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The Passover Coca-Cola Challenge [VIDEO]

by Jared Sichel, Staff Writer

March 21, 2013 | 3:53 am

That Passover Coke tastes better than the year-round version is so often heard in Jewish circles that the Journal decided to hold a “Passover Coca-Cola Taste Test” on March 18. 

We set up a table on a Pico Boulevard sidewalk during the height of last-minute shopping for Shabbat and asked passersby to taste two identical-looking, unlabeled cups of Coke. One was the regular version, and one was the Passover variety. (Passover Coke is still available locally in some stores that acquire it from other states.) They were then asked to identify which one they preferred. 

The sample size — 12 brave volunteers — might make a statistician scoff, but the results were clear: 75 percent of the participants preferred kosher for Passover Coke with its cane sugar replacing the normal version’s high-fructose corn syrup.

[Related: The story of Passover Coca-Cola]

Jonathan Hassid, a 13-year-old student at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, had a small cup of the Passover Coke, placed it down and allowed the flavors to settle. Then he tried the regular version. 

After thinking for a few seconds, he pointed to the side of the table with the Passover cola. Hassid wasn’t surprised that he preferred the Passover Coke because, as he put it, “Usually my friends tell me it’s better.” 

Others followed suit.

“I like that better,” said participant Ilana Maghen, pointing to the right side of the table, the one with the cups of Passover Coke. “It’s sweeter.”

Joshua Corber tried both samples and then pointed to the empty cup with the Passover soda, asking, “Is that the sugar one?” He sounded like a Dos Equis commercial when he said that although he “doesn’t drink much soda at all,” when he does, “it’s sugar.” 

Then there was Oren Rehany, who was rushing to buy some items for Shabbat. He was the experiment’s sole person to choose neither option. His response after quickly drinking both cups?

“They are both hideous."

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