Kosher Coca-Cola Is Back for Passover

Kosher Coca-Cola is back, folks, and there's a small window of opportunity to grab a few bottles of this holiday special beverage.

If you're asking yourself, "What the hell is Kosher Coke?" you're not alone. In fact, I just received an email asking if regular Coke has some hidden "pork products or something."

No, Coca-Cola does not contain any pork products as far as I'm aware of. It's that regular everyday Coke is made with everyone's favorite high-fructose corn syrup. And that makes it a no-no for observant Jews to drink during Passover.

Corn and corn products are part of a food category of foods that include grain and rice, called Kiniyot. These items are forbidden at Passover, because, like wheat, they can be leavening agents.

So, to get around the ban, the Coca-Cola Co. makes a Kosher for Passover version using sugar instead of corn syrup. In fact, kosher Cokes date back to the 1930s, when a rabbi who was fond of the beverage made sure there was nothing in it to hinder his enjoyment of it during the holidays.

Today, the special Coke, easily identified by its bright-yellow bottle cap, is manufactured under rabbinical supervision, to ensure all ingredients are certified kosher for Passover.

It should be noted that Kosher Coca-Cola is not made with pure cane sugar, like Mexican Coke. Instead, the yellow-capped Coke found now in your market is sweetened with sucrose, a blended natural sweetener derived in part from sugar cane. In any event, it's closer to pure sugary indulgence than the norm.

So much so in fact, that the soda, available only during Passover, usually sells out by fans of the soda. The soda is regularly priced at about $1.99 for a two-liter bottle. Plus, Publix is having a BOGO where if you buy two bottles, you get two free! Stock up now!

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss