Coke Zero Haytas


Okay, so, the comments on “My Appalling Lunch” have exposed a heretofore unknown sleeper cell of Coke Zero haytas around these here parts, and I’m here to tell you, all y’all just better step off on mocking my choice of no-calorie beverage. As Joe Rybicki notes in the comments, all true Colaheads (as opposed to “cokeheads,” for obvious reasons) know that Coke Zero is the one true no-calorie Coca-Cola experience, since it’s formulated from the original Coca-Cola formula. Diet Coke, on the other hand, is some sort of bastard hybrid that shares its taste DNA with the hated and reviled New Coke, the antichrist of colas. New Coke!!! I mean, really. As if. And while, yes, I’d prefer to drink fully-sugared Coke, if I were to do that at my current level of soda consumption, I would probably be wider than I was tall, and that would be no good.

So back off, man. And show Coke Zero some love. It’s the one no-calorie cola that doesn’t actually taste like ass. And you know that’s the truth.

95 Comments on “Coke Zero Haytas”

  1. It’s the one no-calorie cola that doesn’t actually taste like ass. And you know that’s the truth.

    Now, I do have to disagree with you there, sir, as I sit here sipping my incomparably delicious Diet Dr. Pepper. But maybe they don’t have that where you live.

  2. I already hate diet coke, but I’ve never tried Coke Zero. Is it better for me to side with the evil I don’t know over the evil I do? It’s what I’m inclined to do in this case…

    What is Zero sweetened with, if not sugar, cocaine or aspartame?

  3. Well, Joe, he said ‘cola.’ Otherwise I was going to mention my very delicious diet Barq’s famous olde tyme root beer.
    But if Coke Zero is from the original formula then where is the cherry flavor coming from? To me Coke Zero tastes sort of like a cherry coke, assuming one means that phony ‘cherry-esque’ artificial flavor and not, god forbid, real cherries.

    Does the new sweetener have a phony cherry flavor?

    The worst diet stuff I’ve had is when the nutrasweet has broken down. Yuck.

  4. I don’t even drink Coke. The stuff’s corrosive. (Trivia: did you know that some folks use concentrated Coca Cola to degrease engine blocks?)

  5. Ummmm, not to sound pushy or anything, but ummmm…. drink whatever helps you write that next book.

    Can you feel the love yet?

    We now return you to your regular scheduled programming.

  6. Lars,

    The other two sweeteners are Splenda and acesulfame potassium (ace-k). In the US Coke Zero has aspartame and ace-k, just like diet Coke has, but more ace-k and less aspartame.

    Outside the US the formulas differ by country.

  7. Personally, I still drink Tab, so I’m in no position to criticize anyone’s taste in diet sodas.

  8. Cathy:

    Krissy picked up the new Tab energy drink not so long ago, and it sits in our fridge, like a threat.

  9. Unfortunately Canada is no longer a Coke Zero-free zone – at least British Columbia isn’t. It has crept unannounced into the chiller at my local grocery store and sits there glaring balefully at the children as they pass by…

  10. Ugh. They all suck. Exercise some restraint and drink the real Thing. Ugh.

    I don’t drink much soda anymore. I keep a six of CC in the fridge for medicinal purposes. It cures a hangover nicely and also an upset stomach.

    I suspect anything Krissy wields could be perceived as a threat. And I like that in a woman.

  11. Coke Zero has arrived across the pond – I much prefer diet Doctor Pepper.

    I used to drink root beer from the PX, when I was based in Berlin with the RAF, but you can’t get it in the UK (to the best of my knowledge).

    Anyhoo, if the drinkin’ helps your thinkin’ (and typin’), keep on keepin on!

  12. oddly enough, coke tends to GIVE me an upset stomach. But even moreso – all diet colas are awful. Terrible. Unpalatable. Even diet dr pepper (which allegedly tastes more like dr pepper – more than what, I don’t know) is an abomination. And I love dr pepper.

