Raise your hand if you’ve said or heard one of these three phrases.
“I don’t drink soda.”
“I haven’t had soda for 5/10/15 years.”
“I only drink water, tea, and coffee.”
These days, soda, in all its forms, is out, and healthy drinks are in (well, not all of them – PSL drinkers, looking at you). Soda is the devil, and any nutritionista (new word?) worth their salt would take that salt and throw it over their shoulder. Sugar, caffeine, carbonation, cancer, death, libido, losing your hair, giving birth to mutant children; any or all of these things are in your future should you choose to have that soda. It’s come so far that not drinking soda is almost becoming cliche.
Now, I do agree that soda should not be anyone’s main source of liquid. Children should not drink soda, because they haven’t developed that part of the brain and tongue that knows its limits when it comes to sugar. If you don’t have a soda for a week or two, the first one after that will taste weird, which is probably a signal that it is indeed an unnatural part of the human diet, to some extent. I, myself, do not buy soda to keep in the house; however, I have been known to indulge in a Diet Coke at a gas station, or with a meal at a restaurant. I restrict myself from having it often, but still, it gets such a bad rap from everyone else that it’s almost like we need to strangle all the sodas in the world and hang them from the gallows in the town square.
Today, I went to Marshalls, and on my way out, I grabbed a Diet Coke. I don’t know when the last time I had some was, but it had been a while and I was really jonesing for it, so I got it. My first sip was incredibly bitter and sour, but midway through the bottle that familiar cola taste came through. It was not strong enough that I wanted another, but it satisfied my thirst and my need for flavor for a while.
So here’s where my dilemma comes in.
You know how some people do not or cannot consume a certain thing (coffee, peaches, oranges) but enjoy things that give them the same flavor experience (coffee cake, peach tea, orange Life Savers)?
Yeah, that’s what cola is for me.
I love the taste of cola. You know what I’m talking about, the kind that you get from Mexican coke, or Passover coke, or the off-brand hippie cola that Trader Joe’s has. It’s smooth, sweet, and comforting. Unfortunately, unlike peach tea and coffee cake, which can come in moderately healthy versions, I have not been able to find any sort of food or drink that emulates that cola taste, yet isn’t insanely unhealthy or expensive.
In the meantime, I’ll finish this Diet Coke…but I know there’s something out there, somewhere.
Oh, and welcome to my first visitor for Belarus.