May 02, 2005

Review of Diet Mountain Dew

Today I will examine an oft-overlooked member of the citrus flavored soda family, Diet Mountain Dew.

Flavor: Diet Mountain Dew (DMD) has an extremely sweet first flavor, but it rings a little hollow, like you didn't quite earn it. It's sort of like losing a game of coed softball, but then being rewarded the victory on a technicality because the other team had too many girls. A thicker soda like Mello Yello gives you the sense you've really worked for it. This is probably because DMD has no calories. DMD achieves this by using aspartame instead of sugar. Aspartame has been shown to cause cancer in lab rats; it has also been shown to cause yumminess in my mouth. [Update: I am not aware of any actual evidence that aspartame causes cancer. In fact, there are a huge number of studies showing otherwise, and that aspartame is completely healthy as an artificial sweetener. But since that undermines the premise of the joke, I left it in.]

Purity: DMD loses some points by having concentrated orange juice as the second ingredient behind carbonated water. If I wanted orange juice, I'd drink orange juice. I want my sodas to be chock full of "partially hydrogenated" things and "benzoates" and other complicated compounds that sound like unholy laboratory concoctions. DMD does have a low level of "brominated vegetable oil," allowing it to earn some points back. I'm not sure what "brominated" means, but if I had to guess I would say it means something close to "made awesome."

Other: By having no calories and no sugar, DMD benefits in two ways. First, the risk to your teeth is decreased, because they are not being attacked by both sugar and acids (I assume there is still a full-scale assault by acids). Second, the calorie free allows you to drink it in massive quantities without getting fat, although you will have to get up from your desk every 8 minutes to pee. Also, if you are a rat you will get cancer.

Conclusion: In conclusion, I give Diet Mountain Dew two hollow thumbs up. DMD is unfortunately not available in the Constitutional Cokeocracy that is our campus, but absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it also makes the head grow painful from caffeine withdrawal.

[Update: Thanks to the help of some of the U's top scientists, I have corrected the chemistry errors in this post.]

Posted by mill1991 at 02:39 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 21, 2005

Mello Yello

Today is the first entry in the Citrus Flavored Soda Connoiseur category. And the honor goes to... Mello Yello. Ever since Coca-Cola's hostile takeover of the University of Minnesota, Mello Yello is the only citrus-flavored soda available in vending machines on campus. And I don't have any first hand experience, but I'm told that anyone carrying a Mountain Dew can will be efficiently "removed" from the campus under the cover of night. On the bright side, Mello Yello is a very good choice. It reminds of my childhood, when I would have sleepovers at my friend's house. His parents kept a shelf in their refrigerator solely for Mello Yello, and we took pride in the quickness with which we emptied said shelf. We would stay up late, drinking can after can of Mello Yello until our stomachs hurt. I'm not sure how we ever got to sleep, since building things out of Construx and playing with Ouija Boards are not especially tiring activities.

On to the review. On the whole, I give it two sticky thumbs up. Here's why:

Flavor: Mello Yellow is perhaps the most citrusy of the various citrus flavored sodas. The syrup may be a little heavy for some folks, and if a drop of this stuff is allowed to dry onto a surface, it quickly becomes the most sticky surface on the planet (actually, it's in a tie with all the other Mello Yellow spills).
Effervescence: This is one of the most bubbly sodas in its milieu. Drinking immediately after opening may cause a shock, as it doesn't get halfway down your throat before you feel the need to burp.
Extremity: Highly caffeinated citrus drinks seem to lend themselves to marketing based on how "extreme" the product is. In this case, the "Mello" name would seem to preclude any extremity. Fortunately, the advertising of the early '90's has worked, and I still remember that "there's nothin' mellow about it." However, the complete dearth of recent advertising may have some younger citrus connoiseurs questioning Mello Yellow's extremity, given more recent campaigns for Mountain Dew and Surge. Alas, unless finishing a paper 6 seconds before a deadline qualifies as an extreme sport, I don't have the qualifications to judge this category, since I lead a relatively non-extreme life.
Watch out for:If you buy a bottle from the vending machine, watch out. It is best to wait 5-10 minutes before opening. The fall from the machine turns the bottle into an explosive weapon. And if you do open it up too early, the best case scenario is that soda leaks over the edges, leaving the bottle extremely sticky for all eternity.

Conclusion: Mello Yello gets high marks for me because of its rich, full-bodied flavor. I admit it also wins some nostalgia points, and I am probably acclimated to its taste due to all the Friday nights of my early youth I spent chugging the stuff. My dentist says it is better to drink diet soda, but if I have to drink regular soda, drink it fast rather than nursing it over the course of the afternoon. To that, I say, "Bottom's up!"

Posted by mill1991 at 05:06 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

April 20, 2005

Citrus soda connoisseur

I recently saw the movie Sideways, about two guys who go on a tour through wine country in northern California. One of the guys is a wine connoiseur. It occurred to me that I would like to be a connoiseur of some type. Alcoholic beverages are probably not the best idea, because I have the tolerance of a cricket, and also because I'm not supposed to drink at work anymore after "the incident." And by "the incident" I mean the time I tried to seduce a robot.

Coffee was also a possibility, but there are already a lot of people (one on UThink even) who do analysis of coffee and coffee-related issues much better than I could ever hope to. One thing I do have a lot of experience with is citrus-flavored soda (pop). This makes me the perfect person to review various citrus-flavored sodas. Also, there are not that many people who do this kind of work, so in a sense I'll be blazing a trail - a sticky trail of fruityish burp inducing sleep averting goodness.

What are my goals here? Let me tell you.

  1. To stay awake
  2. To produce more blog entries
  3. To help people decide which citrus flavored carbonated beverage is best for them, so that they can make an informed decision when they head to the vending machine/gas station/grocery store.
  4. To get people to realize that there is more than just Mountain Dew
  5. To give my friends in dental school better job prospects by encouraging behavior that leads to tooth decay.
Posted by mill1991 at 02:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
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