Not too long ago, the BF and I were in a lovely cheese shop around town, adorably called Cheese and Crackers, and they had a huge glass case of canned sodas.
One of the varieties was Pepsi but it was Pepsi Throwback, as was the Mountain Dew. For whatever reason, I squealed in delight because nostalgia is a big part of who I am. I loved the look of the retro can and its prideful boast that it is made with real sugar; I suppose it’s the original formula.
Anyhow, when I was 17/18 I used to drink full-sugar Pepsi in the can. A lot. Hey, I worked 10-hour days in retail. (Ah, to have that teenage metabolism once again.) I eventually forced myself to stop drinking it but for the time that I did, it was pure satisfaction. I don’t think the late 90s had the ‘throwback’ formula, so it’s a pretty good assumption on my part that it was made with corn syrup. One of the reasons I stopped drinking it, aside from the fact that it was sugary, was that it left my teeth feeling gritty. It’s that same feeling that prompts you to scrub your teeth to the point of wearing down your enamel. Also, I was worried I’d have brown teeth before I turned 30. Not an attractive trait.
I never, and I mean never, indulge in full sugar soda anymore, as it’s all corn syrup anyway, but for whatever reason I was prompted to purchase a can, even for the mere sake of nostalgia.
I took a cold, crisp taste from the can since I am a firm believer that ice cold soda is best from a can. My first impression was that I could immediately and distinctly tell the difference between the sugar version and the corn syrup version.
The soda was actually refreshing tasting and, if I may be so bold to state, tasted cleaner somehow. I wasn’t left with that gritty feeling on my teeth, even at the very end. At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish the soda because it contains 40 grams of sugar/carbohydrates. I surprised myself by finishing the whole thing and I still didn’t have that too-sweet aftertaste lingering.
While soda has been blacklisted as of late, denounced as being the one thing that can ultimately ruin one’s health, enjoying a can or bottle every now and again is of course not the end of the world.
While this is not changing my mind to suddenly begin purchasing sugar soda by the case, I would definitely prefer to enjoy this variety over the modern version. It won’t replace diet soda in my heart and, in spite of my preference of Pepsi over Coke, I have a strong affinity for Coke Zero.
Perhaps Pepsi adds nostalgia to every can of their throwback soda but it really does taste better and I don’t view it as the devil-with-horns beverage that I do all the corn syrup varieties out there.
Well done, Pepsi. You may be winning back a customer, albeit a sporadic one.