Introducing 'Soda': For Regular and Diet Drinkers Alike


Both Serious Eats-approved. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Is the notion of a his-and-hers soda column a little too cheesy? Well... that's okay. We're a little cheesy, too. Welcome to Soda, tag-teamed by New York editor Carey Jones and fast-food columnist John M. Edwards, diet and regular soda loyalists, respectively.

We sat around the office last Friday, most of us with a carbonated something-or-other in hand, talking about how we don't really write about soda enough. "Soda, soda, soda..." Ed intoned, leaning back in his swivel chair.

"I love soda!" John and Carey said in unison.

Carey, to John: "But you don't drink diet soda." John, to Carey: "Yeah, well, you only drink diet soda."

And thus the his-and-hers soda column was born.

See, here's the thing: we do just about everything else together; we might as well drink soda together, too.

We wouldn't say we've hidden the fact that we're a couple from you all at Serious Eats*... but we haven't exactly broadcast it, either. But this is as good time as any to admit that, yes, our fast-food freelancer is dating our New York editor.

And we both like soda. Most people fall on one side of the diet/regular divide or the other ("Those evil sweeteners!" "That evil sugar!"), whether for reasons of taste or calories or sheer force of habit. There are enough loyalists that we won't bother with the "which is better?" debate. Bottom line: They're both tasty bubbly things filled with total crap! And we love them despite that fact. So count on John to extol the virtues of all calorific sodas, and Carey to share similar love for the calorie-free.*

*See: Carey's photo captions on John's articles in four countries and 15 states. **Carey wishes to add that she feels no need to further stereotypes of the woman in the relationship being the calorie-conscious one, and that she has no problem with sugar (see: hunt for the best chocolate chip cookie in New York; tendency to do things like try every doughnut at New York's Doughnut Plant) but what can she say; she's a diet soda drinker.

How are we going to kick off a column on a topic as wide-ranging as soda? By attempting a project Serious Eats has long since intended, but cowered in the face of: tasting every one of the 127 flavors in the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine.

And off we go...