    As for coke being a degreaser…uhm, sortof. You can clean your engine with it, sure – but you’d better wash it spotless afterwards or you’ll have a VERY sticky mess. Which sorta defeats the point…

    However, DIET coke works pretty darn good. You can test this yourself – handle some greasy food (like say, fried chicken or something) and then wash your hands with diet coke. Grease is gone, and since no sugar – no sticky.

  13. Coke Zero is the Elixir of Life. Seriously. Well, it certainly is the closest thing on Earth. Let’s face it, people now champion wine because of its supposed heart benefits. But Coke Zero, the only tasty no calorie liquid in the world, knocked 15 lbs off me in three months and has kept it off. I’m certain that an 8% reduction in body weight is far more likely to help my life expectancy than a fractional reduction in heart attack risk. Not to mention the benefits to my teeth!

    The only problem with Coke Zero is that they didn’t stop making the poison known as Diet Coke and force everyone to switch. Therefore restaurants still insist on keeping that other crap on tap and forcing me to drink the full calorie hard stuff when I’m out. Mr. Scalzi, please use your burgeoning multimedia (books, blog, photoshop…that’s multi) empire to pressure the Coke company to at the minimum rectify this discriminatory treatment. Thank you.

  14. Canada: the world’s final Coke-Zero free zone.

    Not true. I’ve been drinking CZ for quite a while now. I quite prefer it to Diet Coke.

  15. I hate aspartame with a passion – it is rather foul. But I have to admit, the blend they use in Coke Zero is pretty good.

    Of course there is also the benzene to worry about…

  16. Well, I’m not a fan of any of the Coke drinks except real Coke, but I haven’t tried Zero. I was far more disturbed by the rest of the meal than the Coke part.

  17. from wikipedia:
    Cola is a sweet carbonated drink, usually with caramel coloring and containing caffeine.

    Hmm. I’d say Dr Pepper fits.

    Though I will concede to their unCola marketing strategy (wiki):
    Unlike Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Dr Pepper is not marketed as a cola. Dr Pepper’s flavor is allegedly derived from a mixture of soda fountain flavors popular when the drink was first devised. A partial list of these flavors can be seen at the bottling plant in Dublin, Texas, although the formula itself (with its twenty-three ingredients) is a closely guarded secret.

  18. Umm, Dean? Hate to tell you this, but not only is Canada not a Coke-Zero-free zone, YOUR house isn’t a Coke-Zero-free zone. I buy it pretty regularly.

    It’s good, but Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper ROCKS!

  19. Lars: forcing me to drink the full calorie hard stuff when I’m out

    I stick to iced tea with Sweet-N-Low because it actually dissolves in cold liquid and the bitter taste is masked by the tea flavor. The only problem I have is keeping the tea/sweetener ratio at the optimal level as servers tend to refill before I finish the glass.

  20. Kevin:

    “Hmm. I’d say Dr Pepper fits.”

    Yes, well. By that definition root beer is a cola. Which it is not.

    Basically, I’ll believe Dr. Pepper is a cola around the same time I’ll believe Dr. Pepper is a board-certified anesthesiologist.

  21. What Wikipedia failed to mention is Cola is made from kola nuts. Therefore, unless DP has kola flavoring it ain’t cola…

  22. Mr. Scalzi-
    He may not be a board certified anesthesiologist, but Dr Pepper never, ever has a “.” after Dr – You don’t see the Dr Pepper guys calling Coke Zero “Coke0” ;)

    And root beer is not a cola, mostly because it’s awful. Tastes like toothpaste.

    John H.-
    Great argument, except that most colas these days do not use the kola nut. So Coca-cola, Pepsi-cola and the rest are modern cola frauds.

  23. Thank you, Chang. All diet soft drinks are NASTY. I’d much rather have the real stuff and drink less of it.

    However, there have been times I’ve had no choice put to partake of Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet A&W – these are somewhat less nasty than your average diet soft drink.

    Then again, that’s akin to saying a knife in the leg is somewhat less painful than an a knife in the eye.

