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Kosher for Passover Coke vs regular Kosher Coke: why?

The Chowhound Team split this thread from its original thread on the Los Angeles board. If you would like to find where Kosher for Passover Coke in the L.A. region, please respond there:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/504087
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I think most Coca Cola's are yellow top, does it have one of the Kosher food symbols on it? The circle with the K in it and a P next to the circle? I would get it because it has sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup as I understand. Do Jews not believe in highly processed foods? Haha . . . Seriously, can someone explain why it's Kosher?

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  1. I was going to ask the same thing because just because something is Kosher doesn't mean that they don't use yucky stuff it just means it follows Jewish law in handling and not mixing meat & milk, etc.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Fru

      most jewish law during passover prohibits the use or corn or corn derivatives such as corn syrup or corn oil during passover. also anything leavened or wheat, oats, barley, spelt, rye and other grain substances. this along with the everyday rule of not mixing dairy and meat etc. is what i understand happens during passover. regular coke =HFCS, a corn by product.

      1. re: trolley

        Ok, I'm enlightened. You're specifically talking about during Passover because of grain/grain derivatives that would obviously not be allowed. Does that mean that this Coke is only available at Passover? If the corn syrup is the culprit, there are many threads touting where one can buy Coke bottled in Mexico because it uses cane sugar rather than corn syrup if it is not specifically the fact that being Kosher is of importance.

        1. re: Fru

          yes, i believe that's why the OP started this thread to alert everyone. i think there's two kinds available domestically during passover, the regular w/ HFCS for the gentiles like me and kosher for passover made w/ sugar for the rest. the kosher for passover has the "K" printed on it. foreign coke like mexico and europe did not have to marry the powerful corn lobby like the US so therefore is still made with sugar.

          1. re: trolley

            I hope the OP responds because I'm confused by your answer "i think there's two kinds available domestically during passover". 2 kinds of Kosher Coke? And yes, I do understand "Kosher for Passover". I just want to know if the importance of Kosher is that it is Kosher for Passover or that the Kosher for Passover is made with cane sugar rather than HFCS. Does that mean that if the regular Kosher Coke has cane sugar as well or is there no such animal?

            1. re: Fru

              i said " i think there's two kinds available domestically during passover, the regular w/ HFCS for the gentiles like me and kosher for passover made w/ sugar for the rest." meaning i think they continue to make regular coke w/ hfcs during this time and a batch of coke w/ sugar specifically for passover.

              1. re: trolley

                Typically it is only a few processing plants (both Coke and Pepsi) that will convert over from HFCS to cane sugar - so yes during passover you will be able to get both types -

            2. re: trolley

              BS"D

              Marry the powerful corn lobby? The reason for using high fructose corn syrup is strictly a matter of cost. First, corn syrup is cheap. Second, fructose tastes sweeter than glucose and far sweeter than sucrose (cane sugar) (at a molecular level and by weight measurement) so one ends up using less in the first place- lower cost for the same sweetness level benefits everyone except those with and aversion to fructose, or those who can't use it because of Passover (due to its origin in corn).

              1. re: ganeden

                yes, agreed. HFCS is much cheaper and sweeter. believe it or not agribusiness is a multi- billion dollar industry and corn is the most profitable grain in the US. there is a film called king corn. i've never seen it but it covers this topic. i personally don't taste the difference bet regular and sugar coke. i choose not to drink coke or any soda anyway b/c it's like liquid candy.

                1. re: ganeden

                  Corn syrup is cheaper than sugar only in the USA, and that's only because it's subsidised while sugar is hit with enormous tariffs that treble its price.

                  1. re: zsero

                    Dr. Pepper with Cane Sugar ends up being really expensive. Damiano's Mr. Pizza sells it, but I think I would prefer that. Also I think the passover thing is identified as I said in my original post by the P in next to the Kosher symbol, you can also read the ingredients heh . . .

              2. re: Fru

                Is that true? I got coke from Mexico, either Pepsi or Coca Cola from the Gas Station on 17th street and 5 Freeway in Santa Ana, with the car wash. the bottles were the reused and washed kind and really tall. Anyways, in the US sugar cane sugar is much more expensive because corn subsidies. I figured the same was true in Mexico if not more so . . . I do not remember the price in comparison to domestic soda. Which is cheaper?

          2. Mexican Coke is made with cane sugar, not HFCS. Doesn't that mean it is always kosher? Does the stamp help people make sure or does it have to be treated in some different way?

            2 Replies
            1. re: EliAnnKat

              Yes Coke and all sodas are kosher year round - during passover to insure that it is does not come into contact with Corn/HFCS or other grain type products which will make not permisable for consumption on Passover is when there is special supervison thatis required -

              1. re: weinstein5

                weinstein5 to the rescue! thanks for making sense of what seems like i couldn't explain in writing.

            2. Please don't make wrong assumptions based on theories. Do NOT assume that Passover Coke, or any Coke, is (or, for that matter, is not) made with "real cane sugar"!

              Coke comes from regional bottling plants, some of them independent of the Coca Cola company. My understanding is that at least one Coke bottler in the US still uses cane sugar. Note that I could not find any current info, so this may no longer be true. It was true not that long ago.

