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Does Anyone know Why No Ice in europe?

Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Does Anyone know Why No Ice in europe?

I've just returned from 2 weeks in London Paris and Cannes. It was great but very HOT. So why is it that it's like pulling teeth to get ice in a beverage over there? Seriously, is it just that Europeans don't ask for it so they're not equipped, or for some other reason?
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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We just returned from London and Portugal and just simply asked for ice. It always came nicely served in a glass with a spoon. I didn't think it was like "pulling teeth", since they always complied with our request. My European relatives drink their drinks without ice too. Why? I never asked.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:50 AM
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For restaurants, etc, I think that mostly the lack of ice is the fact that making it, and large freezer equipment, are expensive to run. similarly, all of their appliances are smaller, and many airconditoning units seem under-powered for Americans. Their fuel costs are much higher, which makes anything "extra" an expense to consider. So: especially in climates like Britain where it doesn't get that hot most of the year, ice isn't a way of life.

That said, once you get used to a certain way of eating, that is what becomes normal to you, whether it's termperature, level of spicing, etc. But things can change. It seemess that whenever Britain has a heat wave these days, a lot more cold beer and ice drinks are sold.

But you can often get ice if you ask, especially if the establishment gets number of American tourists. Rememeber: it was not that long ago that the concept of Diet cola was almost unknown.

(I've never been a fan of extrememly cold drinks, and usually ask for "no ice" on planes, but I don't live in the South muchof the year, either.)
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:50 AM
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"No ice" is an ingrained cultural habit or practice. Think back to what America was like a generation or two ago. There were few wine drinkers at dinner. Ethnic restaurants served ethnic communities. There were few imported cars. Time changes things.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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One thought is, the colder you drink your drinks, the more you will notice how hot it is around you.

My favorite thing though is seeing how many people ask for bottled water then ask for ice to pour it over. I just don't get it. Do they think the ice was made from bottled water? If they can drink the melted tap water, why don't they just order tap water to begin with?
 
Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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It's all what you get used to. Now, I find myself asking for no ice or taking the ice out of my drinks. It actually dilutes the flavors of the item that you're drinking.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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Since we do not drink soda, we drink carbonated (fizzy/gas or whatever it is called) water and that is usually served at room temperature (warm). Adding ice to it is just like adding ice to a soda and for me has nothing to do with not wanting to drink the tap water.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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Yes, I failed to mention about the fizzy water. I was referring to those who order "non-fizzy" water and then request ice. Or for that matter to those who refuse to drink tap water at all, but add ice to any of their bottled drinks.
 
Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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Europeans don't prefer their drinks watered down as Americans do. Why pay for a drink that's sometimes 75% ice? And they hold this habit even during heat waves, yes.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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It's part of the European culture.

When haying in the Swiss alps, farmers often drink hot tea or weak coffee to satisfy their thirst. It works.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Hi Ill,
Why is it so difficult to get a fountain drink with no ice over here?

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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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But I didn't find that I was paying for a watered down drink or something that contained 75% ice. The glass came full...the ice served apart...leaving me to determine how much or how little I wanted to add. I prefer it this way as opposed to the practice in the U.S.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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I'm not sure I agree that ice in a drink automatically means it is "watered down" but that's simply my own feeling.

I have been told in the past that there is the feeling amongst some in Europe that icy drinks can cause bad health effects.

I've asked for ice and gotten it in many restaurants; in Florence once the waiter actually brought a bowl of ice to the table because he knew we were from the US.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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I think Madame x answered the question, Thanks. For those who want to argue about why I wanted ice in the recent heat wave in France, I can only say a glass of ice water (tap water is perfectly fine with me) really helps after a long day of sightseeing, especially after climbing the 200 and whatever steps to the gargoyle level at Notre Dame or traisping through the Hamlet at Versailles.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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My European friends..mostly French..do not use ice or require the air conditioning that we do.

My French friends visited me in May. We always had to ask to have water sans ice!! My A/C in both house and car were too cold for them. She had to try my iced tea (unsweetened) as it seemed that almost everyone seemed to order it for lunch.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:16 AM
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"I'm not sure I agree that ice in a drink automatically means it is "watered down" but that's simply my own feeling."

Huh? Ice is frozen water. When the ice melts it waters down the drink. Pure and simple. The only way it wouldn't water down the drink is if the drink is so cold already that the ice doesn't melt. And if so, what was the point of the ice?
 
Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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I lived in New England for two years.
In the Winter, I regularly turned the thermostat down outside my flat, only to have the neighbours turn it up to 80F again.
In the Summer, I kept a cardigan at work because the air conditioning made it too cold. So the locals wanted to be steamy hot in the Winter and freezing cold in the Summer. Very strange.
I agree about diluting drinks.
Ice is frozen water and it's much cheaper to sell water than a beverage.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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" I can only say a glass of ice water (tap water is perfectly fine with me) really helps after a long day of sightseeing,"

Well, beer does the job much better .)

The health thing many people believe in: Drinking very cold on a very hot day can upset your stomach.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Well, I'm happy with tap water with ice. This is the thing that doesn't seem to be readily available. Especially when I have been out sightseeing & walking, I like to have several glasses of iced tap water to quench my thirst. I am at home in the US now & just returned from a nice long walk. Came in the door & downed 2 big glasses of tap wahter with lots of ice. This is what I'd like to bd able to get in Europe. My husband about dropped dead on our recent trip to Germany when I paid E5 for a cold liter bottle of water at a restaurant.
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Old Jul 24th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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I am not sure anyone answered your question. I think ice in drinks isn't something they are accustomed to. You can get ice if you ask for it but it is like asking for tap water at a resturant in Europe, the custom is bottled water and they think you are odd for asking for tap water.
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