Friday, May 16, 2008


“Pop” is also known as soda, soda-pop, and soda-water, depending on where you live. Growing up in Minnesota, we called it “pop” and pronounced it “pahp”. When my oldest brother started calling it “soda” I thought it was a more sophisticated designation and began calling it that myself.

Growing up, my oldest brother always drank Mountain Dew. Because it was his favorite pop, it became my favorite. I also enjoyed drinking warm half-full cans of Pepsi in the morning, since my mom had a habit of having half a can at night and leaving the rest. Eventually, I learned to look inside the can before gulping, because I discovered the hard way that often she would use the can as an ashtray.

I never understood the rivalry between Coke and Pepsi. At first, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Of course, now I can tell the difference, but I still don’t see why people have to be so opinionated about the finer nuances of their cola flavor. I mean: get a life, people! (By the way, who out there has ever had an RC cola? And points to anyone who can tell me what “RC” stands for. I know the answer, but am curious to see if anyone else knows).

One final item: I don’t know why, but it makes me smile thinking about pop brands I had long ago that you don’t see anymore. In particular, Tab and Shasta come to mind.

I’m not actually sure what I call carbonated beverages. I am mostly sure I call it pop if I am referring to a group of carbonated beverages, as in “Let’s go to the store and get some pop for the party.” However, I normally refer to the brand of “pop” that I actually want. “Can I have a Dr. Pepper, please.” I do not call all carbonated beverages Coke, that’s for sure.

Most of the time, we don’t have carbonated beverages in the house unless it’s for a specific occasion. My usual carbonated beverage of choice is Coke Light (Europe’s version of Diet Coke, which in Spain they almost always serve with a slice of lemon, which I love). It actually helps that there are not as many varieties of carbonated beverages here to be tempted by. I do also like to drink bubbly water, so I guess that’s technically a carbonated beverage but without the calories.

When in the United Sates, I like to drink: Dr. Pepper (regular or diet, I think Diet Dr. Pepper is probably the “best” diet carbonated beverage out there. I’m not completely sold on all the new varieties, but I’m not completely opposed, either), Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, Diet Coke with lime, and Root Beer. If I’m a restaurant that only serves Pepsi, I’ll drink it, but I definitely choose Coke over Pepsi any day. And yes, I could pass a taste test.

I think the absolutely, most vile carbonated beverage is Mountain Dew. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.


Justin said...

Royal Crown baby!

kellyinmadrid said...

royal crown. and it is best consumed with a moon pie.

paulo said...

i had my first rc cola at a family reunion in st. louis, mo, when i was 6 or so. and every time i have me a royal crown cola, it takes me back. and yes, with a moon pie, preferably a double moon pie microwaved for about 10 seconds, to echo what the lovely mrs. says!

The O said...

In Texas, it's "coke." Always "coke." Even if it's Dr Pepper (and why is there no period after the "Dr"???) And why is it that Dr Pepper is so much more difficult to find in the non-south? What's up with that?

Frikkin bubbly prune drink . . .

rjlight said...

We used to call everything coke and then I met people who said "pop" and then I met others who said "soda" and now I honestly don't know what to say so I usually end up saying the brand name or every synonym--it's very frustrating...I think I'll make up my own name for it --"gulp-gulp".

madridmom said...

Where I grew up (in Northeast Massachusetts) it is called "tonic" but my Mom (who came from western Massachusetts) could not ever switch from calling it soda so that's what I always called it growing up. Then I went to college in Ohio and lived for most of my married life in Ohio and Michigan so by default I started referring to it as pop. My favorite non-cola soda here in Spain is Casera and I always order it when at a restaurant because the bottles are significantly larger than the Coke or Pepsi products. We also like Coke Zero now better than Coke Light. And Coke Light here in Spain over "diet Coke" from back home in the states.