Food & Drink

Coca Cola in Thailand

Is It The Real Thing?

I hardly ever drink a soft drink anymore.  I used to drink at least one a day – but that has changed in the past few years.  My drink of choice for thirst is usually iced tea or Gatorade.

But – in Thailand finding either iced tea or Gatorade has been a real challenge.  Beer, Coke, Pepsi or juice.  That’s it.

I’ve had more Coke in the past couple of weeks than I have in the past few years.  And I’ve noticed it tastes very different.  I mentioned this to my husband, who just shrugged his shoulders and said it was probably because I hadn’t had it in so long.

But no.  It was something else.  It tastes brighter.  Maybe even more spicy.  It’s hard to describe but it has more snap.  And I like it.

Since he kinda blew me off (I’m used to it don’t worry) I got on Google to explore and sure enough I found the answer.  Cane sugar.

Coke and Pepsi manufactured in the USA has – wait for it – High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Ewww.  But in Asia, it’s made with sugar cane. And I’m not the only one who noticed a difference. Google showed several articles and blogs about the difference.

The funny thing is we had just had a conversation about sugar cane.  We noticed sugar cane growing around Hua Hin.  I pointed it out to Arne, because we had been discussing the demise of the sugar cane industry in Hawaii.

Twenty years ago when we first started visiting Maui there were miles and miles of sugar cane fields and an active sugar cane processing plant.  Every time we drove by that plant when we were in Maui I would start singing the old C&H Sugar jingle from my childhood –


Pure Cane Sugar

From Hawaii

Growing in the sun

Island Sugar, Fresh and Clean


Pure Cane Sugar

Is the one.

Who else remembers this jingle?  My kids thought I was crazy that I could sing this song from my childhood and I did so whenever we were in Maui.

But, the sugar industry has changed, and so has the lay of the land on Maui, and at the end of 2016 the only remaining sugar can processing plant in Hawaii (the one on Maui) closed its doors for good.

I have to assume High Fructose Corn Syrup is the reason.  Cheaper no doubt, but not nearly as good or good for you?

It took my coming to Thailand to be able to put my finger on what a difference there is.  Even though I don’t eat or drink much sugar – my discerning pallet tasted the difference.

So what is the “real thing”.  Coke in the USA or Coke in Asia?


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1 Comment

  • Reply samuel

    coke in thailand is shit same as all the other soft drinks. I think they are carbonating with compressed air instead of pure CO2

    September 12, 2018 at 8:51 am
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