Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wha' Cola? Pakola!



I'm generally not a soda drinker.

But the other day I saw an 8oz can so unusual in an Indian grocery store, I had to try it. It was green. Like, bright candy apple green. Any Pakistani reading this probably already knows what I'm talking about.

It's calld Pakola and it's a self-proclaimed "Ice Cream Soda." The flavor is unlike any ice cream you've probably ever had, though. Let's just say this flavor doesn't exist in Baskin Robbins. If you've ever had South Asian ice creams, you may recall the overwhelmingly floral and fruity taste of something called "Tutti Frutti." Well that's more or less how this can of pop tastes. It's a strong, sweet taste. Almost like cotton candy mixed with jasmines and roses, if you can imagine that on your tastebuds.

But while the flavor may be vaguely identifiable, the sensory experience of staring at a bright green, bubbling glass of soda is still disconcerting. I've never had ice cream with this texture or presentation! If you have a sweet tooth and a sense of adventure, the 160 calories per can are worth the splurge.

So what is it, exactly? Pakola is a Pakistani soda that is made by Mehran Bottlers. As the name suggests, it was the first national brand soda in Pakistan (Pakistan's Cola = Pakola). The peculiar green refreshment is the original flavor, but I understand in Pakistan you can now get Pakola in other flavors like Lychee and Orange (which is actually Orange).