Sunday, September 10, 2017

Adirondack Soda

Every time I see another droll "you know you're from Upstate NY when..." list, it occurs to me that the number one item should be -- You know you're from Upstate NY when you had that one cheap relative who only bought Adirondack soda.

My Uncle Dave was a bonafide Adirondack cola man. He grew up dirt poor and even though he was very prosperous in his later life he could never justify paying those extra few cents for Coke or Pepsi.

My family would spend summer weekends at Uncle Dave's camp on Saratoga lake and I have vivid memories of fishing a black cherry or an orange Adirondack out from among the ice and brewskies in his red Coleman cooler.

My Uncle would make the same joke about grilling up his famous tube-steaks (hot dogs) for lunch. There would be a thoroughly unsatisfying spread of supermarket mayo salads and off-brand potato chips enjoyed with not quite cold yet Adirondack soda. My father (also Dave) and my Uncle would drink too much beer and talk about their big dumb boats. Both of them are gone now...

I've blathered on about nostalgia and the foods of my childhood for almost a decade now and I don't know how I never got around to talking about Adirondack soda. Perhaps more than any other food or drink this stuff has the power to bring old memories rushing back.

To me it tastes like boats and sweat and fish guts and lake water. It reminds me of my Uncle Dave and being young.

Proust had his madeleines, I have an off-brand soda made in Scotia. Food memories are powerful. I think this may be the main point of all my years of rambling here...

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