Thursday, December 01, 2011

The French & Coca

What is it with the French and our Coca Cola?
Coca-Cola I simply don't get why it has such a place of honor on the table like here at Cafe de Flore?

Coca-Cola It's ubiquitous - on cafe tables...
Coca-Cola Even on cafe table mats?!
Coca-Cola While I was having an elegant breakfast at cafe Pouchkine...
French-speaking fellow eaters were imbibing horrid caca 'coca'.

What's up with that?
Eating lunch with Jill/Mad about Macarons at Jean-Paul Hevin, I couldn't help notice an attractive couple drinking coca with their lunch! OUCH et yuck.

No wonder French wines are suffering...
Can you imagine my shock to see French sandwiches wrapped in coca-cola bags...
Then put into Coca-Cola carrier bags :O

Coca-Cola And worse news yet:

French Girl has mini cans in her fridge. Does it get any worse than this? I ask you. What can we do as Americans to stop this heresy? The French are NOT perfect!!
Au Revoir Coca!!!


  1. Geri, NJ9:34 AM

    One of my Paris 'souvenirs' is my empty Coke Light can (yes, I had it w/my lunch on the run). It's decorated with a very hip couple dancing and I love it!

  2. I think for one thing it's American and the French think it's hip

    and it's so bloody expensive over there it's considered a luxury ...if you drink it you must have money

    I always saw young girls at cafes with their "coke light"...and a cigarette.

    they think it's cool...and let's face it ..some times it hits the spot.

  3. Hmmm...admittedly I would save a 'Karl Lagerfeld' Coca bottle if I had one...

  4. I believe it's the logo and the beautiful design--also the use of the color red. I think French women love dashes of red. And Carol, I love the blog!!!! You are such an inspiration. Merci beaucoup for all you do! xo Jamie

  5. EEEEEEWWWW! I thought I saw someone drinking coke with macaroons. I see people with cokes all the time in Paris.... I don't get it. Maryanne xo

  6. The first alcoholic drink I was ever offered at a [French] student party was "Rhum-Coca" -- and I know a lot of young French people still drink that when they go out at night. Maybe they keep drinking the soda once they "grow up" out of nostalgia for their students' days? It could also be that Coke's marketing in Europe as been as effective as McDo's, as demonstrated by the pictures in your post. One last thing: Yes, it is too dang expensive for such a vile drink, but hey, it's American, and there are bubbles, and it's still cheaper to order than "a coupe" (of champagne) -- Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  7. Anonymous11:02 AM

    What a pretentious post. I am disappointed by your snobby, self-righteous attitude (normally really enjoy your posts).

  8. you have a lovely blog, I love Paris , I visit the city so often. The last time was this summer, I'm a follower now, if you check out my blog I'll be happy=)

  9. As a person who does not drink coca cola---and who dislikes the taste and wouldn't drink it if I was in the desert--I can understand your feelings.

    But I do know from Americans who are coke drinkers that they love the taste of coke in France--as sugar is used--they get over the moon about the taste. Yes it is a puzzlement.

  10. I HAVE drunk Coca IN THE DESERT..
    It seemed the only safe thing but it probably wasn't
    still I survied :)

  11. Is it sugar coke or corn syrup coke? It might be the sugar/caffeine combo.

    I remember having a can of Coke in the UK and had to practically spit it out since it tasted like no Coke I'd ever had!
    I checked the can and it was Hungarian coke.

  12. It seems I've wandered back to Paris on a very odd note. Coca Cola is everywhere it seems. I found it in the most obscure villages in the middle of nowhere India! It doesn't surprise me that it has infiltrated Paris. But I must say, Coca Cola in a Parisian Cafe?!? Et yuck indeed!

    I do love the hip packaging though and as someone above mentioned, sometimes it does hit the spot. But I'm not a fan of the encroachment of America on lovely places like Paris.

    Le sigh...

  13. I agree bein sur Jen
    Can we wear DOWN WITH COCA T-shirts?

  14. I gave up drinking colas of any kind as a health issue. Hope they dont learn the hard way. Just saw on GMA today..Good Morning America.. that Coca cola was using a white can for Christmas and it didnt go over big at all and went back to the red can. People even said it tasted different. Too funny.

  15. When I first visited Paris in the 70s, it was next to impossible to find chilled drinks. It was a hot summer and we drank Coke because we could buy cold cans of it. Well, chilled cans; the store near our hotel kept it in with the butter.

    My take on this is that it is silly to pay more for soda than for wine, but everyone has the right to choose. Also, there are times when a nice cold Coca Cola really hits the spot for a lot of us. It's a matter of personal choice, like lemon tarts versus apple tartin.

  16. I agree with the "it's American therefore it's cool" hypothesis. In Italy it's pretty much the should see how much people are willing to pay for Levi's and Timberland (not to mention Abercrombie stuff).
    Furthermore, among European immigrants to the US there is the conviction that Coke actually tastes a bit different in our countries (less sweet perhaps...probably because it's not served diluted with a lot of ice?). This could also explain the unexplainable partiality of French for this drink...
    As always, an interesting post, Carol! :)

  17. *red face*...when I lived in France it was one of the few things from US I had around. There was not much from the States anyway. My French friends here & there like it...someone had it above: it's a hip thing. No one I know guzzles it like so many do here. Of course, they are not perfect, oy. What about stinky Gitanes? Etc.

