Coca-Cola touts its global presence with ads that show off its eponymous signature product, known as Coke, in nearly every corner of the world. But the soft-focus glimpses of joy from assorted cultures don’t let on that the formula for the beverage sometimes changes from country to country. Most famously, Mexican Coke and domestically produced Coke products in the U.S. differ in a very major way that, according to some, affects the flavor of the drink.
Taco shop snobs, food-savvy writers and Instagram over-sharers all make noise that the Mexican version of Coke is superior to the standard American soda, paying a premium for the aesthetics and taste of the imported version. Other people simply crave the nostalgic taste of the version of the ubiquitous soft drink that they grew up with or prefer the Mexican style for health reasons—scientifically backed or not—and choose to avoid the ingredient that distinguishes the U.S. recipe for Coca-Cola from that of its southern neighbor.