The Upside of Passover: Coca-Cola With Sugar

The backlash against products with high fructose corn syrup has become more vociferous each year as food crusaders like Michael Pollan decry the artificial sweetener. While Coca-Cola stopped using sugar in place of high fructose corn syrup since the mid-'80s, there is a loophole that many soft drink purists hail each Passover.

Since observant Jews can't imbibe any corn products (including high fructose corn syrup) during Passover, Coke produces a version of their soft drink with sugar for the holiday. These special, sugary bottles of Coke have a yellow cap to denote that they are Kosher for Passover. (Pepsi also makes a sugary-enriched Passover blend of their soft drink, although without the yellow cap.)

The Kosher Coke is available at most Publix supermarkets. According to spokesperson Kim Jaeger, each store orders these distinctive soft drinks based upon their clientele's demand. At the Publix on Dade Boulevard in Miami Beach, for example, there is a huge display of Coca Cola and Pepsi in the Kosher for Passover section of the store. There is a sign certifying the product's authenticity by the Orthodox Rabbinical Board. We knew it was the real deal because it is written in English and Hebrew.

Publix is selling these high fructose corn syrup-free sodas until supplies last (even if that's after Passover). The two-liter bottles cost the same as the regular ones. So, whether you are observing the holiday or you like sugar in your Coke and Pepsi, Short Order advises you to hit the Publix on Dade Boulevard before they run out.

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Jacquelynn D. Powers