Cryptonaut, the brother-in-law of DigDoug, is a well-seasoned traveler. He speaks about six languages, and has been just about everywhere, and so is possessed of a great variety of good stories. He's seen things we wouldn't believe...attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion...
Er. He's seen a lot. So when he came by tonight and told me that he had a soda for me, I was very excited. This had the potential to be Weirdness of the highest order. What strange, dark corners of the world had this man scoured to find this? In what scummed alley, lit dimly by light reflected by windows in towering corporate arcologies, had he haggled with curiously-robed figures for it? What secrets had he been privy to?
He produced a can of Pokka Aloe-V. It has an attractive purple and green color scheme on a white background, and claims to be an "aloe vera juice drink with pulp bits".
Apparently, this one also includes blueberry juice. That's always good.
The real joy of this can only becomes apparent when you turn it around, though. On the back, there is information printed in:
It is also, according to the icons rinted there, ISO 9001 compliant. It's good to know this soda has some standards.
Based on the label, this seems to fall under the "bits of gel floating around" soda family (I'm going to have to update the Venn diagram). I've enjoyed those somewhat before, and I have no objection to Aloe. So: sincere thanks to Cryptonaut for his generous donation, and let's quaff this thing.
Joining us for this review are DigDoug, Cryptonaut, and Gointotrance.
Where and when: Purchased by Cryptonaut, Marukai Asian Market, San Diego, CA
Color: Very pale purple-orange, almost transparent, with transparent flakes of something, presumably aloe. Possibly dinosaur scales. With the slight ridges, they look like shavings of thumb epidermis.
Gointotrance: "I'm going with adult, full-grown Sea Monkeys."
Cryptonaut: "Small jellyfish impaled with cedar slivers. Jellyfish in a sandstorm."
Gointotrance: "Oh, they've started to float."
Cryptonaut: "They've grown spines. They're evolving quickly!"
DigDoug: "Looks kind of like the bottom of a spring-thaw pond."
Good to know: gel-based sodas are somewhat aversive to many.
Scent: Very strong. Sweet, with a moderately strong citrus. The berry is there. Very fragrant, aromatic.
GIT: "I've got Bubble Yum and Fresca."
Cryptonaut: "Like a gum scent, you're right."
Juicy Fruit also gains significant consensus as being similar to this scent.
Taste: The texture is very odd. The flakes are thicker than I was expecting. They're not thin; they have substance. Sort of like squishy big grains of rice.
Cryptonaut: "Gelatin shrapnel."
Gointotrance: "I'm going to be honest. I didn't let the gelatin shrapnel into my mouth, and I'm not going to. Does that make me a coward?"
The taste--leaving the texture aside--is fairly nice. It's surprisingly citrusy, and the blueberry provides a nice, mellow feel. It's very sweet.
Gointotrance, after tasting: "I'm diabetic. Should I worry?"
DigDoug: "I like it better than the tarragon soda."
It's fairly refreshing, but probably overly sweet, and very strange in texture. Based on the number of languages on the can, it must be popular around the world; perhaps the disconnect between gel-appreciating and non-gel-appreciating cultures can be part of future diplomacy.
Quaff rating: 3.0. Nice flavor, enjoyable.
Cough rating: 1.5. It's hard to get past slimy nodules sliding down your throat.
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