what is it with jews and seltzer anyway?

if i have a choice between plain water and seltzer i will always choose seltzer. why is this? i really have no idea. for starters, seltzer doesn’t even have a taste. second (secondly?), it has virtually no advantages to one’s health, only disadvantages, namely gas.

i’ve been thinking about seltzer a lot lately, as my parents very kindly gave me/us a seltzer-maker (a sodastream) for my birthday. well actually, it’s more of a soda-maker (you add flavored/colored powder), but since neither of us really drinks soda, it’s basically a seltzer maker.

we got it a while ago, back in the fall, but only started using it a few weeks ago. i think holly may have forgotten we had it at all. i, on the other hand, was simply scared of the carbon dioxide canister exploding in my face. anyway, it turns out it’s not all that scary (and quite simple to use, i may add). and let me tell you: since then, i have been drinking a lot of seltzer.

as i walk around the house hiccuping wildly proclaiming to holly you know, i probably shouldn’t drink so much seltzer, it’s got me thinking: what the hell’s up with jews and seltzer?

for some reason, there’s an inexplicable link between the jewish people and seltzer. or maybe it’s just jews in the northeast? or tri-state area (ny/nj/ct)? i have no idea. but i’ve met very few people in my life that drink plain (or flavored) seltzer that aren’t jewish. even the word seltzer sounds jewish. like it’s someone’s last name. as in: “honey, who was at synagogue today?” “oh, you know, the usuals: the rosenbergs, the greeblatts, the goldsteins, the seltzers.”

i honestly think there’s a jewish seltzer gene (JSG, if you will). i really do. every jewish household has or has had seltzer in the fridge. and it’s always “seltzer” to us. not “club soda.” it’s seltzer.

sometimes when we go out to a bar, since i’m not much of a drinker, i’ll order a “club soda with lime*” because we’re not in kansas anymore (kansas, of course, being new jersey). but truly, in my mind, i’m the jewish grandma shouting GIMME A SELTZER WITH LIME, DAHLINK. OY VEY DOES YOUR MOTHA KNOW YOU WORK AT A BAR? YOU’RE VERY PRETTY HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT MODELING INSTEAD?

*please note that i won’t be ordering anything with sliced lemons or limes at a bar or restaurant until at least april, as most, if not all, restaurant or bar-sliced citrus have norovirus all over them and, as G-d as my witness, i will do nearly anything to avoid the norovirus. 

the JSG (jewish seltzer gene) makes no sense to me, since jews, by their very nature are a) gassy (ok i made that up but it sounds about right) and b) complainers. we have very sensitive systems and complain about everything. why would we be inexplicably drawn to a beverage that will not only give us gas but compel us to complain to our spouses, friends and family about how gassy we are? it seems all wrong. and yet….we just can’t stop ourselves.

(is it because we’re bad swimmers? an…evolutionary adaptation to protect us in the event of a shipwreck? so we float to safety?)

one of my earliest and fondest memories of my late grandmother is the two of us standing side by side at her apartment’s kitchen counter–yellow formica speckled with gold–as she taught me how to make “orange soda,” my curious five-year-old eyes just barely making it above the counter.

“orange soda” was, of course, just orange juice and seltzer. but oh i adored it. anyway, i have continued to make it ever since (and think of my gram every time i do).

in conclusion (is there a conclusion here?), seltzer does have a taste. it tastes like seltzer! yes, it tastes like bubbles. thousands of teeny tiny bubbles. which beats the hell out of regular water. i’ve also started to make a less carbonated seltzer (two shots of carbon dioxide from the sodastream instead of four) to protect my sensitive jewish system.

p.s. about downton abbey (the subject of my last post)



10 responses to “what is it with jews and seltzer anyway?

  1. We LOVE seltzer. And, I’m a seltzer snob. The bubblier, the better. We have a Soda Stream, but Be’er Mayim BURNS going down. It’s great. And yes, I am a 85 year old on the lower east side.

  2. LOL. This was hysterical. I actually hate seltzer (the gene must have skipped a generation), but one of my very clear childhood memories is of my mother making us ‘grape soda’, which was, of course, grape juice and seltzer. I always thought it was pretty gross and that there was just something wrong about that…but my brother encouraged her by drinking it (!) and asking for more (!!). PS. couldn’t believe it about Lady Sybil – the whole thing caught me very off guard and I’m having a tough time coping.

  3. OMG WE ARE TOO. i feel like i can’t even watch the show anymore! that’s how upset we are! (p.s. i LOVE “grape soda”!!!)

  4. “is it because we’re bad swimmers?” Oh, how I love you. and WHAT THE HELL PBS??!!! LADY SYBIL????!!!! WWWWHHHHHYYYYYYY??????? I mean, we’re left with EDITH?!

  5. GIRL WHO YOU TELLIN. I CAN BARELY EVEN LOOK AT EDITH’S FACE. i do love you, too, even tho i’m a terrible blog reader/commenter. if holly and i ever visit wisconsin we are SO coming to find you to hang. and by “hang” i actually mean drink seltzer together. and eat cheese. wisconsin cheese.

  6. I have to agree with my sister. Seltzer is terrible, and even more terrible when you think it’s going to taste like grape soda. 🙂

  7. even tho i love you both dearly i’m going to have to say that i’m really surprised by your lameness re: seltzer. in fact, i’m probably going to call your mom to discuss it and i doubt she’ll be happy.

  8. meganbestoffates

    I admit – I don’t like seltzer. At all. And I’m now rather frightened of citrus.

  9. what? you don’t?? but seltzer is the basis of ALL SODA! (p.s. yes. be afraid, be very afraid!)

  10. Dear Lunch: I have a theory (but then again I have a theory about most things). Jews grew up poor in the Stetl and then later in the Ghetto. Seltzer is bubbly and therefore makes you feel full sooner. It’s cheap to make: Water + bubble. Therefore, have a nice seltzer; it won’t kill you. (I’ve noticed that Mexican food, pizza, Indian food really fills me up fast which is a good thing if that’s your one meal of the day.) Thanks for the lovely blog.

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