Mexican coke... more over-hyped nonsense...

I had heard the hype about the legendary Mexican coke that has sugar instead of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). I honestly believed that this was "the real thing" and I would just die from the flavour and taste like most other people who have tried it. I even heard that if you are in the right place at the right time in a large US city you can get specially formulated passover coke.

I must admit to being a little skeptical about the claims - most of the hype behind this sort of thing ends up being rather exaggerated with rabid fans of whatever is supposed to be better raving about it so that everyone else ends up wanting to rave too so they are part of the cool kids club. So when i saw that they were selling the mexican stuff in Costco I knew I had to buy some... even if it did cost over twice as much as the evil US variant.

So I chilled my bottle and drank my first sip of the nectar... hmmm it tastes like coke... let me remember what the blogs said it SHOULD taste like. sweeter that's right... well maybe I can taste that. J tried hers... she doesn't seem convinced either. So what does a computer programmer and a scientist do in such a case... a doubly blinded taste test.

Now there's a dilemma - how can 2 people perform a double blind test on themselves. It took a little debate but eventually we came up with a protocol. I write A and B on paper cups and pour Mexican in one and USA in the other and record which is which while J is out of the room. Then I leave and J writes 1 and 2 on paper cups and randomly pours the coke from A and B into those cups and records which is which. She has no clue what was in A&B and I have no clue what is in 1&2 so we are fully double blind. And we taste.

At first I cannot taste any difference and I have to drink a lot and really think hard to find one that is sweeter. Now its J's turn. She also can't taste much difference but eventually chooses. I chose A as mexican - she chose B - and I was right (praise be to the Flying Spaghetti monster). Even though I Iove to be right this isn't enough samples (we have 21 more bottles) but the one thing we agree on is that the difference between them side by side is negligible. We may also have to add some palette cleansing into the protocol to ensure we get a fair taste - what kind of cheese goes with coke anyway?

Of course this turned into a 'debate' over which should be sweeter - the sugar or the HFCS? Well before J strangled me for being argumentative we put a hold on the discussion for another day (which I promise to blog even if she is right!).

Now its not to say there isn't a good reason to switch the mexican coke - HFCS has a pretty bad reputation nutrition wise and mexican coke does come in those nice glass bottles which always make my coke taste nicer (in my head). But just to provide a balanced view in the world of blog hype... my personal opinion is that most people can't tell unless you let them know how much better it is supposed to be.

Published 31 March 2008 06:46 PM by zman


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