I can remember one of the biggest cultural differences I experienced upon my arrival in Europe was how little they consume soda. In America, we love soda, and it’s a way of life in the South, with Coca-Cola and Pepsi both headquartered there.
But, in Europe, you don’t see too many people indulging in this largely American beverage, and if you do, it’s not Mountain Dew, Orange Soda, or and other wild flavors. It’s usually just a normal Coke or Pepsi.
Europeans Prefer Sparkling Water
Instead, it’s very common for Europeans to drink sparkling water or seltzer water with their meals or just out on the town.
What is seltzer water? It’s not uncommon for the average American that many might not even know what it is. The best way I can describe it to someone with showing them in a store is that it is just carbonated water with no flavorings.
If you pour it into a glass, it will look just like sprite or sierra mist, but there isn’t a lemon-lime taste to it. It’s just water with added carbonation, which is a foreign concept to many Americans.
Another way to describe it is as sparkling water, which is commonly added to mixed
In the first few weeks of moving to Europe I asked a few locals about it and how it was prepared, and just like other kinds of water, it is purified, generally with a reverse osmosis water filter system. This rids it of any impurities and removes the unnecessary iron that can be found in water.
This is an essential part to any water bottled process. No one likes the taste of hard water, so it’s important to have a quality filter that can remove those iron deposits.
Almost every house in Europe has a water softener of some kind to help keep their water as pure as possible.
Beer Consumption In Europe
Another reason why people drink less soda in Europe than in the States is that they drink more beer than we do. On average, Europeans drink a lot more beer than Americans—especially in countries like Germany, Austria, and the U.K.
Like I said in my last blog post, Germany is the motherland of all things beer in my opinion, so it only makes sense that such a place would drink more beer on average than America.
That and Europeans—especially Germans—have a much different attitude about beer and beer consumption than Americans. In America, beer is very much associated with partying and getting drunk. In Germany, however, it’s much more common to just have a beer with dinner, with no intention of getting drunk or partying afterwards.
Perhaps this is the reason why there isn’t as many cheap, watery beers that come of Germany as we do in the states like Natural Light or things of that sort.
These are all the wonderful cultural differences that you can see when you travel abroad and experience other people’s cultures, how they live, and how they interact with each other. It’s a great experience and I recommend it for everyone.