I’ve lived in the South all my life, and until this summer I never understood the appeal of iced tea. My family drank it constantly, as well as those around me, and it was always the most disgusting thing to me. Well, some time this summer the switch flipped and now I can’t get enough of the stuff. Black, Green, Fruity, stale, it doesn’t matter – it all tastes great! So I’m looking through World’s Fair stuff for this week’s post, and apparently there was some confusion about the origin of iced tea. Nobody can agree on when it was invented, but the consensus is that it was made widely popular at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Apparently a merchant named Richard Blechynden, a tea plantation owner, planned to sell his hot tea at the fair. Due to the heat he dumped some ice into the tea to make the beverage more appealing, and voila! 108 years later, my throat thanks you, Richard Blechynden!
I can’t find any media showcasing this, so here’s a great bird’s eye painting of the 1904 Fairgrounds. Imagine all the iced tea that strolled through that place!