    (Soft drink of choice? Sweet, delicious, kicky IBC root beer, or any of the smaller label glass bottled root beer, like Dr. Brown’s. Mmmm…)

  24. Well, if it’s any consolation, I’m still trying to get my head around the rest of your lunch. Processed cheese and wonderbread. As food, and not as an experiment in mold production.

  25. Kevin – just because Coke, Pepsi, et al, are artificially flavored doesn’t mean they aren’t still ‘kola-flavored’. I can buy vanilla ice cream that uses artificial vanilla flavor – it’s still vanilla ice cream.

    Dr Pepper, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be kola flavored (to me it tastes like fizzy prune juice)…

  26. Ohmig-d! I can’t believe I just found this: I am now squealing like a twelve year old schoolgirl.

    Ya know, I tell my boyfriend that I love him and all, but it’s such a shadow of the love-at-first-sight I feel for RootBeerWorld. Especially this page.

    Carol + RootBeerWorld 4EVA!

    (Yes, I have officially lost my mind.)

  27. Another Canuck, drinking a coke zero right now. Also love diet dr pepper, and diet root beers, but not sure they count as colas.

  28. Root beer is good. Dr Pepper is good. Many other kinds of soda/pop/whatever you heathens call it are good.

    Cola? Is not good. Diet or not.

    And one of the many small things I like about Canada is that for the most part our soft drinks are not allowed to have caffeine in them (colas and other dark soft drinks aside, although I can’t find caffeinated A&W in my local convenience store if I wanted to).

  29. I’ve been a Coke Zero disciple since it came out as well. Of course I occasionally switch things up with a Diet Mt. Dew Code Red, but I consider it more of a dessert/late night caffeine boost beverage while Zero goes better with meals.

  30. I stand by my assessment of the “Cola” That Dare Not Speak Its Name. If this makes me a hayta, so be it. But please know that I hate the game, man, not the playa!

  31. I’m still lamenting that Coca Cola C2 all but disappeared behind the shimmery Coke Zero. The C2 tastes *much* closer to “real” Coke with half the calories. It’s a good trade-off between the aftertaste of Coke Zero et al and the waistline-busting real Coke.

  32. Re Canadian soft drinks. No caffeine in our rootbeer, or other non-cola drinks. I remember visiting Kansas and meeting a gentleman who I secretly thought was a wuss because all he drank was Mountain Dew. “What a wuss,” I thought, “must not like caffeine in his drinks. La di da.” The last day I was there, I discovered the truth – Mountain Dew had more caffeine than anything else. I tried one out. Wow, what a buzz. Now, when I’m in the States, I deliberately seek it out. As an aside, they’ve introduced Mountain Dew with caffeine here, but it has to be touted as an “energy drink” and is therefore harder to find.

    As for the diet coke/coke zero debate – coke zero tastes like diet pepsi. Blech.

  33. While we’re on the topic of soda preferences, allow me to represent for Jones Soda’s Cream Soda. Which I will do in this fashion:

    Oh. My. GOD. This stuff tastes like bottled childhood. It tastes like a day at the fair. It tastes like marshmallows cooked over an open flame. I shit you not, it is almost too good to be true. I allow myself one bottle every couple of weeks only because it’s important to savor the precious things in life.

    Run, run to your grocery store and buy yourself a bottle if you’ve never had one. It’s divine.

  34. I’m sorry, I’m with Jill. Five years ago I weaned myself off my 12-cans-a-day Diet Coke habit. My health has been sooooo much better now that I drink nothing but water–no migranes, no heartburn, no a-whole-bunch-of-other-things. Thanks, I’ll stick to the H2O

  35. Haven’t tried Coke Zed, but my wife slipped some Diet Coke into my whiskey, gave me a few free ones and I’ve been hooked to the foul stuff ever since.

    I’m from Eastern Kentucky. We have an outstanding ginger-based. high caffeine soft drink named Ale81, (A Late One) made in Winchester, Kentucky. This elixir will definitely keep one awake and focused. John, I’m sure there’s enough hillbillies around Dayton who have an Ale8 or two hidden in the butter drawer. If not, just give me a holler.

