Faygo Original Red Pop

Red pop is a somewhat foreign concept to me.  I understand that it’s a big deal in other parts of the country, but here in Houston I’d be surprised to see it in a local grocery store.  Even though it makes perfect sense I find regional soda love very odd.  What shaped the history and tastes of that region?  Why does Maine love Moxie so much?  Why is red pop a northern thing?  Why is Cheerwine a Carolina thing?  I’m sure there’s a simple answer to all of those, probably mostly based on the origin of the product.  I still find it interesting.  I also find it interesting that red pop, or in this case Faygo Original Red Pop, is just strawberry soda.  Why not just call it strawberry soda?  I’ve had red pop once before, so my venture into this world isn’t completely unique.  I’m hoping that the cane sugar sweetened version of red pop will be even tastier.  Let’s find out, shall we?

The scent of Faygo Original Red Pop is somewhat muted and I must say I’m a bit shocked by this.  When I think of a strawberry soda, I think of an overly sweetened, cotton candy-esque beverage that sits on my tongue for hours after consumption.  This version of red pop, based on the smell at least, seems like it may be a bit tamer to the taste.

I was correct, this isn’t your standard sugary red liquid made to taste like candied strawberries.  Faygo Original Red Pop feels like an adult version of strawberry soda.  Let’s not pretend it’s not sweet, it most certainly is, but the flavor that accompanies said sweetness isn’t trying to impress you.  A well-defined strawberry flavor that leans towards candy a bit more than actual strawberries is the first experience my tongue runs into.  The carbonation gives my mouth a hybrid sensation of both fizzy and fluffy, keeping the experience fun the whole way through.  At the apex of the swig the middle of my tongue experiences a shock of sweetness that slowly vanishes becoming nothing more than a memory.  I don’t really even have time to figure out if that peak of sweetness was in fact too sweet for my taste buds.  Honestly, I don’t care.  I think influx of sugary taste is another reason the beverage stays fun.  If it all tasted like that it’d be overkill and I wouldn’t even try to finish the bottle.  Fortunately, this soda seems to pace itself as it’s being consumed.  Fun carbonation here, quick burst of sweetened strawberry flavor here, smooth mouth feel here… it works.

Faygo Original Red Pop is not strawberry soda and I’m happy to have figured that out, but it’s really hard to explain why it isn’t what it clearly states it is.  Let’s use geometry for example.  A square can both truthfully be called a square or a rectangle as it has four right angles.  No one is going to call see a square and call it a rectangle even though it would be the truth.  Faygo Original Red Pop is a strawberry soda, it’s also Red Pop.  Guess which one it deserves to be called.  I had a hard time rating this, but the more I think about it I realize that I would want more than 4 in my fridge.

Verdict – Buy a Pallet


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Twist is a green pop, but that's a story for another time