Mango is finally getting its due in North America. In just about every tropical place in the world, mangoes are loved and appreciated in a way that Canadians and Americans can’t fully appreciate. In much of the world, they are as ubiquitous as apples are here. There are countless varieties, they grow prolifically and expats living in colder climates are known to trade inside knowledge of which import shop has a particularly good shipment on any particular week.
This means that for much of the world, mango flavouring is everywhere. A trip through the bakery, juice or candy aisles at Asian, South Asian, South American, Latin American, Caribbean or African markets will yield a wealth of treats made with mango flavouring. Gummies, hard candies, drinks, cookies, pastries, ice cream, etc. After years of hiding in plain sight, the mango is finally getting mainstream love in Canada.
Enter Pepsi Cola …
Pepsi’s new mango-flavoured cola is the latest high-profile appearance in this growing mango love-in. Unlike some of the flavoured diet colas that have popped up recently, the base for this drink is regularly sweetened Pepsi. This bodes well for the flavour, as it shouldn’t have to compete with any distracting twang from artificial sweeteners.
Cracking open the screw cap, the unmistakably sweet, creamy scent of mango jumps out of the bottle. From the first sniff, there’s no doubt this is going to be mango-forward, and the taste is exactly what it needs to be. It’s saturated with mango flavour, the drink is thick with sugar, and the combination of Pepsi and mango flavours are perfectly complementary. The Pepsi’s acidity balances the mango sweetness, and the resulting cola/mango fusion is bliss. I assumed I’d like it, but I’m surprised just how good it is.
Over ice on a hot summer afternoon? Yup. But it should also mix beautifully with spiced rum for some adult evening patio party fun. Hells yes.
Price: $2.59 for a 591 mL bottle at Shoppers’ Drug Mart in Edmonton.
Value for Money: Standard local pop price for a shop like this.
Availability: Limited availability, and limited edition. I’ve seen it in 12-packs of cans at my local Safeway grocery store, too.
Nutrition: 250 calories per bottle.
Verdict: I love it. If you adore mango and cola flavours, grab a bottle before it disappears.