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Partial sighting: Mecca Cola
Posted: 11:37 Sun 16-02-2003. Price: Not known. Location: The Union Chapel, Islington. Sub-flavours: Classic, Orange, Tonic, and Mint. Nutritional unusualness: None noted.
Snackspot reports: I saw a guy drinking the famous Mecca Cola at this gig last night, but unfortunately didn't have the chance to ask him where he'd got it (or even what flavour it was). I mean, this controversial press coverage is all very well, but we cola connoisseurs do need to know if it actually tastes less imperialistic than its American running-dog equivalent... Sadly, my French (or "Arabe") isn't quite up to the task of translating the official site, though it does look like 10% of profits go to "Palestinian works" (causes?), and 10% to European ones. The site is also illustrated with photos of Palestinian suffering and/or defiance, which would make for an unusually harrowing "Coke is it"-style TV ad.


Posted: 18:31 Wed 26-02-2003 by "Snackspot"
Comment: BBC London are running a story about the similarly ethically-oriented Qibla Cola, already described by a Guardian taste-test as ""foul", "non-descript" and "metallic". Hey, at least it escaped the ultimate insult: "tastes like Panda"...
Posted: 08:44 Fri 28-02-2003 by "Paul Hardy"
Comment: A bit passe now, but in the early 90's there was also a fizzy drink called Desert Storm, "New carbonated beverage for active people with fighting spirit."
Posted: 16:51 Fri 28-03-2003 by "Dave Challender"
Comment: Try the next antiwar demo? Masses were given away (free) at the huge Feb 15th one at Hyde Park. I do not drink Coke of any sort… so cannot give you a taste review. Unfortunately my child (and some of her friends), not sharing my hatred of all cokes, swigged it down and disposed of the bottle, so cannot send any pics, as teh bottle had vanished when I went to search it out. It did have some amusing slogans on it though IIRC - and yes does claim 10% to Palestine. FWIW, I have seen people in Forest Fields / Radford area of Nottingham with it. This area has high Muslim population, so I would guess probably on sale in one or more of the Muslim owned “small business” shops.
Posted: 17:38 Fri 28-03-2003 by "nat slater"
Comment: they sell it in a shop round the corner from me, bordesley green, birmingham, even got one of those neck hanging coke bottle shelving malarky havent got the balls up to try it yet though
Posted: 17:59 Fri 28-03-2003 by "Ivan Pope"
Comment: I picked up a bottle at the war demo, they were well organised and handing it out from the back of a vast articulated curtainsider. I considered it a collectors item and carefully took it back to my overnight stop, where I left it in the cold clear light of the next morning ...
Posted: 10:25 Mon 31-03-2003 by "Tom Pearson"
Comment: I tried some when I was in Manchester a couple of weeks ago. I thought it tasted a bit like the Sainsbury's Cola that Carrie Fisher couldn't distinguish from real Coke on TV sometime in the early/mid nineties. Not great but certainly not 'foul', 'nondescript' or any more 'metalic' in taste than most canned drinks. Nicer than Vanilla Coke.
Posted: 20:29 Mon 31-03-2003 by "CeeBee"
Comment: They sell it in a corner shop near me (Bismillah Store on Slade Road) - it's tastes better than most "own brand" cola, but is almost too fizzy when you pour it, and then goes flat straight away.
Posted: 11:52 Tue 01-04-2003 by "benny"
Comment: it has all the buzz of soda stream cola with none of the middle class embarrassment of the 1970s we make our own culture. i took some to my god daughter's 3rd birthday party at the weekend and it went down pretty well. The most provocative thing about it is all the writing in French on the side.
Posted: 18:55 Tue 01-04-2003 by "Jack The Ripper"
Comment: Mecca Cola now has a site where most is in english "http://www.mecca-cola.com/en/index.html"
Posted: 20:08 Mon 07-04-2003 by Snackspot
Comment: Finally found a bottle in one of the bigger convenience stores off Cricklewood Broadway. And it's much tastier than most supermarket colas with (unless I imagined it) just a hint of mint. The bottle even has the endearingly fundamentalist "Please do not mix with alcohol" small print on the front.
Posted: 13:29 Fri 11-04-2003 by "Tom Anderson"
Comment: i've bought and (sort of) drunk Qibla Cola. i live in the Cowley Road area of Oxford (eastside, innit), where there are lots of asian shops and whatnot; several of them have posters for Qibla on their doors, and bottles within. i bought a litre, took it to a mate's, left it there, then returned to find it mostly drunk (the bottle, not the mate). i had a glass from what was left, but it had gone a bit flat. you will be shocked to learn that it tasted almost exactly like every other kind of cola on the planet; the only difference i noticed was that the aspartame notes were a touch stronger than usual for a non-diet cola. other people who'd tried it said more or less the same. the label was definitely in the Coca-Cola style, with sweeping red curves and ornate lettering, but was distinguished by green bands running around the top and bottom bearing the mottoes "One Ummah" and "One Direction" respectively. 'Qibla' means 'The direction in which the believer orients himself or herself for salat, the prayer of Islam' (http://i-cias.com/cgi-bin/eo-direct.pl?qibla.htm). incidentally, a Saudi colleague reported that the consensus amongst the wise is that Qibla tastes better than Mecca.

