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Mar 29, 2009 10:37 PM

Passover Coke

I used to be a coke fanatic as a kid, now I try to drink it only for certain meals (ie. burgers, greasy food, etc). I've talked about my fondness for Mexican Coke before, and now I've finally spotted passover coke in Toronto.

I saw it at a Longo's today for $2.19 per 2L bottle. In case you're wondering what the bruhaha is, passover coke uses sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (non-kosher). The best way to describe the sugar version is a cleaner taste, it doesn't leave that awful layer of film in your mouth.

In a way, it triggers memories of my childhood, of how coke tasted when it was my personal crack.

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  1. Very interesting. Interesting because I wasn't aware that high fructose corn syrup is not kosher. And also that you can taste a difference. Coke has traditionally been made with sugar and eventually switched over to corn syrup. I'm not a pop drinker at all, so can't comment on my preference. But thanks for the info!

    1 Reply
    1. re: SMOG

      Corn is not allowed to be eaten by Jews of Ashkenazi (Central and Eastern European) descent on Passover. I believe it is allowed for those of Sephardic (Spanish/Portuguese/North African) descent, however.

    2. It's found every year during this time at supermarkets along Bathurst.

      On another note, does anyone know if there are any sizes of this other than 2L?

      1. HFCS is, indeed kosher. It can't be used for Passover because it is derived from corn, as Tatai explains.

        Are you certain Canadian Passover Coke is made with sugar? The issue with HFCS is not the fructose, it is the corn. Fructose does not necessarily come from a forbidden source. Corn, and therefore, HFCS, has been highly subsidized by the US government. This is not the case in Canada, so the cost advantage of HFCS is not as extreme.

        I haven't seen any Passover Coke in Toronto so far this year. However, last year's Passover Coke, stamped "MK", contained "glucose/fructose", which (unless you are allergic to corn) is essentially the same as HFCS.

        8 Replies
        1. re: embee

          I think I remember hearing that Canadian Passover Coke was made with beet sugar. Or maybe cane sugar?

          1. re: embee

            It's news to me as I rarely shop on the Bathurst strip, I'm not Jewish after all. I've only seen them in the States w/ the yellow cap. No yellow cap in Canada.


            Definitely no HFCS, ingredients listed are "carbonated water, sugar, caramel colour, phosphoric acid, natural flavour, caffeine". This one is stamped "COR" (kosher for passover).

            I know reg Canadian coke tastes different than American coke because of the % of HFCS used. Canadian version uses less, at least according to my taste buds, which also ties in w/ the corn subsidies in the US.

            It only comes in 2L bottles from my understanding. Perola's does sell glass bottle 355ml Mexican cokes all year round if you want to try out a single serving.

            1. re: aser

              The Passover Coke finally showed up at Sobey's this week and it's much cheaper than Longo's: 4/$5.00.

              They only do it here in the 2L bottles: Classic and Diet Coke.I think New York and some other places might have cans etc.

              This sugar thing has been an ongoing question...I have to look at the ingredients for this year but I think embee is right that, at least for the last bit, it has NOT been sugar. It may be what is used in some places but I do recall "glucose/fructose" last year.

              I think the taste is still a bit different but not much more than fountain vs. bottled or the differences you'd get across markets anyway. Who knows, maybe there's a placebo effect to having the Passover Coke and being taken back to your childhood before the recipe was corrputed :)

              1. re: fleisch

                What I posted above is the actual ingredient list, it says "sugar" and not "glucose/fructose".

                It doesn't taste as good as Mexican coke imo. Still, I'll be stocking up, thanks for the Sobeys tip.

                1. re: aser

                  Definitely a different formula. Last year's was glucose/fructose and MK. It seems sugar is making a comeback, at least temporarily, at Pepsi.

                  1. re: embee

                    I bought some at Food Basics at Bathurst & Steeles for $1.99/2L. As reported, it lists "sugar" in the ingredients.

                    Had some yesterday, it's very good (better than last year's formula, I think).

                    It's too bad we can't get this in cans, I'd stock up quite a bit more in a smaller format. I can't usually get through 2L before it goes flat.

                    1. re: embee

                      Hi embee:

                      The term glucose-fructose on Canadian labels refers to:

                      "glucose syrups and isomerized glucose syrups, singly or in combination, where the fructose fraction does not exceed 60 percent of the sweetener on a dry basis" [


                      As such, HFCS 55 (the soft drink HFCS) falls under this label. I don't know anything about kosher regulations or Passover, but glucose-fructose does not exempt a product from being corn free, though it's certainly a possibility. If you have a corn allergy, though, glucose-fructose can still be HFCS, and therefore contain corn residue.

                      Labels with sugar/glucose-fructose contain a combination of the two.

                      1. re: tjr

                        The Passover context is that the glucose-fructose can't be derived from corn. HFCS is, by definition, derived from corn, and therefore not kosher for Passover if you are are an Ashkenazic Jew (the North American majority). If the product is KP, the glucose-fructose, by definition, has no corn content.

                        Of course, if you are a practicing Sephardic Jew, you are more likely than not to be observant, but you are allowed corn on Passover. I'm not going to suggest that the laws of kashrut necessarily make sense.

            2. I purchased a Caribbean made coke at Island Food Market‎ at 3432 Weston Road and noted to my wife that it tasted different then North American Coke. She thought I was dreaming. After reading this thread I’m wondering if it’s because they use real sugar. I wonder if Caribbean Coke is suitable for Passover? In any case it does taste better then North American Coke.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mactoo

                Coke made in the Caribbean is much sweeter than made in North America, sometimes up to 30%. It's usually made with syrup derived from suger cane.

                1. re: mactoo

                  Each region will have different tasting coke. Coca-Cola licenses bottling rights to multiple bottlers in a lot of countries. For example, I think there are 10 different bottlers making mexican coke.

                2. I saw a bottle of Schweppes cream soda at T&T today (I never really pay attention in the Western pop aisle), and since I'd never really seen it here, I decided to get it and have a try. It was actually incredible compared to neon pink Crush cream soda.

                  I looked at the label, and lo and behold, sweetened with sugar. Bottled in HK. Are all the pops from HK made with sugar? At least the ones imported here? I'll check next time I'm there.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: tjr

                    Well that's part of my childhood memory, the real sugar taste of pop in HK.

                    I picked up a bunch at Food Basics in Thornhill Square. $1.25 for 2L bottle, no minimum, maximum of 8 bottles, sale ends Sat the 11th. Supply was running low, most of the pallets have regular coke bottles. Again, look for the "COR" marking. I imagine supply is drying up around town since passover is almost here.

                    btw, they also have passover Pepsi w/ the "COR" marking, the ingredient listing does say "glucose/fructose". It's also $1.25...

                    1. re: tjr

                      I think it's a pretty open secret that the HK Schweppes Cream Soda is the best tasting pop around, hands down! I don't even drink pop and I love the stuff...