The Harmful Rays of the Moral Vacuum

The Harmful Rays of the Moral Vacuum
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Food Review: MexiPepsi

In a previous posting, I wrote about one of my recent food passions, Mexican Coca Cola.  I share this passion with foodies, who insist that the formula used for Mexican Coke has a "pure" taste as compared to the domestic version.  I'm no food snob, but I know delicious when I come across it.  The secret is High Fructose Corn Syrup (or the lack thereof).  The Mexican bottlers still use real cane sugar.  You know how they say everything comes back to politics?  Well we use High Fructose in our sodas because of policy mandates.

High tariffs must be paid on sugar, and American farmers are subsidized to grown corn, as detailed by noted liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias.  Ergo, it's much cheaper for bottling plants to use High Fructose instead of sugar.  As a free market guy, this verifies my assumptions about government intervention.  But, alas, this is not a political blog, so I will spare both of my readers the recitation of Adam Smith's arguments.

Foodies, and other people seeking out pure Mexican Coke (haha, it feels so illicit to write that phrase) and other sugar based colas have a number of tricks at their disposal.  Cane sugar cola is available from small, premium companies like Boylan, Coke and Pepsi produce cane sugar versions of their drinks for a limited time around Passover, and Pepsi occasionally produces a sugar formula called Pepsi Throwback.  It is currently available until late February and comes in cool retro packaging, but I have yet to see it in stores.

Happily, Mexican Coke imported into the states is available at Costco, as well as at almost any Hispanic neighborhood grocery.  The Ecuadorian market by my apartment stocks both Mexican Coke and Pepsi, as well as a number of other exotic beverages.  In my previous post, I had resolved to try Mexican Pepsi, since everyone else is already into the Coke.  It's pretty much a dead scene now that everyone is doing it.  I am nothing if not a trendsetter.

My first impression of the Mexican Pepsi is that the bottle looks disconcertingly beaten up.  The Mexican bottlers still use the old glass style bottles, and apparently instead of mashing up the glass to create new bottles (it's the circle of life, Simba) they recycle in the most literal sense.  While I suppose their commitment to the environment is commendable, it makes you wonder where the bottle has been.

As far as taste, damn it's good.  The taste is almost as good as MexiCoke, but slightly different.  I would say less sharp.  I don't have words like "mouthfeel" in my vocabulary but trust me, the stuff is good.  It is worlds beyond domestic Pepsi, which sucks compared to domestic Coca Cola.  I'm sorry, it had to be said.

Another interesting flavor note;  There is much greater similarity between Mexican Pepsi and Mexican Coke than between our domestic versions.  I could distinguish between American Coke and Pepsi while blinfolded, but I am not sure I could do the same with the Mexican versions.  I immensely prefer American Coke to American Pepsi, but the Mexican versions are both very good.

Makes me want to compare Pepsi Throwback, also made with sugar, to it's Mexican cousin.  Another blogger has already done that taste taste, and found the two to be comparable.  Has anyone seen Pepsi Throwback in stores?

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