Mexican Coke

Rob Walker has an interesting piece in the NY Times Magazine about the cult following of Mexican Coke in the U.S.

(from flickr user Adam Kuban)

I wouldn't consider myself a cult follower; I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to find Mexican Coke, but if I could choose between a Mexican or American cola beverage, I would undoubtedly choose the variety from south of the border.

When I lived in Dallas I shopped at a store called El Rio Grande Supermercado. The store had it's pros and cons... sometimes I loved it, sometimes I couldn't stand it. But they carried a wide variety of Mexican imported soft drinks - not just Coke and Pepsi, but a lot of fruity flavored carbonated drinks as well.

It's true - soft drinks made from cane sugar are just better tasting than drinks made from corn syrup. They do taste noticeably different, so I think some people born and raised on American Coke might not like Mexican Coke at first - not because it's worse-tasting, just because they aren't used to it. I think the phenomenon in similar with other drinks. Most people would consider what I think is "good" coffee different. They would recognize a distinct taste, but because they aren't used to it, might write it off as not worth trying again.

I think that's the power of eating and drinking a lot of bad-tasting stuff. Eventually you get so used to it that you have a difficult time appreciating the truly good things. When it comes to food, it's definitely happened to me.


    On October 13, 2009 Jim said...

    Manzanita Sol may be the greatest Mexican beverage ever created.


    I'm going to have to disagree with that one... apple just doesn't make the best flavor for carbonated beverages. I am a big fan of Jarritos Mandarina, however.