Here’s Why Coca-Cola Bottles Have Yellow Caps Right Now

Yellow caps indicate the soda is kosher, or fit to drink on Passover.

  • On Passover, observant Jews refrain from eating leavened foods or foods containing leavening ingredients.
  • Yellow caps indicate the soda is kosher, or fit to drink on Passover.
  • It’s made with Coke’s original recipe of sucrose instead of corn syrup.
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If you’ve been browsing the beverage aisle of your local supermarket recently, you may have noticed that some soda bottles sport yellow caps instead of their usual colors. That’s because the Jewish holiday of Passover is about to begin, and if you’re a foodie, you might want to grab a bottle before it’s gone until next spring.

First, some background: “kosher” means “fit” or “proper” in Hebrew.

Year-round, Jewish organizations like the Orthodox Union work with businesses to ensure the food they produce meets kosher standards as detailed in the Torah and codes of Jewish law. If everything checks out, their products are kosher certified with symbols on the packaging.

On Passover, kosher standards are different and require a higher level of certification

This year, Passover begins on the evening of April 15 and lasts until April 23.

Jews observing the Passover feast refrain from eating anything classified as chametz — sourdough foods or foods containing leavening ingredients made from barley, rye, oats, wheat or spelled — during the holiday period. Eastern European Jews of Ashkenazi descent (who make up about 75% of the Jewish population) also shun another category known as kitniyotwhich includes legumes and other grains such as corn.

The Kosher Passover certification symbol “OUP” of the Orthodox Union.

Coca-Cola is certified kosher year-round, but its high-fructose corn syrup makes it unsafe to drink on Passover

Coke was actually made with sucrose (made from cane or beet sugar) instead of high fructose corn syrup, but when the switch was made, Coca-Cola sodas became banned from Passover.

In 1935, Rabbi Tuvia Geffen, who was the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel of Atlanta for 60 years, worked with the company to reinstate a limited run of the original recipe around the Passover time so that Jews observing the holiday can still enjoy it.

Today, bottles containing Passover-appropriate soda are marked with yellow caps.

The caps are also stamped “OUP”, the Orthodox Union’s Passover kosher certification symbol.

It’s not just observant Jews who are grateful for Coke without corn syrup. Purists, foodies and hipsters who can tell the difference between the two concoctions have been waiting all year to buy batches of Coke with sucrose, claiming it tastes better with the original sweetener.

Try it while it lasts!

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