L'Chaim! Stock Up Now!
While bread gets cracker-ified during Passover, chosen bottles of soda get stripped of their high-fructose corn syrup and are sweetened instead with the real deal. No need to hunt for imported Mexican colas or hitch a ride south of the border for the cane sugar cola that tastes so great.
That's right: Passover Coke is here! (Or Passover Pepsi, if you're on that side of the Cola War.)
Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi make a real-sugar version around this time of year, and you can find it by looking for yellow caps on Coke bottles or white caps on Pepsi. But to be sure you really have a sweet, sweet sugariffic cola in your hands, check the cap for a "P" next to whatever kosher symbol appears (see photo).
Because corn syrup is made from one of the five no-no grains, it's considered chametz and is therefore forbidden during Passover (along with anything made from wheat, oats, barley, rye, and spelt). The grain constraints are, of course, a nod to the Jewish exodus from Egypt; the Israelites fled in such a hurry that they didn't have time for baked bread to rise.
Enjoying Kosher-for-Passover pop of course doesn't require being Jewish. It requires a love for more refreshing, crisper cola. The eight-day pop-slurping fest—er, commemoration of the liberated Israelite slaves—starts tomorrow at sundown, but the kosher sugar-high is already available in grocery stores.
According to a forum on the beverage industry site BevNet, it's been spotted at Gelson's and Ralph's in California, Kroger in the Midwest, and a variety of Eastern European markets in Chicago and Brooklyn neighborhoods.
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