    I almost had a perfect analogy but it's slipped away. Anyway, I like to allow peeps their imperfections. It would be so boring if they were perfect.:)


  18. McDonalds is way more insidious and destructive than Coke.
    I was in a park in Paris a few years back and an effortlessly stylish mom was trying to get her children off the play space. Nothing got the children's attention until she called out "McDo" which instantly turned the children into little robots with golden arches in their eyes. More bad news;

    I heard recently that McDonalds was going to have an outlet inside the Louvre (a quick witted friend remarked "I'm Louvre'n it"). The French should have said "non" to McDonalds before the first one opened.

  19. McDo has been in the Louvre Carrosel for ages and ages

    and they have Laduree's mass market factory, Maison Blanc macarons

  20. Cris,
    there is way too much BPA (Bisphenol-A) in the lining of US soda cans - another reason to avoid sodas.
    I don't know about in France, though there is a preference for the attractive glass bottle when eating out.

  21. At least it's not Pepsi... ;-)

    It's kind of like the Germans and their bizarre devotion to David Hasselhoff. Huh????

  22. American encroachment...?
    Hip designs on cans...?Cool tastes...?
    How about CANCER causing!?
    I suspect "Anonymous"
    is a Coke executive...?

  23. Ouch! I love Coke!

  24. Amazing hwo a foreign product can be so seductive! And I hope you saw NBC news tonight with their coverage of the special seasonal Polar Bear cans for Coke...even with the same coke in both, people swear the white cans don't taste as good!
    Are you going to the auction of :iz Taylor's jewels?

  25. Jeanette,
    you can see Liz's jewels online at

  26. A can full of addictive chemicals. Yum.

    Give me French wine anytime!

  27. Anonymous1:15 AM

    Re: the coca in white cans, It amazes me that American TV networks consider it "news" . Bah humbug!
    The French are almost perfect in every other way.I would rather read your fun stuff about Paris and NYC than anything they print in our local paper.Thanks for all the " REAL news"you show us daily!
    Fan from Rural Oregon~ merci!

  28. Must admit I can buy a decent bottle of red wine for the price of a bottle of CC so not much CC drunk in our house!!
    Carla x

  29. Who do you think is paying all the salaries of those American TV networks?
    Hmmmmm....c'est la vie

  30. I don't know what is it about this cola-madness, but I love those tables, though!

  31. Family had interest in coke bottling facility,so first thing when I got in town for my summer visit, was for my grandfather to drive me out to the warehouse to get a couple of cases back when it was only in bottles & only one size. I soon became a connoisseur at an early age. I detect taste difference depending on where it is bottled. It's the water often. I also prefer sugar to hi- fructose corn syrup. Now I only occasionally drink them & was going to a Hispanic grocery to get Mexican Coke for that reason. Alas, the last one I purchased there had HFCS!!!!! Like others said sometimes a really ice cold Coca Cola hits the spot, or sometimes it is medicinal, if sipped slowly, for a bad tummy.
    I don't think it should be drunk like water. even as a child I was only allowed it in small amounts as a treat, back when that meant something other than complete indulgence all the time. Maybe if it were very expensive here, it would not be a health hazard.

  32. Anonymous3:27 PM

    I'm afraid that the Frenchs are going to be obese like the Americans. They have no idea that the American lifestyle is no way healthy.

    To much sugar or fructose glucose in any pop drink.

    We are losing what real food should taste. We are left with tastless stuff. It is sad.

  33. That IS interesting... I haven't been to Paris for a LONG time, but seeing Coca Cola at all those chic cafe's seems very out of place...

    In general, America and advertising is also a huge influence, and if it's marketed as 'cool' then everyone wants some...

  34. My daddy always said that Coke corrodes my innards. Hence, no Coke for me. Interesting that advertisements are so ubiquitous in Paris. I can't recall a single incident here. Maybe I don't frequent the right establishments? ;-)

  35. Oh, Carol, dare I differ from you on this issue...shall I be shunned. In our Dr. Pepper country here in Waco, TX I choose Coke. Now at most I drink it a couple of times a month, but do forgive me that it is a nice taste of home when I am overseas. As to it's popularity in Paris...I am tres surprised.

  36. I've never been a soda drinker. If I'd want anything, it would be juices, but they're all too sweet, and I'd rather use the calories for something else good.

  37. Hmm... I don't think Europeans drink coke because it's cool. It's just highly addictive.

    Almost all girls at my office (in Copenhagen) drink coke constantly and we've had debates about whether or not they drink it because it tastes good or because they just can't help themselves. It's pretty much the latter. (I just heard someone opening up a new can and it's 08.36 am.)... Some use diet coke to repress hunger.

    I don't think coke is vile... actaully I kind of like it. And not because it's cool or anything. The Europeans and the French for that matter are not immune to sugar addictions or Coca Cola's commercials.

    That's just my two cents- Love your blog, Carol :)


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