Dec 29, 2014

Why do Americans love ice so much?

I often get asked why other countries outside of the United States do not use ice as much.
But it's actually the strange ice cube obsession most North Americans seem to carry with them wherever they go that leaves residents of their destination country, Italy included, completely bewildered.

Americans want ice with tea, coffee, sodas, juice, liquor and water. I once ate at a restaurant that served ice just to cool down soup. Flying, I've watched people order an extra cup of ice to compensate for the melting cubes in their original drink. For some Americans, ice is a delicacy to chew on (my American father does this).
American waiters, many on autopilot, often have a hard time coping my request for water without ice.
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  1. This really made me laugh out loud. It also got me thinking, if Italians are obsessed about the cold being bad for you, what about the American obsession for refrigerating everything? I only learned how good food could taste when I moved to Italy because everything wasn't half frozen.

    1. Don't get me started! I could go on about air conditioning, too... Thank you for your comment :)

  2. My refrigerator drops lovely crescents of ice into my glass for me. It is freshly made and has no ugly freezer flavor transfer from other items. I drink ice water all the time. Mind you I don't drink anything else that you would ice. I only drink water, wine or coffee and I would never ice 2 out of the 3 chosen beverages.
    I guess if it were watering down my soda or tea then that would be a problem but I don't mind it watering down my water.

    1. Brrr... I'm shivering just hearing you say ice LOL
      In summer I enjoy ice in my cocktails or water, but not now in winter. Thanks for your comment :)

  3. This is an excellent question to ponder, Eleanora. I expect much of what you say is true ~ that ice is a cheap filler and that 'more is more.' I'd bet that most people don't even think about it. I always keep a glass of water next to me while I'm working, either on the computer or in the kitchen. Most of the time I grab a handful of ice from the freezer and put it into the glass and then add water ~ even right now in the dead of winter. Nothing more than habit! But when I'm in Italy drinking a glass of water (either sparkling or still) I never miss the ice. Italians are also baffled by Americans' habit of giving their kids cold milk at every meal. We'd get the funniest looks when we would ask for cold milk for our kids in restaurants when they were little. On the matter of the granita, I would wager to say it's more likely that the culprit was a bug like salmonella (this happened to me many years ago in Naples. Horrible.) Thanks for a good read. Cheers, D

    1. Ciao Domenica, thank you so much for stopping by to leave your comment.
      I think it is all a matter of habit, and you're not the first to say that.
      I tried giving my son milk at meals but he unfortunately developed a lactose intolerance at age 5 which wiped out mealtime dairy as well as more fun stuff like cookies & milk and cereal.
      As far as the granita issue, the episode was single and with no convalescence needed. I don't think it was salmonella because both my sister and her boyfriend had no trace of infection in their blood after this.
      Stay warm, and don't chew on ice! LOL