Thursday, April 8, 2010
Toranoco Nanchatte Cola
This cola, made by Cheerio, is not only a blatant design rip-off of Tabasco brand pepper sauce, but it even goes so far as to put a disclaimer on the bottle that tacitly acknowledges its theft. The yellow banner across the bottom of the bottle says, "this isn't sauce!" The name in Japanese, "nanchatte" also indicates that this is all a big joke since that is used in Japanese to say, "just kidding!" So, this isn't sauce. Ha, ha!
Given the cheesy knock-off nature of this product, I bypassed it for months. I only gave in when I saw it at Don Quixote for the low price of 39 yen (42 cents). I figured that it was worth that much for being able to talk about it, even if I knew there was virtually no chance that I'd drink at 154 calories per 350 ml. (the whole bottle).
The bottle is transparent, so you can see that this cola comes without the usual caramel coloring of things like Pepsi and Coke. It's a dark pink which makes the experience a bit odder. I expect pink to taste like fruit, but this smells and tastes like off-brand or second-rate cola. The closest thing it resembles is RC Cola in the U.S. The main difference between brand-name cola and cheaper versions is the lack of depth of flavor. Things like Pepsi and Coke have a variety of flavorings. This just tastes like a wet, carbonated version of cola candies. It's not bad, but it's not great.