April 6, 2009

I had never heard of Kosher Coca-Cola and Pepsi until Al’s Morning Meeting reader Jeff Domenick, editor of the Valley News Dispatch in Tarentum, Pa., dropped me a note saying one of the paper’s reporters wrote about the products.

Coke and Pepsi products are normally made with high fructose corn syrup. But, if you look carefully around this time of year, you can find them made with real sugar.

The Valley News Dispatch said:

“Passover begins at sundown Wednesday. Corn is among the grains that some Jews observing Passover dietary restrictions can’t eat. That makes regular pop such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi a no-no.

“In response, both companies make versions of their drinks sweetened with sucrose, or sugar. In the case of Coke, a yellow cap on 2-liter bottles — instead of red — is the sign to look for.

“Coca-Cola’s kosher for Passover products include Coke and Sprite. Pepsi’s products include Pepsi, Caffeine Free Pepsi and Sierra Mist.

“More than sugar is needed to make a beverage kosher for Passover. The products are made under the supervision of a rabbi. So, in addition, Diet Coke, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Sprite Zero, Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Diet Sierra Mist can also be found in kosher for Passover versions.”

Here are some other related stories:

“A Beginner’s Guide to Passover Coke,” Serious Eats New York

“Kosher Coke a Big Hit,” New York Post

“Passover Produces a Real Coke Classic,” National Public Radio (2004)

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Al Tompkins is one of America's most requested broadcast journalism and multimedia teachers and coaches. After nearly 30 years working as a reporter, photojournalist, producer,…
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