  36. Nick Stump:

    “I’m sure there’s enough hillbillies around Dayton who have an Ale8 or two hidden in the butter drawer.”

    Are you kidding? They sell it at the IGA in town. Rural Ohio is Ale81 territory too.

  37. I have cola (Pepsi, to be honest) as an occasional treat. I hate diet with a passion. It tastes yucky! I have even turned up my nose at “past the best by date” cola because I think I can tell the difference. (I know, I know, how can I? But it seems different!)

    I have used cola to clean a particularly encrusted car battery. Worked pretty well and I have to admit I didn’t bother to unsticky it.

  38. I’ve seen the Mythbusters episode where they tested Coke as a degreaser and to clean up the waste from a crime scene (or something similar). Worked like a dream. But that doesn’t make it a bad thing to drink. If it can do that to a car engine, just think what it does to clean out all the junk food.

    My wife likes it, and I’ve tasted it when it was in the house, and it’s definitely more palatable than Diet Coke, which makes me gag.

  39. Joe Rybicki, I too share your love of Jones cream soda! And may I also mention that the cream variety from Stewart’s is also excellent.

    And unlike others, I like Diet Coke, particularly the one with lime in it. The one with lemon in it, however, was horrible and tasted like they had squirted dishwashing liquid in it.

  40. John H –

    I hate prune juice. Love Dr Pepper. And contrary to popular myth, prune juice has never been a part of Dr Pepper. You just have imaginative taste buds. ;)

    And there’s a point where if you take out the ingredients that make something what it is, it stops being that. I can only eat soy ice cream – but I’m under no delusion that it is really ice cream. It’s just called that because it’s similar. And as far as I can see it – Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper are all similar enough to be colas.

    Root Beer isn’t – non-caffeinated (Barq’s is an abomination to root beer) and tastes like toothpaste. 8)

  41. Squirt!

    A non-caffeinated, non-artificially-colored, non-artificially-flavored citrusy soft drink that’s sort of grapefruitlike but not really. Not available in the southeastern U.S., unfortunately. -.- I have to import it from Florida or the Midwest.

    As for Orange sodas, Crush isn’t widely available where I am either so I make do with Sunkist even though it’s caffeinated.

  42. Oh yes, and root beer. My favorite was an obscure bottled brand called Pirate’s Keg that I found in a restaurant in North Carolina. Haven’t seen it anywhere else.

    Mostly I go for Mug in the standard grocery stores.

  43. You know, you can make a big pitcher of Celestial Seasons Red Zinger iced tea and drink it all day long. It’s delicious (if you have good water).

    Just saying. You don’t have to throw all your money to Big Bubble, dude.

  44. I really can’t take you to task over your choice of beverage. I mean if you have decided that drinking brown dishwater is a viable option to reducing your calorie intact, have at it. Who am I to judge? But ‘Wonder Bread’, how can you still eat that spineless stuff. As children we did not know any better but now you have choices.

  45. I agree with you, John. It tastes like real Coke (because, kids, Splenda is really just sugar that’s had its diabetic balls castrated) and has kept me from becoming what Steely Dan called “The Expanding Man.”

    Diet Coke is… okay, the way the Kroger brand cheap soda is… okay. I only drink the caffiene free stuff because I really don’t like staying up all night, then going to work.

    Yes, insomnia is the curse of middle age. It’s why old people sleep a lot. They’re catching up from all they lost between 40 and 60.

  46. Coke Zero is much sweeter than aspartame-sweetened Diet Coke. I’ll drink either one, I need the caffeine. Splenda(tm)-sweetened Diet Coke is somewhere in between, as I recall, and I think it tastes kinda funny.

    This is all in cans or bottles. Diet Coke from a soda fountain is phleghm-of-Cthulhu evil, it doesn’t taste like coke or even proper diet coke at all.

