One thing Amy and I love about living here in Chicago is the ethnic diversity. In our condo building alone we have Hispanic, Polish, German, and Japanese! Coincidentally, local supermarkets tailor their product mix for these diverse audiences. The other day I was able to pick up Fanta Pomarańczowa, which is basically Poland’s version of Fanta Orange.
Given that I have a Polish heritage, we live in a heavily Polish neighborhood, and only locals know why we celebrate Casimir Pulaski Day, it was fitting that I expand my Fanta taste testing into this part of the globe.
Back in 2004 at part of our beverage review series, I tasted the relaunched Fanta flavors here in the United States: Fanta Strawberry, Fanta Orange, Fanta Pineapple, and Fanta Grape. My overall reaction? They all tasted bad. Lots of “fake” flavor and nothing original. Just yucky.
Now I had read that Fanta flavors around the world were awesome, but obviously had no way to see for myself. In fact, according to Wikipedia, “[Fanta] was originally made from byproducts of cheese and cider production, since Coca-Cola was not able to be sold in Nazi Germany due to shipping problems after the British and French declarations of war in late 1939. The Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (Germany) produced Fanta Orange in order to keep profits in the country during the war. After World War II, Fanta was introduced to America by Coca-Cola, and in 1960 they bought the trademark. Fanta Orange is the most popular Fanta flavor, available in 180 countries.” Now was my chance to see what all the fuss was about!
According to what I discovered, there are only two current flavors of Fanta in Poland: Orange (known as Fanta Pomarańczowa) and Lemon (known as Fanta Lemonic). Apparently there were also “Exotic” and “Grapefruit” flavors, but they have since been retired. The bottle of Fanta Pomarańczowa that I picked up had a very distinctive shape, very similar to what you might find in a Sunny Delight plastic bottle. The clear plastic 500 ml bottle translated to approximately 17 oz. Typically plastic single serve bottles in the U.S. are 24 oz. Thankfully, the stuff still looked fresh, having a 8/2006 expiration date.
The front of the bottle proclaimed a website address, www.fantabamboocha.pl. Going there I found a pretty odd website that seemed to be promoting some sort of contest to win an island vacation.
There was also some “interesting” commercials featuring two goofy guys, weird desktop wallpapers (including one that featured Santa Claus on the beach), and a Tetris-like game that didn’t make any sense without English instructions. I don’t read or understand Polish, so it was all Greek to me.
So how did Fanta Pomarańczowa taste? The authentic orange juice smell transferred into the wonderful flavor, which was more mild when compared to a typical America orange soda like
The overall flavor experience was more realistic, less fake. Even the color, which was more yellowish-orange, didn’t share that “neon” or “nuclear” look that you typically find here in the U.S. Finally, it finished off with a bitter aftertaste that I found unique, different, and welcomed… but might not be liked by everyone.
Overall, Fanta Pomarańczowa is really good! It puts to shame the other crappy Fanta products here in the States. Hello Coke, wake up!