Saturday, July 16, 2005

Seven words

by Suw on July 16, 2005

All children should be aware of these seven words. (Thanks Nat.)

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You would, upon first glance, imagine that soft drinks are simple. You make them, bottle them sell them and hopeful at some point someone drinks them.
Not so.
I'm no Coca-Cola aficionado, but I do know that Coke comes in many grades. In the UK, as I understand it, there are three: syrup that's mixed with carbonated water to give you pub Coke; the stuff that's found in large bottles; and canned Coke. The syrup is the worst, the canned is the best.
Over and above this, in London, you can get Coke from a whole host of different countries – Poland, France, and places whose script looks Arabic to me but I couldn't narrow it down any further than that. Some of these regional cokes taste slightly, almost imperceptibly, different to English Coke. Not so much as it would stop me drinking them, though.
But the first time I drank Coke in the US, I discovered it tasted very different. During my last three week trip to San Francisco I discovered that I couldn't finish even a can of Coke, and the reason is that they use corn syrup and we don't. To me, it tasted too sweet, too thick and it sat in my stomach like barium meal.
Then my friend Dan told me that the highest quality Coke in the US is the Coke that comes in glass bottles. He's right. It is drinkable, whereas the canned stuff just is not.
This morning, I popped out to the little Irish shop just down the road from here, where they sell English chocolate amongst other European delights. (Not to mention a shed load of vodka!) My favourite shop in San Francisco. From there, I purchased breakfast, including a glass bottle of Coke. Imagine my delight, as a former Coke-addict, to discover upon getting home that this was Spanish coke. Sucrose!! Not high-fructose corn syrup! Real Coke! (Is that like Real Madrid?)
Oh, my tastebuds are loving me right now. All that sucrose and caffeine and phosphoric acid, coursing through my veins, so beautifully evil and addictive. How dost I love thee, European Coke, how dost I delight in thee. Thou art magnificence in liquid form!
Note: I still maintain that Coke is evil, vile stuff that rots your innards and dissolves your teeth which I am perpetually attempting to purge from my life completely. As you may be able to discern, if you are very clever and read carefully between the lines, I am not having too much luck in this department. Willpower, where art thou?

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