While perusing the fabulously informative Straight Dope website, I came
across the column on Coca-Cola and corn sweetener from Cecil’s second book, More of the Straight Dope.
Let me contribute this little tidbit to the discussion of Coca-Cola and
specifically the substitution of high fructose corn syrup for sugar.
The Coke purists among the teeming millions should know that every spring the
New York area bottler of Coca-Cola religiously whips up a special batch of
the beverage using only sugar and not a drop of corn sweetener.
They do this to accommodate the large Jewish population in the New York
metropolitan area during the Passover holiday when observant Jews modify
their diet to only consume foodstuffs that are kosher for Passover.
Corn and all products made from corn are not kosher for Passover and thus any
product labeled as kosher for Passover cannot contain corn syrup (high
fructose or other). Although the Coke label is unchanged and still lists
“high fructose corn syrup and/or sucrose” in the ingredients, it cannot, by
religious law (and as you have noted in other columns the Jewish certifying
organizations take this quite seriously) contain the much reviled corn
If the aforementioned Coke purists wish to stock up on this rare bounty (as
many actually do) they should visit any supermarket in the New York
metropolitan area about a month before Passover/Easter. The only markings
will be 6 Hebrew letters (two rows of three) stamped on the cap of the
bottle. They may ship some to other parts of the country too but I do not
know that for certain.