Fans of Coca-Cola with real cane sugar can thank Passover for a more accessible product—at least come Spring time, when the holiday hits.
Coca-Cola switches their formula to real sugar–instead of using the cheaper sweetener high fructose corn syrup–once a year during Jewish Passover, when observant Jews aren’t allowed to eat corn, the Daily Mail reports.
The rest of the year, however, it’s a bit more difficult to track down the drink down.
Known as Mexican Coke because of where it’s produced, the evasiveness of the “purer” product has led to a trend of sorts, with more health conscious soda drinkers yearning for the natural version.
“The common through line as to why it’s better is that it’s ‘made with real refined sugar’ as opposed to American-made Coke,” Jeff Bailey, owner of Whirlybird in Williamsburg, told DNAinfo.com. “It has a less gunky after-feel, and it’s served in glass, which makes everything better.”
“The Mexican Coke craze has been sort of recent,” Greta Dana, owner of Taco Chulo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, told the local blog. “But it’s definitely become more of a thing that people ask for. It’s more of a trendy item, if you could say that about a Coke.”
But the demand has led to higher costs. Adalis Velez, owner of East Williamsburg taco joint La Gringa, sells Mexican Coke for $2.25 a bottle.
And in May 2011, Momofuku chef David Chang defended his decision to price a bottle of Mexican Coke at $5, after an angry customer complained.
“Mexican Coke = hard to obtain in NYC + costs $” the chef responded via Twitter.
Pepsi and Coca-Cola introduced high fructose corn syrup to their sodas in 1984, according to DNAinfo.com, because sugar is more expensive in the U.S than anywhere else in the world due to government-imposed importation quotas used to protect American sugar producers, it is the only country to use high fructose corn syrup in its sodas.
Fans of the imported soda often argue that it has a more complex, more herbal, spicier flavor that American Coke lacks, DNAinfo.com adds.
Those fans can rejoice, and rejoice they do, because come Passover their search is just a little bit easier.