Someone needs to make this into an internet quiz, stat:
Thankfully, since I did not dress up in costume and wander around Hollywood Boulevard seeking spare change and a better acting gig (while secretly crying inside of my helmet), I’m really here to discuss the much less interesting story of boba, the drink. Sometimes called bubble tea.
So…. you know that feeling when you’re the only person in line to order food, and the menu is impossibly, neverendingly long? And because the guy at the counter is just standing there waiting for your decision, and you’re completely convinced that’s he’s judging you on your inability to speed read… that you just say the first thing that comes into your head?
Yeah. Well, thankfully, it could’ve been worse. I picked a blueberry slush flavor. I mean, I like blueberry. No, I love blueberry! But, I almost immediately regretted my choice. Here I am, purposely seeking out something new, something that happens to be astoundingly Asian, and I go with blueberry. The ultimate in safe flavors.
(Unless you’re the recipient of a Golden Ticket. Then all bets are off.)
After ordering, the man at the counter disappears into a back room, where the sounds of grinding and loud machinery can be heard. He mysteriously reappears with a clear plastic cup, which is placed into yet another stainless steel monstrosity as he takes someone else’s order.
A couple of seconds and a tiny, audible ‘thunk’ later, he leans over and hands me my drink. Instead of your usual, ‘to-go cup’ removable drink cover; I find the top of my drink has been sealed, not entirely unlike a small fruit cup. The kind of healthy food that’s ubiquitous in Midwestern brown-bag lunches, and 1950’s bomb shelters. I’m instantly tempted to turn the drink upside down to see if it’ll leak, but decide against the idea.
I then quickly realize my other mistake as I’m walking back to my car:
Can you see the boba in this photo? The black tapioca pearls at the bottom of the drink? Yeah, neither can I. That’s because blueberries are dark. Silly me, I should’ve tried one of the cantaloupe or green tea or almond milk flavors. Or pretty much anything that wasn’t the darkest color on the menu.
Damn you blueberry. I don’t care if you’re delicious. Don’t you know it only matters what you look like on the outside?
And what, you ask, does boba actually taste like? Well, if you really want me to describe what sucking chewy black balls through a larger-than-average straw tastes like… uh… well? Maybe you should just try it for yourself. I promise it’s a whole lot better than it sounds.