Rather than go head to head with the marketing machines of the big boys, the Parle group sold Thums Up to Coca-Cola in 1990. The labels of the two colas might seem similar, but Coca-Cola Classic and Thums Up do actually have quite distinct flavor profiles.
I first heard the word "chicha" a few years ago when the folks behind one of my favorite breweries, Dogfish Head, traveled to Peru and back to make their version of the traditional beverage. You might have heard of this stuff before: chewing and spitting out corn is part of the process of making some times of this traditional drink. Enzymes in human saliva turn the starches in the corn into fermentable sugars, ready for brewing. Chicha morada, on the other hand, is not fermented, and is made by boiling purple corn with spices and pineapple rind.
The Summer of 1996 was a good time for me. The Sony Playstation and the X Games were still novelties, Beck's Odelay was on the boom box, Beavis and Butthead were about to Do America, and Pepsi test-released a coffee/cola hybrid called Pepsi Kona in my region. Granted, I wasn't an avid coffee drinker back then, but any kind of new soda was an exciting prospect to me.
I've had my eye on these Irish Moss drinks for a while now and I couldn't resist grabbing them from the international section at my local supermarket. Just seeing the word "peanut" on a canned beverage is intriguing enough, but the next question is: what exactly is this stuff? A smoothie? Protein or milkshake? Meal replacement? There is a clue on the front label written in small font, the word carrageenan.
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