    Diet Dr Pepper tastes like soap. I don’t know why I keep buying the stuff. And it is, most definitely, not a cola.

    Diet Pepsi is tolerable in cans or bottles, and even fouler than Diet Coke from a soda fountain.

    Is anybody making a good diet creme soda these days? You used to be able to get diet A&W cream but I haven’t seen it in years.

  47. Thena: It’s in Columbus, Ohio, for one place. I bought a 12-pack about two months ago at a Giant Eagle grocery store.

  48. Arguing about which zero calorie soda tastes best is rather like arguing about which dog pee tastes best. I’m not interested in even finding out for curiosity’s sake. Enjoy your Coke Zero, and I’ll enjoy my non-diet Mug root beer while laughing at you. :)

  49. The canonical list of tasty diet drinks. Disagree at your own risk.

    1. Coke Zero: Like C2, its flavour is frontloaded, without the full mouthfeel and finish of Real Coke, but there’s enough of a diet bite to it to balance the new sweetness. In fact, I probably prefer it to Real Coke now.

    2-3 (tie): Diet 7-Up/Diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale: The sharp citrus and ginger fight off the aspartame successfully.

    4-5 (tie). Diet Coke with Lime/Diet Pepsi with Lime: Diet Coke alone is insipid, but the tang of fake lime rescues this one. Pre-Coke Zero, Diet Pepsi was my chosen diet cola, but it, too, is improved by adding “lime”.

    6-7: Diet Dr. Pepper/Diet Barqs: There are some great complex flavours hiding in these, but that wet, flabby, oversweet blanket of pure aspartame smothers them.

    And the “Sucks and Blows at the Same Time” award goes to:

    * Sprite Zero: They killed my Sprite, the bastards! This used to be better than Diet 7-Up, but several months ago, it seemed that I got a bad case. Every single can seemed oversweet and flat, and the bite I loved was gone. I finally checked the packaging and noticed the “Zero”. What transformed Diet Coke flopped dismally here. Bastards.

  50. Soda without caffeine? Are you serious. That’s like non-alcoholic beer, what’s the point? And diet, yick, left-handed sugars damage your receptors. The FDA was going to regulate the stuff until they realized just how far widespread it was into the marketplace. My systems can’t handle the stuff and it makes me goofy (yes, more so than normal).

    And, sir, just *what* are you implying by the hand gesture? Hmmm?

  51. While Dr Pepper was busy putting Kevin down for an anesthesia nap, he also used some hypnotism to convince Kevin to forget all about the “necessary and sufficient” logic stuff.

    Sure, as you quote from wikipedia: “Cola is a sweet carbonated drink, usually with caramel coloring and containing caffeine.”
    Dr Pepper is ANOTHER sweet carbonated drink with caramel coloring and caffeine. Its not a Cola.
    It is delishuss and yummy, though, as is Root Beer. Especially Barq’s cuz it is the only one that has bite (caffeine)
    and I must agree whole-heartedly with Nathan about Sunkist being the best orange soda. It IS the only one with caffeine.

  52. Coke Zero is the one true diet soda, I agree.

    But axodys – where are you that you can get Diet Mt Dew Code Red? We had it here (Dallas) briefly, and then poof! it was gone. Maybe I was the only one buying it.

    And while the Diet Coke with lime is acceptable, I concur with Jenny Rae Rappaport on the other one. At my house we call it Diet Coke with Lemon Pledge.

  53. have you ever tasted ass? ’cause diet coke doesn’t taste like that!

    … uh … i mean …

    sigh, whatever. just look: you have to let go of thinking diet drinks are a substitute for sugared drinks. they’re not. they’re a whole experience in themselves. once you let go and just go with the diet drink experience, you’ll find you like the chemical taste and the lesser sweetness and you won’t miss that sour sugar aftertaste and the sugar-gritty teefs at all.

    it’s like chinese buddhist tofu concoctions. no, they really don’t taste like chicken and beef, but they’re good on their own.