              What I do know to be true is that Coke has tasted different in different places throughout my life. When I first moved to Quebec from New York City over forty years ago, the Coke seemed to taste flatter and sweeter. The Coke of my childhood had a "kick" that seemed to be missing and it seemed less "refreshing". Why? I don't claim to know. But I don't think this is simply a "cane sugar vs HFCS" issue.

              Water, even when filtered, tastes different in different places. The taste of local water is front and center in fountain Coke. While less of an issue in bottled product, I can't imagine that its flavour impact disappears. The water doesn't come from a central source, and it is certainly not distilled. Carbonation levels seem to differ from place to place. Sweetness levels seem to differ too (independently of the sweetener used). Bottled Coke does not taste the same as canned. Does US Coke taste the same as Mexican Coke? Probably not. Is HFCS the primary reason? Possibly yes; possibly no. Do New York Coke, Memphis Coke, San Francisco Coke, Montreal Coke, and Toronto Coke all taste the same? Again, I don't know. They certainly didn't in the past. The Coke Blak sold in France doesn't even resemble the Coke Blak sold in the US.

              Passover Coke goes back a long time. According to the American Jewish Historical Society website, Coke was NOT made with cane sugar all along. To avoid using "grain" based sweeteners during Passover, Coke was made kosher for Passover in the 1930s via a switch to BEET or cane sugar. So "real" Coke was sweetened originally with something other than pure sugar. And when pure sugar was introduced, it was not necessarily derived from cane. The website is http://www.ajhs.org/publications/chap...
              I can't attest to its accuracy.

              I remember controversies in the 1950s, about beet sugar vs cane sugar, that paralleled exactly today's cane sugar vs HFCS arguments. If you buy granulated sucrose, can you identify the source? I pride myself on my palate but, really, I can't. Not at all.

              I live in Toronto Canada. We don't have your HFCS lobby and their cheap subsidized corn. But HFCS does, indeed, appear on many of our product labels anyway. As to Passover Coke, I tried (unsuccessfully) to get answers from the company but it turned out that the labels said enough. Passover Coke did, indeed, have a different cap from the "regular" version and sported an MK (Montreal) Passover hashgacha. The listed sweetener was "glucose/fructose" - NOT cane sugar.

              So why assume there is cane sugar in Passover Coke? The only thing you can know for sure is that the sweetener isn't made from corn. Fructose from a non-kitniyot source would be perfectly fine.

              In a not statistically valid, but perfectly reasonable, blind tasting, it was impossible to tell the Passover and "regular versions apart.

              My favourite brands of pop right now contain cane sugar. I especially like the Boylan's all natural cream and root beer flavours. But I don't like Boylan's not-all-natural equivalents (also sweetened with cane) and I find Virgil's cane sweetened, all natural root beer to be flat, sickly sweet crap. I don't think HFCS is an especially good thing, but I'm inclined to take the "innate superiority" of sugar sweetened soda pop argument with a very jaundiced eye and I don't buy into this cult. There are differences, but it isn't all that simple.

              If you have blind tasted US and Mexican Coke using reasonable controls and can tell them apart with great certainty, by all means drink what tastes better to you.

              8 Replies
              1. re: embee

                Two points.

                1) As for the non-HFCS Coke producer, I think you are thinking of the non-HFCS Dr. Pepper producer, whose website is http://www.dublindrpepper.com/

                2) Not all people can taste the difference between HFCS and Passover Coke. But for those of us who can (like my wife), April Coke must be appreciated, saved and enjoyed.

                1. re: craigcep

                  You may be right about the Dr Pepper. That website looks familiar. It certainly explains why I couldn't find current info :-(

                  I figured Coke might have bought out the renegade bottler. I do, however, stand by the rest of that post. As I said at the end, certainly drink whatever tastes best to you. But are you sure it's as simple as cane sugar vs HFCS? Simply stated, Canadian Passover Coke contains glucose/fructose, and not cane sugar. I wouldn't expect glucose/fructose and HFCS to taste all that different, especially in an intensely flavoured product such as Coke. I wonder whether Coca Cola US actually states that Passover Coke contains only cane sugar. The Passover problem is not the "fructose" or the "syrup", it's the corn.

                  1. re: embee

                    Well, I live in the Washington DC area and I bought several bottles of Kosher for Passover Coke(yellow caps) which is sweetened with sucrose(regular suguar) not HFCS and it does taste different than regular HFCS sweetened Coke....in fact I think it has more fizz than the regular.

                    1. re: embee

                      where did you purchase the Kosher Coca Cola? I live in the Washington dc area and cannot find it anywhere. Thanks

                      1. re: blue obsession

                        Most Gianty and Safeway stores have the kp Coke and Pepsi. The Coke has a yellow cap and the Pepsi has a white cap. Currently, Giant has Pepsi 2 liters on sale 10 for $10.

                        Kevin

                        1. re: KOK

                          Is the Pepsi sucrose (sugar beet) or sugar (pure sugar cane)?

                    2. re: craigcep

                      I find it to be a little lighter, but the overall taste is about the same to me.

                      Meanwhile, you can get soda like Hansens, and the Whole Foods brand (which might be rebranded Hansens) and it's sugar cane, natural year round.

                    3. re: embee

                      Coke bottlers in Allentown PA and Cleveland OH still use sugar (sucrose). I drive an hour to Allentown every couple of months to stock up.