June 2, 2010

I'll just crack open a nice refreshing...WHAT?!?

I stated recently the reckless abandon with which I embrace bizarre/unusual flavors as part of our life here in Japan.  Last Saturday afternoon I found two soft drinks that I deemed worthy of a taste test.

After finishing with my weekly grocery store adventure, I was turning into our street I got a phone call from Philip.  He asked if I would stop off and pick up a coke or something.  I said - "I'm driving.  I have it covered."  As I pulled into our little alley/driveway/backyard my husband bounded out of the back door thrilled that I was home so soon.  He helped unload the shopping bags and rapidly poured my week's vegetables and meat onto the table searching for the promised treat.

This is what he found:
He recovered admirably from his initial disappointment and chose carefully.  His choice was between "Green Cola" with a label full of enough confusing explanation to scare anyone off and the latest flavor of Pepsi - baobab.  You know.  Like the African tree.  Last summer's Pepsi flavor was azuki - a sweet Japanese red bean often used in deserts.  The summer of 2008 it was cucumber, a favorite vegetable for tsukemono {Japanese pickling}.  I am guessing that baobab is in honor of the World Cup in South Africa, but that is just something I decided moments ago.  My adventurous husband chose:
His first comment was, "Well, it sure tastes like a tree."  With that resounding vote of confidence I decided to have a sip.  Pepsi that tastes like a tree - who can pass up such an opportunity.  Not I.  It tasted like a cousin of root beer, ginger ale or sarsaparilla to me.  If it actually has baobab bark or root or extract in it then the likeness makes sense to me.  Over all it was not bad.  I would buy it again if I got a hankering for a ginger ale and couldn't locate a Canada Dry.  Phil on the other hand will stick to Grape Fanta.

One thing we both noticed, and would probably make me think twice about buying it as a ginger ale substitute, was that Pepsi Baobab was beyond carbonated.  The more we drank, the more we burped.  We might have had an impromptu belching contest on Saturday afternoon.  Or maybe not.  When we did pour out the bottom half of the bottle {it was really gassy!} the fizz produced was unbelievable.

Final verdict: Pepsi Baobab is not cola.  It is carbonated tree.  Perfect for a Preteen boy looking to impress his friends with his robust burps.  And the next time I say I have it covered Philip is going to walk down to the vending machine and buy himself a soda.

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