Kosher Coke Smackdown


The web has been abuzz over so-called "kosher Coke," the special kosher for Passover edition of Coke that is sweetened with sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Because HFCS is made from corn, it is prohibited during the Jewish holiday, so Coca-Cola bottles a version of the soft drink made with sucrose.

Off the Broiler
blogger Jason Perlow has been the Internet's primary resource on the subject, updating and annotating a 2006 post with instructions on how to identify the soda and where to find it.

I'm not much of a soda drinker, but I was curious about how the stuff tasted, so we headed over to Kew Gardens Hills, which boasts a major Orthodox Jewish population. At Wasserman's supermarket, we found a rack of 2-liter bottles topped with the distinctive yellow caps marked "OU-P" that distinguish them from ordinary HFCS-sweetened Coke.

Once home, we held a soda smackdown. The results: a draw.

As I mentioned, I'm not a huge soda fan (so take this with a grain of salt), but I could not distinguish a major difference in the flavor of the sucrose-powered Coke. I wanted it to be great, but the two versions tasted pretty much the same. If I could discern anything, the kosher Coke had less of a "finish," whereas its HFCS counterpart's sweet flavor lingered longer on the tongue (for better or for worse). It also seemed less carbonated (which I liked), but this may have been a peculiarity of the particular bottle we took home.

Overall, I was underwhelmed. Have you tasted kosher Coke? What do you think? Good, great, or not worth the hype?



It's worth noting, if you've ever had a Coke, you've had a kosher Coke, as all Coke produced in the U.S. is generally kosher. The difference is "kosher for Passover." It is an important distinction.


I think the kosher for Passover coke is cleaner tasting.


the kosh for pass coke has a different (smaller bubble) carbonation that is a pleasant change from all the other hight fruc corsrp beverages avail.

I likeeeeeeee!


I am a pop drinker, as we say in this part of the world, though not as much as I used to be as I try to avoid HFCS at all costs. For me, Passover Coke is not about taste. It is as as much a part of the season as my annual taste of schmaltz or Concord Grape wine.

It may be in my mind, but I find it tastes less metallic, though.


Oh. I'm heading over to the supermarket now to try to find some. I want to try the smackdown myself. Good idea, Josh!


Regardless of the flavor nuances, anything without high fructose corn syrup, one of the main culprits in America's unhealthy diet habit, is a good thing. And if I am not mistaken, some of the recipes for Coke in markets abroad is made with real sugar. Plus, a little Hebrew on the cap looks cool.


Corn is not and has not ever been prohibited to eat on Pesah (Passover). It fits into a category called Qitniyoth (legumes) that only European Jews (ashkenazim) abstained from eating for a now, very outdated reason. Sefaradi (Spanish) and Arab Jews have been using these ingredients for thousands of years. Maybe it's time they wake up and smell the present and stop turning Passover into a restrictive, suffering time, but keep it the festival that it always was meant to be.


I have always bought Kosher for Passover coke, but I have noticed that it is not as readily available in non-jewish markets that carry kosher for passover things. I started to notice this a couple or years ago. I was a bit surprised because I live in jewish neighborhood in Manhattan. Has anyone else noticed that trend?


The Kosher for Passover Coke tastes - to me, anyway - more like the Coke I remember from my Snot-Nose Days. It's a subtle difference, but noticeable - and familiar to anyone who has had Coca Cola in Latin America (where sucrose is still used in many of the countries).


The main reason for ALL OF US to request Kosher coke is due to it's lack of High Fructose Corn Syrup. So many people are uneducated about the dangers of this ingredient -yes, I said dangers. This does not mean you will immediately die from ingesting HFCS, what it means is that it is not good for the body. Scientic research has shown the liver cannot properly deal with HFCS and therefore it is not metabolized properly like sugar. Which leads to problems such as weight gain, diabetes, and so on. I am not a doctor so I may have not presented the facts here totally correct on this, but PLEASE Google "high fructose corn syrup dangers" so you can see all the RESEARCH on this really bad for our health ingredient. This is the main reason why when manufacturers started to switch from real sugar to HFCS in everything from Coke to candy to food, americas obesity, diabetes and other problems surged like never before, but before then were normal. I used to drink coke by the ton as a kid and never had weight problems and neither did most of my friends who did the same. But after they made the switch to HFCS, my weight started going up and I now have stopped drinking (and eating when possible which is really hard since almost everything has HFCS in it) anything with HFCS in it...and I have noticed my weight has gone down a bit because of that. Please educate yourselves on this important matter, for us and our children. Thanks and blessings to you all!


hi, im in colorado and not sure when to get the PFC coke, any suggestions? i have had dr. pepper made with real sugar instead of HFCS, and it is so much better! i tested the regular dr. pepper and the sugar dr. pepper and the sugar dr. pepper is the best. i loved it so much i spent twenty bucks on ebay to get a six pack of em. if anyone is interested in buying dr. pepper with sugar it is called dublin dr. pepper and you can either go to or you can actually go to dublin texas and buy it there but i dont know why you would want to.


