soda.

    1. When I'm on the east coast, none of my friends drink soda at dinner. We always have either alcohol or water. Same as when we're on the west coast.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mojoeater

        Is this different when you are with families and dining on the east coast?

        1. re: woodandfine

          I honestly don't dine with children. My friends get sitters.

      2. I grew up in California. Didn't drink soda with dinner. Milk or water, sometimes juice as kids. None of my friends did either. Generally no one drank soda except with fast food or on special occasions or after school when you got into your teens.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ML8000

          I grew up in DC and it was the same. Soda was never served with meals.

        2. I grew up in the NYC area. We always drank water or soda with lunch or supper. Nevr had dinner, as we always ate our evening meal after 6PM.

          But, it's important to realize that there is a heavier concentration of Jews in the northeast than elsewhere in the country, and while most are not observant, we are loathe to drink milk with a meat meal.

          My mother served meat for lunch and dinner, and while not kosher, milk would never come to the table. In fact, I still drink my coffee black, as cream was never served with after supper coffee.

          4 Replies
          1. re: bagelman01

            I had thee same childhood experience as bagelman01. Water or soda. My mother would insist on "No-Cal" club soda, ignoriong my comments that all club soda is sans calories.

            One time my father asked me what wine he should get for some roast beef they were serving to guests. I told him to get a good red wine; he came back with a bottle of Ruby Port.

            These days, though, my wife and I (both originally New Yorkers) generally have wine with dinner. Our son, however, married a woman (also from New York) who drinks Diet Coke with everything - cheese fondue, broiled salmon, Pad Thai, etc.

            P. S. I put milk into my coffee, regardless of what I ate for diinner. But then, we both love pork chops.

            1. re: bagelman01

              Your response is precisely mine, bagelman. Growing up in a Jewish household in Brooklyn, my brother and I almost always had soda with dinner. Milk was served with breakfast, sometimes with lunch, always after school with a snack, and never at dinner. We even had soda and seltzer delivered regularly to the house

              1. re: bagelman01

                Pardon my ignorance... Why no milk with meat?

                1. re: lynnlato

                  The simple answer: because Gd said so.

                  The more complicated but better thoughtout answer:

              2. The southern east coast has a high concentration of Baptists, who adhere to the faith's tenets to abstain from drinking alcohol, so they will oftentimes have soda with meals, especially when eating out.

                4 Replies
                1. re: weezycom

                  Some Jews have much the same reluctance about wine. It is not as generally known as the dietary laws against pork or shellfish, but wine not made by Jews is considered non-Kosher..

                  For Passover, the consumption of wine is part of the ceremony. For this purpose, secial Passover wie is made, doubtlessly Kosher, but unfortunately, traditionally sickeningly sweet.

                  1. re: ekammin

                    What have you been drinking? Stay away from the Mogen David and the Manishevitz and you'll be just fine. There are many Kosher L'Pesach wines that are drinkable and enjoyable - Israeli Wine County has been producing many fantastic wines for years.

                    1. re: TampaAurora

                      You're right, Israel does produce some very good, dry wines. But no better, IMHO, then, say, a good Ontario Chardonney, or, for that matter, Italian Montepulciano, at a much lower price. So, since I'm not kosher, those are usually my choice for everyday meals, pizza, pasta, etc.

                  2. re: weezycom

                    Or alcohol in their coffee mug, unbeknownst to others. :)