AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Can You Taste HFCS? DATE: 4/06/2009 08:06:00 AM ----- BODY:

Once a year, at least in the US, Coca-Cola bottles a version of its classic soda with sucrose instead of high fructose corn syrup. And it's a time-honored tradition for Coke-fanatics (both Jewish and non) to snatch up every bottle of the Kosher-For-Passover version to last through the year.

Passover starts Wednesday at sundown, and for eight days Jews abstain from eating wheat, legumes, corn and anything else that might be construed as leavening. Apparently, the religious Jews hold a sufficient share of the soda market, because Coke, Pepsi and Canada Dry all make version of their beverages without HFCS. But no soda drinker is quite as fanatical as the Coke drinker.

Last week, while most Jews started their holiday shopping, I began a quest to buy some Kosher-for-Passover Coke. I'm not much of a soda drinker (for both caloric and HFCS reasons), but was nonetheless curious to see if I could taste the difference between the two versions. At the kosher market, crates of soda lined the front wall. One and two liter bottles and 12 ounce cans of every variety and style. Except Coke -- only the 2-liter bottles remainded. When I inquired if there were more of the smaller sizes in back, I was told no, but there was still plenty of Pepsi -- proving the point that Coke breeds a higher degree of loyalty.

The verdict: The sucrose Coke seemed lighter and a bit cleaner in taste. The HFCS coke had the same degree of sweetness but it seemed to assault my taste-buds. The differences were subtle but perceptable. Perhaps, if I drank soda (and Coke specifically) on a more regular basis, the difference would be more stark.

Have you bought sucrose sweetened soda before? Can you taste the difference?

My family arrives on Wednesday for the first seder -- including my mom and aunt who grew up drinking Coke. I'll save a bottle for them to see if they can taste the difference.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger samaBlog DATE:4/06/2009 09:01:00 AM , I have to go get some... that stuff is great for brining pork in for BBQ... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Jescel DATE:4/06/2009 01:14:00 PM wow.. this is interesting. i never knew this before.. I'm not a soda drinker either so i might not be able to the difference. but thanks for this information. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger jesse DATE:4/06/2009 01:16:00 PM Wow, I never knew that Coke does that!! That's so cool! I've had sucrose-sweetened sodas before, and they definitely taste, as you say, "lighter and cleaner". ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger ChristyACB DATE:4/06/2009 01:25:00 PM I had no idea that Coke still did that! You'd think they would advertise...

One Week Only..Coke with ACTUAL Sugar ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:4/06/2009 02:40:00 PM Fascinating. I'm not a drinker of sodas with sugar (though I've confessed to my sugar-free Fresca addiction for years), so to me they would both taste horribly sweet. For all the disadvantages of special kosher-for-Passover foods (primarily that they are so expensive), having a more palatable Coke seems like one advantage. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger melissa DATE:4/06/2009 07:49:00 PM but it seemed to assault my taste-buds

Exactly. I can taste HFCS in anything because it's so absent in my diet. Not long ago, I got a sample of salad dressing from a survey company (I do those kinds of things) and I knew the second I tasted it there was HFCS in it.

I haven't had soda in as many years as I can remember because I never liked it, but it's cool that the soda companies change it up this time of year. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Heather DATE:4/06/2009 08:58:00 PM i really like cane cola. i've never tried the sucrose sweetened before (unless it's the same thing as sucrose sweetened). at the latin american grocery stores, i can usually find the cane sugar coke. it's a lot tastier! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Psychgrad DATE:4/06/2009 09:29:00 PM I've seen kosher for Passover written on Coke...but never knew what was different about it. Now I know.

I don't drink Coke or Pepsi, so I probably wouldn't taste the difference, but my dad is addicted to the stuff. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Christy Engeran DATE:4/07/2009 10:12:00 AM Interesting info Julia. Don't drink sodas but interested in tasting the difference. I may go run out and buy some. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:4/07/2009 11:41:00 AM samaBlog -- now there's a good idea! I've always heard coke's the secret ingredient in a few marinades...

Jescel -- i don't drink soda either, but could definitely taste a difference..

jesse - i wish it were more common in the US!

ChristyACB -- I agree! People are definitely willing to pay for it.

Melissa -- you must have a very refined palate to taste it!

Heather -- I'll check out my latin markets to see if they carry cane sugar sweetened sodas. Now that you mention it, I bet they do.

Lydia -- I must confess, that I don't typically buy the kosher-for-passover stuff, so I didn't realize that.

Psychgrad -- maybe you can get a few bottles for your dad for a pesach gift. :)

Christy -- thanks for visiting! I'm all about experimenting! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:4/07/2009 12:07:00 PM Wow, I've never tasted it...I'm going to be on the search today! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Savvy Mode SG DATE:4/07/2009 06:54:00 PM didn't know they exist. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver DATE:4/08/2009 07:49:00 PM Oh wow, I didn't know there was such a version! I think there should be a lobby to make the kosher version available the whole year! =D ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous DATE:4/11/2009 11:43:00 AM Julia,did you really give me the two cokes to sample? IF I had realized the results would show up on your blog, I would have made a point to remember. But, now that I think about it, anything related to grow, cook or eat could show up on your blog. love, your anon. mom ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Naunihal DATE:3/04/2010 11:03:00 AM Julia - if you do this again, it would be interesting to see whether the effects show up even in a blind test. We see all sorts of suggestibility even with trained wine critics, so it would be interesting to see whether you could still taste the difference if you had two unlabeled bottles, and better yet if the two bottles might even be the same (to avoid the fact that you know there's a difference) ----- --------