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« RIP, Dr. Kutner (Joe) | Main | Marriage by definition »

April 08, 2009


I'm not a soft drink consumer, either, but I also like Coca Cola made with cane sugar, which is a flavor I associate both with childhood and with trips to Mexico and other parts of Latin America, where they still use cane sugar as the sweetener. Outside Passover, you can find the stuff with cane sugar in some Latino neighborhoods in Southern California, and I bet you can in Texas, as well. Folks on chowhound sometimes post on the subject of where to obtain cane sugar Coke in a given area; and here's an article speculating on the reasons for limiting its supply:

I too much prefer Coke with real sugar, which I've had on trips to Mexico as well. That corn lobby! Let's hope they've shot themselves in the foot at last with this ethanol boondoggle -- not that I'm against biofuels, just against ethanol, a biofuel that offer little to no environmental benefit over gasoline. Now, ethanol prices have driven corn prices through the roof, which has raised the prices of corn-sweetened foods. Maybe food producer will go back to other kinds of sweeteners -- Coke in particular.

I am thrilled! I haven't enjoyed a can of coke (actually, that would be coke in a thick glass bottle) for many years. I'm off to find the real thing. Thanks.

Went back to the grocery store for the Real Thing this morning. To my chagrin, the kosher table this year only has Dr. Pepper made with "real" cane sugar. Crestfallen, I went to the Customer Service desk to again ask for kosher Coke. I was informed that Dr. Pepper it is for this season.

But guess what. I learned a valuable lesson in asking the right question. After hearing that there won't be any kosher Coke for Passover, I persisted,
"So, you don't have Coke made with sugar anywhere in the store?"
The answer?
"Oh, that we have throughout the year - imported from Mexico. They are in the refrigerated case near the check-out lanes. We thought you wanted kosher!"

So, I have them. Exorbitantly priced and in old fashioned greenish glass bottles, better than cans and better than plastic, sold singly at $1.29 a pop. I have brought home six for the time being. But as I complained to the check-out clerk about the high price, he helpfully informed me that I can buy the same thing at half the price at a nearby smaller grocery store that stocks more stuff from Latin America. Well, there you have it. My quest for the Real Thing is over. Looks like I don't have to go thirsty between Passovers.

That makes me wonder whether the cane sugar Coke uses in Mexican Coke is processed using bone char...not that I'd care, since I neither keep kosher nor, anymore (except in occasional spasms of ethical remorse) vegetarian. Those who care and don't eat meat might want to find out, however. (It could just be that the non-kosher cane sugar Coke hasn't received the blessing of the local rabbi kosher- certification cartel.)

Glad you found what you're looking for, Ruchira. Simple pleasures!


Bone charcoal of course is routinely used in sugar refining. So your suspicion sounded logical. I just did a search for bone char and kosher. The Wiki entry says that sugar processed by this means is frowned upon by vegetarians and vegans but is considered kosher. So I guess even if Mexican Coke is not certified kosher, it might actually pass muster?

I now wonder if Indian sugar manufacturing completely eschews bone-char, using only activated charcoal from vegetable sources. Otherwise it would be a huge concern for Indian vegetarians for whom no contact between food and animal products, except milk derivatives, is permissible.

But thanks to your comment I found what I was looking for. I wouldn't otherwise have known to ask because I didn't know about Mexican Coke made with sugar being available in the US market.

sadly am one of those brought up on fructose soft drinks...u tempt with Kosher coke but I dont think we can get it here in delhi...but then we do have freshly squeezed sugarcane juice chilled with big chunks of ice to compete....

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