Kosher for Passover Coke is FAR BETTER than the high fructose corn syrup version. It has a cleaner and sharper flavor. Passover is about a month away, but the shipment hasn't been delivered to the grocery stores in our neighborhoods with larger numbers of Jewish residents, so I'm wondering what's up?


just now I tried my first sips of Passover Coke and.. WOW. High Fructose Corn Syrup always gives me this nasty instant rush like my blood pressure goes up or something, and it's a nasty feeling. It also tastes too thick and sweet. Passover Coke is Coke from "the old days" (I'm only 41, mind you). The Passover Coke tastes a tad metallic to me afterwards, but this is so minor compared to the MAJOR PLUS of not putting poisons into my body with the HFCS!!


The FUD being spread here about HFCS is silly and isn't backed up by any credible research. Sucrose may taste a little better than HFCS but it's no healthier.


FUD? There is too much evidence to support the dangers of HFCS. Explain why, then, can someone eliminate HFCS from their diet, replacing the HFCS products with sugar-sweetened ones, and loose a whole bunch of weight WITHOUT changing the rest of their diet or increasing physical activity? HFCS is NOT a naturally occurring item, and it's not for me!


Think about this - ranchers feed cattle corn because it fattens them up more quickly. It may rot their stomachs, which are not meant to eat grain, but they put on weight like gangbusters because of corn. What exactly do you think corn derivatives do to us? Same thing - this is one of the biggest reasons we are getting fatter and fatter every day. The corn fed to cattle also depletes the Omega-3's that would otherwise naturally occur in beef. You get a less nutritionally loaded, poorer quality, fattier piece of meat. It doesn't take a genius to see that our "faster, cheaper" attitude toward foods, the very attitude that supports manufacturer's use of HFCS, is the very cause of many of the health and obesity problems we now experience. Kosher food is meant to be purer and more beneficially digestible for the body. Sugar does not cause damage; HFCS does. I'll take kosher coke over the mass marketed stuff any day.


Yes! A million resounding yeses. Coke with Sugar is absolutely better tasting to anyone that drinks soda. If you don't drink soda, you can't have an opinion. To understand the underlying dynamics, read Blink. Incidentally, remember that one of the reasons manufacturer's in the USA use HFCS instead of Sugar are the massive price floors (and tarriffs to stop imports) in this country. We pay more for Sugar than anyone in the world. Tell me again why we should curtail free trade?!?


Never heard of Passover Coke until today..BUT I have searched for Mexican Coke some days like a junkie- regularly haranging the managment of Kroger/HEB to check the back if its sold out. HFCS is NASTY!!! Prefer the glass bottle to plastic as well. Go find the Mexican Cokes people- you dont have to wait till passover. Just stay away from my towns stash ;) I have had an incident where there were only about 10 on the shelf and I was loading them up and another lady with a little boy came over and was upset that I was taking them all, after a moment of thought I shared a few, but I had to think about it!!!!!!!!HARD.


It's Erev Passover and I'm on my way out to Seder, a bottle of KFP Coke in hand.
That they taste so much alike (or, better, but no one up above says it's worse) and Coke does this for the Observant Jewish Community (for only 8 days per year) is a HUGE testament to the character of Coca Cola, and I thank them !
Also: "MA"'s comment above: This Holiday is in remembrance of the slavery in Egypt just as much as it is a celebration of the Exodus therefrom. A little "reminder" of servitude and living under strict (dietary)is not a bad thing on Passover.


OY!!!! Finally! What a good idea.


I buy sugar coke all the time. No special day. Just go to any mexican grocery store. The coke made in mexico is made with sugar. The store owners import it. I get a case (24) of glass bottles for $18 and I am in small town Kansas. If I can get it this easy, sure anyone can.


Only ashkenasi jews consider corn to be not kosher for passover.


Now I finally know the reason for those"what's this weird bunch of letters/numbers say"


this is criminal !!!! this should be available, ALWAYS, nation-wide .... NATION-WIDE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kosher Coke is exactly the same Coke that is made and bottled in Mexico. . .real sugar rather than the HFCS. Here in South Texas, we can get it all the time. And yes, it does taste better; only a confirmed Coke-aholic can tell for sure!


Ciao a tutti. I want you know my web site from Italy


You have to drink Coke with ice. KfP Coke is much better.Try it on the rocks......


I heartily agree that soda sweetened with cane sugar absolutely tastes better to me than soda sweetened with HFCS. Taste is a very individual thing. However, I am sick to death of the absolute FUD being spread about HFCS. Take a chemistry course! Sugar is sugar is sugar is sugar. If HFCS, which is, according to the FDA a completely natural product, is unhealthy then fruit, which gets its sweet taste from, you guessed it, FRUCTOSE is also unhealthy. If you don't like the taste, as I don't, FINE. QUIT SPREADING PSEUDOSCIENTIFIC NONSENSE!!!


Some other FYI....
The sugar coke in the plastic bottles (kosher) is not the same as the sugar coke found in other countries that comes in glass bottles. The coke in cans and plastic bottles is a pre-mixed formula that is poured into the plastic bottles and cans, whereas the coke in glass bottles is actually mixed in the bottle itself. The other fact that changes the taste of any soft drink from one part of the country to another is the water source. If you check the cans and bottles, they will tell you where they are canned/bottled. Ironically, New York coke has some of the best water in it, for HFCS coke. For the record, I have sampled sugar coke from several places including Mexico and many of the islands in the Caribbean, and the coke in Dominica in glass bottles with real sugar was the best. I hear St. Kitts has great water, but I forgot to look for bottles of coke the last time I was there.


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