A Coke by Any Other Name...

by Mark Wynn

An obstacle the traveler encounters when moving about the United States is knowing what to refer to a carbonated sugary beverage as, if in the event one wants one. It would make sense to eliminate it from ones diet altogether because 'diabeetus' is the same all over the US.

I myself cut them out decades ago more or less but living in Chile the 'bebidas' still have good old cane sugar and are superior in flavor. When you drink a Chilean soft drink you don't immediately have to wash that 'sour/copper' aftertaste out of your mouth, like from an industrialized American version sweetened with corn syrup.

If one takes away anything from the book "The Cigarette Papers" it's that industry will add things to increase consumption. So who's to say that aftertaste that compels your child to guzzle soda is an accident. Also increased consumption leads to diabetes and obesity, sound familiar?

The cane sugar sweetness lingers on the tongue so you're not encouraged to immediately take another sip. I suspect that's a happy byproduct of that sweetener.

I also suspicion corn syrup breaks down in your mouth into an acid quicker than cane sugar. Maybe the enzymes in your mouth effect the sugar molecules differently. Thereby creating that familiar 'sour/copper' aftertaste while also explaining the phenomenon of 'root beer tooth'.

I was going to write about how annoying it is getting mocked everywhere I go for calling a (cold drink,soda,coke) a pop. But after thinking about the subtle differences in Coke from the US and any other country I can't. It ain't funny.

The subtlety in the difference of sweeteners is like a microcosm for trying to describe other differences of living in Chile compared to the US. Maybe it could be described like;

"In Chile you don't feel like a link in a process designed to oxidize industrial waste."

Because that is the feeling I get from corn syrup. If you don't feel that when you drink one don't sweat it cause those companies are just like big tobacco and they've spent billions on gaslighting you.

So buy the world a Coke and sing in perfect harmony. Are you old enough to remember a pre-industrial waste Coke? Not a 'root beer tooth' in the entire choir. This is another one of those Etruscan seaculums bound to be overlooked in the 'miasma of modernity'.

American cokes are sweet like any other coke. That's as far as the 99% look. The proletariat swilling down their ration of 'Victory' gin. The Founding Father's wisdom saw the dangers of combining 'Church and State' but they couldn't know the dangers of combining 'Industry and State'. That requires a wisdom I fear we no longer possess.

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