anyway, to commemorate the find, i created a new cocktail (actually, technically a mixed drink, but never mind): half a glass Qibla Cola, half a glass Stroh 80 (in case you haven't come across it, it's an Austrian butterscotch schnapps that's 80% abv). in honour of Charlie Stross' story 'The Atrocity Archive', which is about Iraqi terrorists teaming up with Nazi necromancers from another dimension, i call it the Atrocity. yes, the name is probably in bad taste; that's part of the point.

Posted: 14:19 Mon 14-04-2003 by "elmsyrup"
Comment: I had it at the antiwar demo. I can confirm the Sainsbury Cola likeness. Has anyone tasted any of the intriguing subflavours?
Posted: 17:51 Fri 09-05-2003 by "Skywalker"
Comment: Just seen some in the Indian and Continetal Grocers on Princes Avenue in Hull popspotters.
Posted: 18:52 Sat 10-05-2003 by "Alex"
Comment: Saw both in a newsagents run by Indians. Opted not to buy, but it has new/rare products.

mars Midnight, sour skittles(seemingly decreasing), pepsi Twist, Vanilla Coke, Wine Gums sours, Sausage and Tomato crisps

Posted: 16:47 Tue 07-10-2003 by "Arab-cola" # permalink comment
Comment: Arab-cola is Hallal
Posted: 11:40 Sun 22-02-2004 by Snackspot # permalink comment
Comment: quick reminder - BBC2 programme on Mecca and Quibla cola tonight:

Message in a Bottle Channel: BBC2 Date: Sunday 22 February Time: 7:10pm to 8:00pm Review The story of two companies, Mecca Cola and Qibla Cola, who are trying to capitalise on a growing movement in the Muslim world to boycott US products by taking on Coca Cola in Muslim countries.

Posted: 14:02 Sun 22-02-2004 by "Alex" # permalink comment
Comment: Have you heard anything else about 'The Money Program' about crisps?
Posted: 12:44 Mon 23-02-2004 by Snackspot # permalink comment
Comment: No, and the guy said it was due to be shown around March. Still, the site does get a mention in this month's "The Face" magazine:

(sorry for the terrible photo-collage, I really need to re-install my scanner. Oh and I think those are marshmallow "flumps" stuffed in my mouth - I can only assume that the pics of me with Nutella smeared over my face were even more disturbing...)
Posted: 15:43 Mon 23-02-2004 by "Alex" # permalink comment
Comment: Interesting article there, a good read.

Its a shame however that 2 of your eagerly awaited have since been contributed, and another 2 with unconfirmed sightings.

But still, I can tell everyone I have been anonymously referenced in 'The Face'.

Posted: 16:32 Mon 23-02-2004 by "Neil" # permalink comment
Comment: What on earth has the Dave Green got in his mouth there?
Posted: 16:40 Mon 23-02-2004 by "Neil" # permalink comment
Comment: Oh, you said underneath it.

We need a delete button, this is starting to happen too often. 79676 9 70

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