25th October –As part of a college event for Black History month tried sarsaparilla and cornbread for the first time. Just seeing the label on the bottle conjured up stories by Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain and Harper Lee; images of hampers full of root beer and peanut butter sandwiches at the World Trade Fair, of families sitting up to a scrubbed wooden table for a breakfast of cornbread and grits, of children diving from bridges into brown flowing rivers, of swinging saloon doors and big skirts, dust and sawdust.
Marks: 4/10. Perhaps the effect would have been different if I’d tasted these under a hot sky, or in a big old southern American kitchen, with the creak of a swing on the porch outside. Trying them as I did in a large and rather empty college hall, they were just a bit too ordinary. The sarsaparilla had a good syrupy smell but tasted a bit like flat coke; the cornbread was too salty. Disappointing.