Monday, August 24, 2009

What is Dublin Dr. Pepper?

Here in Texas it isn't a mystery to anyone, we see "Dublin Dr. Pepper" all the time and it is starting to show up at more and more fast food restaurants. But I'm betting that some of you out there haven't heard of it, so here's a little background:

Dublin Dr. Pepper is only different from the regular Dr. Pepper soft drink in one important way... Pure Cane Sugar is as a sweetener instead of HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup).

With all the hub-bub about HFCS these days (justified or not), a lot of people seek out products without it and for Dr. Pepper fans who want to eliminate HFCS, this is their only option.

But what about taste? Just about everyone you ask, including myself, will tell you they can definitely tell the difference between Dublin DP and regular DP. With Dublin DP the sweetness is more 'natural' and many claim there isn't an HFCS aftertaste that is noticeable with beverages sweetened with HFCS.

But why Dublin? Well, Dublin Dr. Pepper is only produced in one place: Dublin, Texas. (By the way, we also have towns in Texas named London, Athens, Paris, and 'Cut and Shoot'!)

In the late '70s when most soft drink makers were switching from cane sugar to HFCS, the owner of the Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Company decided not to make the switch. To this day, they only use cane sugar, year 'round, to make their Dr. Pepper.

Technically, Dr. Pepper from the Dublin plant can only be sold in a 44-mile radius of Dublin, Texas, but 'bootlegged' bottles of Dublin Dr. Pepper can be found throughout Texas and even in other states. These bottles are purchased in the Dublin area and the shipped and re-sold elsewhere. It can also be purchased online.

By the way, the Dublin bottling plant is the oldest Dr. Pepper bottler. It has been in continuous use since 1891, just 6 years after DP debuted in Waco, Texas.

"Dublin" might even become an adjective to describe beverages (or other products) made without HFCS and with cane sugar. I drove by a Chicken Express restaurant recently and their sign out front advertised "Dublin Lemonade." I drove-through and ordered one and asked the girl why it was called Dublin Lemonade. I knew the answer before I asked, but she confirmed it, "It's made with real sugar, not that corn stuff."

Around here (Dallas/Fort Worth) you can go in just about any grocery store and pick up a six pack of 8oz. bottles of Dublin DP.

You never know where Dublin Dr. Pepper might pop up. Evidently it is available 'on-tap' at a Jason's Deli in Denver, CO.

The photo above shows the Dublin Dr. Pepper 8 oz. bottles. Note the "Imperial Sugar" logo on the bottle and 6-pack box. This is found only on Dublin Dr. Pepper as it is the only Dr. Pepper to use real pure cane sugar.

There are some other smaller bottlers that use pure cane sugar.

Mexico is another popular source of soft drinks made with real sugar (as opposed to corn syrup). Coca-Cola made in Mexico is not made with HFCS and is also available in many grocery stores in Texas and California. Another Mexican option free of HFCS is Jarritos sodas. Jarritos started in Mexico in 1950, is the first national soft drink brand in Mexico and the leading brand in the mexican soft drink category in the U.S. Jarritos is available in nine delicious fruit flavors: Tamarind, Mandarin, Fruit Punch, Jamaica, Lime, Grapefruit, Guava, Pineapple and Strawberry.

Another great Cane Sugar carbonated beverage is Boylan's. They have a ton of flavors and also don't use HFCS.

So, next time you're in Texas, give Dublin Dr. Pepper a try and see if you can tell the difference between using pure cane sugar and HFCS as a sweetener.

If you do, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Also let us know where you've found Dublin Dr. Pepper outside of Texas and any other Dublin DP stories.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Corn Refiners Association HFCS Propaganda

As the debate rages over the health implications of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), the Corn Refiners Associations has produced some television ads to tell us that HFCS is completely safe and natural. (They also have a website promoting HFCS.) Many people and some scientists disagree (see the Bloomberg news stories at the end of this post).

Awhile back we posted a list of fast food items with HFCS and Kate at Accidental Hedonist has a list of other products with HFCS and she has numerous articles about HFCS.

UPDATE: CBS News has a great article today (10/1/08) on how funding for many of the High Fructose Corn Syrup studies came from companies with a financial stake in the outcome.

Here are two of the ads from the Corn Refiners Association:
(Did these people used to work for the Tobacco Industry?)

Here are 2 news stories from Bloomberg about new research linking HFCS to diabetes and obesity:

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