Sunday, Jan 27, 2013
by Ned Wazowski
A bottle of memories
Why do soft drinks taste so great in glass bottles?
When I was a little kid, I was told to be very, very careful with my soft drinks. Use two hands when carrying it from the fridge and always sit down while drinking it – never walk around. My parents weren’t worried that I’d spill it, though I managed to do that plenty of times. They were worried that I’d break it and cut myself. Because back then, soft drinks came in glass bottles.
Today, of course, you generally get soft drinks in plastic bottles, occasionally in cans, rarely in glass. (Though I’m sure the soft drink companies are working on an IV drip for cola addicts.) But the glass bottle, when you can get it, still tastes the best. Why is that?
The bottling companies claim there is no difference in taste, and that despite the various materials used there are no interactions with the flavor. Thy have to say that, of course, but whether or not the plastic or aluminum reacts differently than glass, there is certainly a psychological and emotional difference in the way we react to the materials.
The glass bottles bring back more carefree days from childhood and those positive feelings that come back when holding the product – the weight in your hands, the clinking sound the glass makes when the bottles touch – gets carried over into our enjoyment of the product. So while it may not actually taste better chemically, we add memories and experience to make it taste better emotionally.
And who knows, maybe future generations will feel the same about out-dated plastic bottles some day.
The television commercial made in the 1950s for Oberpfaffendorfer’s croquettes is adorable. The animated croquettes...