If there’s one, long lasting piece of information I’ve learned from my experiences here at Armenian Fungus Cake, it’s that the foreign beverage world is in the midst of constant competition.
Originally, they fought over who could mislead their customers to the highest degree, with disgusting names like Wax Gourd Drink and Grass Jelly drink, which both ended up tasting relatively pleasant. Then, Foco decided to throw a monkey wrench into the situation by creating Chrysanthemum drink, a disgusting beverage with a pleasant sounding name. Thus, the Great and Terrible Space Time Continuum Beverage Competition Paradigm Shift occurred. At this point, misnomers stopped occurring, and it seemed that various beverage companies were done one-upping each other. At the time, little did we know that the competitive spirit was far from gone, as various liquid consumables began defeating each other in terms of color. Greens, browns, blacks, and everything in between began appearing in various alien drinks.
Recently, the chromatic competition has been continued, this time by a Russian company, with their radiant bright green Tarragon carbonated drink. This green is unrivaled by any other. It was so green that, upon complete consumption of this beverage, the once-clear bottle seemed to carry with it a residue of piercing green. The green was so bright that it completely jumpstarted the foreign fluids race. So bright that I feel inspired to compose a short poem:
An Ode to Napitki iz Chernogolovki Tarkhun Soda
Oh, Tarkhun Soda
You are incredibly green
Your intense glow is very intense
No seriously, you are very green
Really, quite disturbingly so
So green that you main ingredient is,
More or less,
a second cousin of the main ingredient of
Did I mention how green you are?
The Tarragon soda was green enough to catch my eye while I was making my rounds in my local Eastern European food stuffs market. It was in the non alcoholic refrigerated section, which contained other Chernogolovki products, as well as beer and malt beverages. Apparently, the definition of alcoholic is subjective. I grabbed two of the Chernogolovki drinks, a rather mundane pear soda, and the Tarragon drink. I felt sort of self conscious about my choice, as various pieces of propaganda supplied by the disgruntled right-wing Russian store clerks stared me down. On one hand, authentic banners from Lenin’s reign faced me. On the other, pictures of Reagan and Palin, and posters declaring, “Comrade Obama is watching you!” dotted the wall. I decided that the glory from consuming the odd beverage was worth taking the risk of proceeding to the check out counter.
When I arrived at my house, I opened the tarragon soda with trepidation. Much like David was afraid of jack-booted Mangoustani thugs busting down his door, I was 95% positive that the Russian mafia was going to do the same to me. I put it to my nose. It smelled of licorice and…green-ness. I put it to my mouth with uncertainty, and drank. The green colored liquid flew into my oral cavity, stimulating my taste buds with hints of, as I expected, licorice. Then, it gave way to cinnamon. Finally, an old friend came back to greet me.
“No, it can’t be,” I said. “I thought you had died off with Wax Gourd Drink!” I continued.
It was back. The chocolate taste was back. Admittedly, it’s lifelong companion, weak coffee, was gone, but the unmistakable taste of weak chocolate was still there. The taste was all in all pleasant, but I knew that the Federal Bureau of Foreign Culinary Foods Relations had to be involved. Tastes simply could not be allowed to switch products.