Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Kosher For Passover Coke
I grew up in Brooklyn, where you can't walk very far without passing a pizzeria. And thin-crust pizza in this city is an institution, much the way deep dish pizza is an institution in Chicago (the only other acceptable place to eat pizza in this country, by the way).

Here, you can buy pizza by the slice or by the whole pie, and you can tell when a restaurant only serves whole pies by the sign that hangs on the door declaring "No Slices."

Anyway, a few years ago I was eating pizza and reminiscing about how good an ice cold, frosty Coke went with a slice and how I just couldn't drink the stuff anymore. It's too sweet, far too sweet and it totally overpowers the pizza.

I took to the internet, where I discovered it was not my tastebud's imagination. The general recipe for Coke changed and it is made with high fructose corn syrup. I've been trying for serveral years to eliminate HFCS from my diet so when I read this, I thought "goodbye, Coke. Nice knowing you."

BUT, there is one time of year that Coke is made the old-fashioned way: with sugar. Gather 'round children, while Mrs. Murphy explains the wonder of Kosher for Passover (KFP) Coke:

Adhering to Jewish dietary law, known as keeping kosher, follows a different set of rules around the holiday of Passover, which celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery and their Exodus out of Egypt led by the always fablulous Charlton Heston Moses. At this time of year, Jews eat unleavened bread (thanks to Ali and my mom for giving me the link for 20 things to do with matzoh!), and are forbidden to eat or possess "chometz" (foods made with wheat, spelt, barley, oats, or rye), as well as "kitniyot" (foods made with rice, corn, soy beans, string beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, mustard, sesame seeds and poppy seeds).

So Coke, with its HFCS, is a no no. But Coke with sugar is kosher. Literally.

You can tell KFP Coke by the yellow cap and the symbols OU-P, which means it was certified Kosher by the Orthodox Union for Pesach (Passover). Sometimes it won't be in the soda aisle, but in the seasonal aisle, where other KFP products are sold. New York has a large Jewish population so there's usually plenty KFP Coke to go around but in other areas, like Toronto, it is selling out.

Once a year, I buy a couple of bottles and tuck into a pizza with tall, frosty Coke. That day will be this Friday. Yeah, I know. It's Good Friday, it's Passover. Lots of mixing of religions going on, the pizza is yeast-raised. L'chaim anyway!


Blogger CatMar said...

Wow! You learn something new every day! I didn't know that about Coke and Passover. Whrn I drink soda, it'a DIET all the sugar for me.
Well, for the part of you (your Jewish background) Happy Passover! and... Happy Easter too!

Anonymous Vikki said...

That's so interesting! Thanks for sharing that.

Anonymous mom said...

I didn;t know about the Passover soda either, but since i don't drink diet soda any more, how would i know. I am strictly a seltzer girl now.
Love, Mom

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