  54. There is a use for Diet De-Caff Coke–to cut cheap whiskey and make it more palatable, for when you don’t want to use ice or water.

    Yeah, I know, real men drink their whiskey straight, but sometimes (especially when it’s hot out) you want something a little less agressive. Sometimes.

  55. Anyone who needs energy-less fuel (food or drink) because they either take in too much energy or expend too little energy are lazy, weak-willed losers.

    Looks at the half-consumed candy bar, and pokes the proto-paunch.

    I, um, need to go for a walk.

  56. I prefer to go with Coke products over other soda brands myself. The only Coke product I have yet to try is Blak.

    A couple of years ago her in the Philippines, Pepsi tried to market a blue colored variant of Pepsi. I didn’t particularly care for the taste myself, but the main turnoff for me was the blue coloring.

    Poured out into a clear glass it looked waaaaay too much like toilet water. You know the kind where you put a blue block in the tank to treat the water.

  57. Pepsi Max Cappuccino for me when I can find it, or else plain Pepsi Max. It’s the only diet cola I can stand (the others have a too strong aftertaste from the sweetener, IMO).

    If neither of those can be found, I go for plain non-diet Coke or something else entirely.

    If I’m very very tired, I go for either Jolt or a cup of coffee.

    *puts on helmet and heavy armor*

  58. If you’re gonna plug a softdrink, for God’s sake don’t miss the opportunity to squeeze some compensation out of the Coca-Cola Company. (Ask them for a free crate of bottles, or something.)

    I am willing to negotiate product placements in my blog or books. Excuse me while I drink some refreshing, lip-smacking [YOUR BRAND HERE]…


  59. I have to recommend you try A&W or Stewart’s Root Beer. They taste pretty much exactly like the regular, non-diet kind.

    Also, that new Diet Pepsi Jazz stuff is pretty good; I prefer the strawberry blend, but the black cherry one is good too. Doesn’t much taste like Pepsi though; the fruity flavor overpowers the cola.

  60. I’ve actually tried the black cherry Pepsi Jazz; it’s not bad. I’m annoyed that my local store sells it and not the Black Cherry Vanilla Diet Coke, however.

  61. I hate diet drinks. They taste like burnt feet.

    Coke Zero is the only “zero calorie” cola I’ve ever been able to sip and not make that “I’ve just licked a 9-volt battery” face.

    Luckily enough for me, I’ve kicked my Coke(ola) habit awhile back. Instead of several a day, I’m down to a couple a week. Now they’re a treat for me, so I drink the full-on, unleaded Coke Classic. Nowadays I give myself 1 coffee to get the brain jumping in the morning and then devote myself to water the rest of the time. It’s good stuff.

  62. Patrick in the Philippines: The only Coke product I have yet to try is Blak

    I didn’t realize that it was coffee flavored cola until I took a swig of the free sample I got at the train station. I admit that I’m biased since I abhor the taste of coffee, but to me Blak tasted like a mixture of burning tires and skunk spray.

    Not exactly the taste I wanted in my mouth for my afternoon commute…

  63. When I was in Paraguay as an exchange student in high school, I got a taste for a Brazilian soft drink, guarana, derived from an Amazonian berry. Years later, it’s now a major component of Red Bull, etc. , as it is very high in caffeine.

    In law school, I developed a maybe six liters a day Coca Cola habit, which really screwed up my sleep habits and caused horrible headaches every time I went backpacking. For years, I cut back to a couple of cans a day, but still suffered from the sugar and caffeine cycling in and out of my system.

    A few years ago, I decided to just cut back to one cup of tea in the morning, and the occasional Coke on the weekend. However, last summer, I was at a Brazilian import store and came across some two liter bottles of guarana. I wasn’t paying attention and drank a whole bottle at a picnic. All of the sudden, my heart was racing and my freakin’ eyes were all dialated. I thought I was having a stroke! It was like a month’s worth of caffeine in two hours.

