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Bolivian Soft Drink Coca Colla Puts Coke in the Mix


Bolivian President Morales holding coca leaf
By Chantal Martineau of the Village Voice: Forget Mexican Coke, that south-of-the-border version of Coca-Cola sweetened with pure cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Leave it to Bolivia to come out with an even more authentic cola, made with actual coca leaf, as Coke's original formula was. The real real thing.

Coca Colla, which went on sale in Bolivia this week, is named for the indigenous Colla people from the country's highlands.

The Guardian muses that the red label on the bottle could be "a symbol of U.S.-led globalization and corporate might" or perhaps "a socialist-tinged affront to western imperialism." Or maybe a jab at the American war on drugs. Probably all of the above.

Coca may be the raw ingredient of cocaine, but in leaf form it's a mild stimulant that has been used in Andean culture for centuries in cooking, medicine, and rituals. Now, the question is: how long will it take for someone to start smuggling the stuff into the country and peddling it out of Brooklyn bodegas?

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