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Kosher Coke craze - Weird Jews
Disrupting Yeshivas since 2002
Kosher Coke craze

Sugar rush - the craze for kosher Coke
Jenny Kleeman
Monday March 19, 2007
The Guardian

American Coca-Cola connoisseurs are celebrating the start of the most important season in their calendar. They say the perfect can of Coke is only available for a few weeks a year - and if you want the authentic taste of the Real Thing, you need to buy the Jewish Thing. Passover begins on April 2. For eight days, observant Jews keep kosher for Passover by not consuming any product containing grains, apart from matzo, the cracker eaten in place of bread. This poses a problem in the US, where cheap high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been used instead of sugar to sweeten American Coke since the drink's relaunch in 1985. Corn is a grain, so Coke isn't kosher.

The company responded by manufacturing a limited quantity of Kosher Coke, sweetened with sugar, in cans and bottles with "OU-P" or "Kosher L'Pesach" printed in Hebrew on a yellow cap. Kosher Coke is only available during March and April in areas with high Jewish populations, such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Boston.

Kosher Coke has been hard to find in recent years because non-Jewish aficionados are bulk-buying the product while stocks last. They say sugared Coke doesn't have the cloying aftertaste associated with HFCS, and could be less harmful to your health, as recent research has shown a link between increased HFCS consumption and the growing incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The Kosher Coke buzz began on online message boards in early February. "Woohoo!" exclaimed Zap, a sugar-fuelled member of BevNet.com. "I've had to ration the remaining cans from last year's stash - there are only about nine left!"

The Coca-Cola Company insists that this sugar rush is misplaced. "We have heard that our kosher-for-Passover Coca-Cola is popular with a variety of consumers," says spokesman Scott Williamson. "However, consumer taste testing indicates that the final products are equivalent in taste."

UK consumers keen to sample this new variety needn't rush across the Atlantic. British Coke is already sweetened with sugar - about eight teaspoonfuls in every 330ml can

Ironically, I've always hated KLP Coke and used to hoard the regular kind till the last minute before Pesach. But for some reason I'm OK with the UK stuff, although I can't really drink it warm which I can with the US kind.

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12 comments or Leave a comment
shoujokakumei From: shoujokakumei Date: March 20th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree with the fanatics: I love Passover Coke. I hoarded it last year. xD Best thing about Passover, hands down! I won't drink regular Coke - I prefer Pepsi normally - but when the Coke's made with sugar and not HFCS, I'll drink it over anything else.
quietann From: quietann Date: March 20th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)
My husband and I went looking for K l'P Coke yesterday at a grocery store with a huge Passover section. There was none. Husband asked around, and they said it sold out the first day.

We get it mostly to serve at our parties throughout the year; my husband doesn't drink Coke at all, and I only drink the diet kind.
theonetruetiny From: theonetruetiny Date: March 20th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)
For the Dr.Pepper fans: "Dublin Dr.Pepper" is made with cane sugar, not corn syrup.

That's Dublin, Texas, not Dublin, Ireland.

I don't drink it, as I'm diabetic, but my roommate swears by it.
chesch From: chesch Date: March 20th, 2007 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
How is HFCS not kosher for Passover?
batya_d From: batya_d Date: March 20th, 2007 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
It's made from corn, which is kitniyot, and therefore forbidden along with chometz.
chesch From: chesch Date: March 20th, 2007 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
that is quite interesting. What is the reasoning behind corn being forbidden?
arosoff From: arosoff Date: March 20th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kitniyot in general, or corn specifically?

Kitniyot are things which were stored with chametz (the 5 grains), or could be made into flour--other grains, seeds and pulses. As such, it became Ashkenazi custom not to eat it on Pesach (although the restrictions are not as severe as for chametz--you can own it, gain benefit form it in items such as cosmetics, feed it to animals, and even eat it or feed it to children if absolutely necessary.)

There's actually a dispute about whether things derived from kitniyot such as corn syrup are covered by the rule--common practice today is that they are in most cases, other than a few items that are completely removed from the original source (an example of the dispute is aspartame, which is made from corn. While Israeli Coke has both the Rabbinate and the strict Bada"tz hechsherim on Pesach, the Diet Coke only has Rabbinate.)

New World crops which weren't known at the time of the original ruling have been incorporated into it in many cases. Since corn is a grain, it was ruled to be kitniyot.
estahazy From: estahazy Date: March 20th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Completely random aside, when my dad was five years old he asked my aunt what made the coke kosher for Pesach. She told him they had a rabbi spit in in! He said for years he wouldn't drink the KLP coke because of what she told him, hahaha.
vvalkyri From: vvalkyri Date: March 20th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
My British friend ksatyr had the following to say (he would have posted here but would have had to join the community):

I wonder if the difference in taste between British and American
sugar-based Coke has anything to do with the source of the sugar (beet
vs cane respectively) and the different methods required to purify and
process it. Wikipedia
has an interesting article on sugar.
arosoff From: arosoff Date: March 20th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure it is beet sugar in British Coke--we get plenty of cane sugar here, thanks to the UK's connections to ex-colonies. The bottle here just says sugar. I know many European plants do use beet, but I don't know about the UK--I don't think we produce as much beet sugar as, say, France.

Also, white sugar is white sugar. It's 100% sucrose, no impurities, and I can tell you from experience that it tastes exactly the same when used in cooking.
shmuelisms From: shmuelisms Date: March 21st, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)


In Israel, Coca-Cola is marked Kosher for Pesach for MOST of the year, and we don't ever get any of that corn-syrup gunk!

Come home to Israel, folks.
pocketnovel From: pocketnovel Date: March 22nd, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hahahahaha

Okay, now THAT might convince me to make aliyah! Surely Nefesh B'Nefesh et al. could benefit from that PR angle :)
12 comments or Leave a comment