Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Smoothie: Egg Cream


Forewarned is forearmed, so let me tell you up front that today's Beach City Cooking post has a pretty misleading title, when you take into account that only one of its four words actually describes this post. Egg creams contain neither egg nor cream, and today's post is smooth and satisfying, but could not legitimately be called a smoothie. So I'm throwing caution to the local ocean breeze, and presenting a dessert-y beverage today instead.

Wikipedia tells us that egg creams are a combination of 2-3 parts seltzer, 1 part milk, and chocolate syrup. While I've seen people say that Fox's U-Bet Syrup is the very best, it's pretty expensive (at least where I used to see it in Massachusetts), so I stuck with Hershey's. I'd tried an egg cream only once before, a few years back at Luna Pizza in Northampton, MA. I wasn't a big fan of it--especially paired with their incredible pizza--but, you know, it was one of those instances where you see something unusual on a menu and while you're not sure if you're going to like it, something compels you to try it regardless. As I said, I didn't really like it. I think it was the combination of milk and seltzer that weirded out my taste buds.

That was a few years ago, though. When we moved into our new apartment on June 1 of this year, we found six small bottles of Trader Joe's seltzer waiting for us in our fridge. We don't drink seltzer much (although I occasionally think it's refreshing to drink on its own, which Jen finds totally bizarre). This afternoon, I noticed the remaining seltzer bottles still unopened, and decided to give egg creams another try.


I really like these new frosted glasses we bought. We were very much in need of some glasses, and there's something pleasing to the eye (well, my eyes at least!) about these frosted ones.


Here we have our ingredients for this recipe: Hershey's syrup, seltzer, milk, ketchup...whoa whoa whoa--ketchup?! Come on, ketchup. Get out of the shot. This is for egg cream ingredients only! (Jeez, you give an ingredient a starring role in a homemade BBQ sauce post and suddenly it wants to be in every post.) You can see the blender jealously edging in, too. Oh, blender. You have your own weekly feature! I think you should just enjoy your week off--you know, relax, unplug, and unwind a little.


Here you can see the milk to seltzer ratio I decided on. I went for 1:2, because I didn't want the seltzer to totally dominate the flavor and consistency of the drink.


This site says you should never drink an egg cream through a straw, so I wisely heeded the advice and enjoyed the drink all the more for it. The consistency was more interesting for it. I don't know if I used a straw when drinking that previous egg cream a few years ago, but if I did, I think that would've lessened the experience for me dramatically. The clashing consistencies of the frothy top of the drink, and the chocolate-milk-meets-soda flavor and texture of the rest of the egg cream, made for a surprisingly satisfying dessert-y beverage, so I'd say I actually really enjoyed the drink this time. I don't think I loved it, but I did like it a lot more than I had the previous time.


Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all tomorrow for another edition of Windy City Cooking! Have a great night, and stay cool!

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