Since summer is here and the heat threatens dehydration, especially with the Northeast heatwave, everyone is buying up Gatorade, water, soda, to the point where the local stores cannot keep stock. I constantly go to my neighborhood CVS and curse when I cannot find Gatorade and take advantage of the Gatorade sale prices. A few days ago, I went to the nearby Pathmark supermarket to do some grocery shopping and checked out the beverage isles as I always do. While making my purchase decisions, I ran into some different sodas that I do not normally see. The two sodas that I’m talking about is Canfields Cherry Chocolate Fudge, and the classic Tab!
I’ve never seen the Chocolate soda before and I always used to see Tab in stores as a child. Tab disappeared from the stores around my way for many years and just recently popped up. I saw someone purchasing a six-pack of Tab at the register and everyone was asking her about it or making comments about Tab memories. I had to go back and grab one because even though I always seen Tab in stores when I was younger, I never drank one. My parents didn’t like it and therefore never bought for dinner. I was always just happy to get a Pepsi, so I rarely bought anything else.
Canfields Cherry Chocolate Fudge
I ran into the Cherry Chocolate Fudge soda while walking through the soda isle searching for the Tab. Truthfully, I probably would not have found it if I wasn’t looking for the Tab. I have no idea how long this soda have existed, but the style of the design owns. It’s like looking at a can that was designed in the 60’s. I feel like if I drank it while leaving the store, I would start doing a twist dance with crackheads and smelly bums joining in a la Austin Powers. The only difference is, the cop won’t stop me from dancing and then join in. He would probably shoot me dead and then sprinkle crack on me.
I kid, I kid! Haha. The police are okay with me.
Another reason why I decided to buy the soda is the flavor idea itself. I was always a fan of Chocolate covered cherries. It’s one of the big reasons why I look forward to Valentine’s Day. Every holiday usually comes with holiday-related products for stores to make money, and my vice usually is candy. Chocolate covered cherries is a favorite of mine, but I can never find them until December 26th. I’m sure these chocolates can be found year round elsewhere, but the candy manufacturers probably found out where I live in advance and decided to sell them somewhere else.
Eh, it kinda makes sense to push these chocolates near February. Valentine’s day is usually spent giving “chocolates and flowers” to your loved ones, and definitely not some shitty-ass movie with Aston Kushner.
The taste: not bad. This soda really has a candy-like taste of chocolate and cherries. A lot better than I thought it would be. The only downside is that too much of this sweetness can get old and gross very fast, which is why I couldn’t put this in my regular drink rotation. Maybe I can do one can every two weeks, but if I can drink Coke or Pepsi everyday, then I should be able to drink this soda regularly as well. Personally, I think it can only be enjoyed in moderation.
As I mentioned earlier, I was excited to see Tab in the supermarket. Truthfully, I wanted to buy this soda mostly for nostalgic reasons. Of course one reason I waned to buy it is because I have never tasted this soda before and wanted to rectify that, but another reason is Tab really reminds me of simpler times; times of big hair, members-only jackets and Bob Barker still having black hair and feeling up his female co-workers.
I hate to bring up race in any subject, but to me, Tab was a “white person” drink. Any time I EVER seen anyone drinking Tab, they happened to be white. I lived in Coney Island for most of my young life, and one of the most obvious facts about it to anyone that visited was that the majority of residents living there were ethnic. Why do I bring this up? Because I never saw anyone drinking Tab on the island. I know it was sold in the local Pathmark Supermarket, and I’m sure at least a few people were drinking them, but I never saw it. The scarcity of the drink made me want to try it more. This soda has basically become my Moby Dick (the whale, not anything else).
The taste: I finally have a chilled Tab at home in my hand and I go for it. I gotta tell ya…this soda does not taste much different than diet soda. There is a small difference in the after taste, but I can’t place it. I’m not impressed. I could be drinking diet Pepsi or Coke and would barely notice the difference. I do not see what was so special about Tab. Maybe Coke and Pepsi didn’t have the kinks worked out of their diet formula back then, which helped Tab reign supreme. I dunno.
Final verdict: Good but unnecessary (like wine coolers).
The last drink that I wanted to mention is Dr. Pepper. Now before your eyes pop out of your sockets in disbelief and your brains explode, I’ll quickly state that Dr. Pepper IS sold in my area. Heck, even Diet Dr. Pepper and Cherry Dr. Pepper is available. The cool version that I’m writing about is Dr. Pepper with real sugar. For those who know me (not much), they know that I made a big deal of Pepsi throwback, which also had real sugar. The taste of actual sugar reminds me of when I was younger and real sugar was the norm for sodas back then – and of course, nostalgia is the main purpose for writing this blog anyway.
I found this Dr. Pepper while randomly browsing through the local CVS here on Staten Island. I’m in the store a lot and usually notice when they get new stuff. I’m surprised people hasn’t mistaken me for an employee yet and ask me questions on where items are located. I would probably tell them where their items are anyway.
As soon as I noticed that this Dr. Pepper had real sugar, I promptly purchased a 12 pack to replenish previous perspiration produced by participation in my pool-playing pursuits (say that 3 times fast).
The taste: I’ve always thought that Dr. Pepper tasted like a “spicier” version of Cherry Coke, so I was interested to see what this tasted like. Unlike the old school Pepsi with real sugar, I have never tasted this version of Dr. Pepper. After drinking a can, I can report that this soda tastes like regular Dr. Pepper but with that hint of slight sweetness that the Pepsi Throwback has.
Final verdict: Just like the Pepsi Throwback, I’d love for this soda to stick around longer. There’s nothing like that old sugar taste.
As the summer starts winding down, finding these refreshing sodas has been a real treat, especially since some of the heatwaves that hit this area were brutal. Trying out new sodas can be fun, but revisiting older sodas can also be cool and maybe unlock old, forgotten memories. Unlocking memories is what I like best about writing this blog.