The Soda Jerk: And the Winner Is…

No, it won’t be that easy for you. 

First, a review of the contest…in order to address the question of whether there is a taste difference between soda pops made with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) versus those with made with real cane sugar. People seem to have very strong feelings that real sugar is so much better. I don’t know if I could tell the difference. So I got a plastic bottle of Faygo Rock n’ Rye (with HFCS) and a glass bottle of Faygo Rock n’ Rye (with real sugar). After all, this would really only work by tasting the same flavor made by the same company, right? My wife and I put them side by side and took turns drinking each to go along with our supper of bratwurst burgers and chips.

The Rock n’ Rye made with real sugar was sweeter…by a little bit.

Honestly, I could not tell a real taste difference right away. The plastic bottle seemed a little more carbonated, that’s the only real difference I could tell right away. But by the time both bottles were empty and I had had several alternating sips of each kind, I began to realize that the real sugar version was, in fact, just a little bit sweeter. However, it was not a difference that hit either of us over the head in a major way. She noticed it before I did (no surprise there).

My highly individualized, non-statistical, almost-but-not-quite-scientific conclusion (based on a large sample of just one soda pop flavor): sure, real sugar makes it sweeter, but it’s not a big difference. I still have nothing against soda pops made with HFCS (after all, the glass-bottled Stewart’s flavors the arcade sells are delicious AND made with HFCS), but don’t think that using real can sugar makes soda pop “so much better”. As with most things, it is in the eye of the beholder…so long as the beholder is buying their glass-bottled soda pop at the Klassic Arcade.


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