    Now, as a Detroiter, I’ll usually have a Vernor’s (a very sweet, fizzy ginger ale, for those of you outside the Great Lakes region).

  64. You know, I used to drink Vernor’s when I lived in California — pretty sure its distribution goes beyond the Midwest.

  65. Patrick,

    We had Pepsi Blue for awhile in Minnesota. I never got to hating the color – the taste was enough for me. It was like some watered down blue raspberry. I never understood why they watered it down like that.

  66. Vernors used to be a purely Michigan thing, but they got bought out by Coca Cola a decade or so back, and now you can find them in all sorts of strange places: my favorite banh mi shop in San Francisco’s little Saigon carries it.

  67. Anyone tried that strawberries and cream flavour of Pepsi Jazz? It’s bad, but not totally revolting — so if you’re in the mood for a crappy pop but don’t want to totally gross yourself out, pick some up.

    Even diet dr pepper (which allegedly tastes more like dr pepper – more than what, I don’t know) is an abomination.

    It comes closer to tasting like real, non-diet Dr Pepper than other diet drinks do to tasting like their real versions. (Why is Diet Coke even called that? It tastes almost, but not quite, entirely unlike actual Coke. Even Diet Pepsi has at least a faint hint of Pepsi to it (just finished one with lunch), but Diet Coke? Come on!) Don’t think I’ve tried Coke 0, but C2 is nice.

  68. Well, on your recommendation, I tried Coke Zero last night. And you’re right, the taste was a blast from the past, in a good way. But the aftertaste converted me to one of the haytas.

    I’m with Joe. I’ll stick with Diet Dr. Pepper.

  69. Coke Zero has nothing on Mexican Coca Cola, which still uses cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

    I have a lot of clients in the Mexican neighborhood of Detroit, and now have a few favorite taquerias and restaurants (I visit some often enough that people don’t all stop talking at the same time when the gringo who could be ‘la migra’ walks in), and I always order a Mexican coke, in the curvy glass bottle, with my meal.

    The national Vernor’s distribution must be spotty- my cousins in the boonies of west-central Pennsylvania always ask us to bring some, as does my sister in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She says that every once in a while, it turns up in the “imported foods” section of her local grocery store.

    Scalzi: since a lot of people seemed apalled at your choice of meal, what is the grossest thing you’ve eaten? For me, it was seal flipper in Newfoundland. Smelled like low tide and tasted like a combination of axle grease and fishheads.

  70. Buck:

    “what is the grossest thing you’ve eaten?”

    Uni. Tasted like jellied wet cement. I mean, truly vile.

  71. Diet/no-cal soda? *blech* If you’re looking for a caffienated drink with no calories, iced tea is the best option. My personal choice would be Ito En’s Green Hoji. If you do insist on drinking some sort of soda/pop/coke/whatever you call your sugar carbonated beverage; then I partly agree with Joe Rybicki and recommend Jones Soda. Though I’d go with their Green Apple instead of the Cream Soda.

    As for grossest thing eaten: I had uni once and kind of liked it. From John’s description of his experience with uni; I’d guess he got some old and/or frozen sea urchin as it should have a nutty flavor. Oh and my worst experience was eating the lion’s share of a deluxe supermarket sushi package while in Tokyo staying with my host family for a weekend. They didn’t touch any of the sushi and the other student with me barely ate any of it. Some of the package was good, but the masago (might have been tobiko) was horric. Keeping a polite smile on your face while trying to swallow little, slimey balls isn’t easy.

  72. Ever since the transporter accident involving my signal being retro-reflected, left-handed sugars are the only sustenance I get.

    Stephen G must die!

  73. Pepsi One.It is, by far, the best tasting diet cola. Infinitely better than the awful Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. (I can’t remember if I’ve tried Coke Zero, but from the name alone I suspect it is a Pepsi One ripoff.)

  74. Just Mix regular classic coke with diet coke or ask for a 50/50 mix at the fast food joint.

  75. Just Mix regular classic coke with diet coke or ask for a 50/50 mix at the fast food joint.

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