Supermarket Mysteries: Grass Jelly Drink

Three Problems Here

On a recent trip to the local supermarket I found this gift from Taiwan. Yeah, I know. For the American palate Grass + Jelly + Drink = Does Not Compute, but I'll try nearly anything once, and twice if I like it.

I poured it into a glass, deciding to try it at room temperature first since nothing on the can suggested chilling the beverage. The color was a muddy green and there were tiny cubes of the jelly, which a trip to Wiki told me was boiled down stalks and leaves from a member of the mint family, floating lazily in the murky liquid.

The flavor was like bland canned iced tea. The jelly cubes didn't bring anything minty to the "party in my mouth". It was more like someone had hurled. For something with both sugar and honey listed as ingredients it wasn't sweet at all, or perhaps I was just too horrified to notice. I tried it chilled, but there wasn't much improvement. Grass Jelly Drink was not the strangest thing I've consumed, but it is also not something worth revisiting.

Further Googling produced claims of Grass Jelly Drink being a digestive aid. With mint and honey as ingredients I suppose that could be the case but I'll stick with straight mint and honey without the added sugar, thanks.

Still, people like Grass Jelly Drink enough for someone to have imported it. To them I raise a glass of something else. I suppose that if I'd grown up drinking baboon blood I might find it a comfort when far from home too. And it's not like every country doesn't have its problem beverages.

Throwback? Throw Up? Hello, Marketing?
Nice try, Pepsi. You get bad press for HFCS and you decide to convince people that sugar is a health food. Oh, the marketeers. Sugar is not your friend, my friends. Moderation is your friend.

And when I have my "once in a blue moon soda" there's only one bottle I seek:

Viva Mexicola!
Stay thirsty, my friends, but lay off the sugar and the HFCS too. They're killing you. Try some Grass Jelly Drink instead of your usual sugary beverage. It might put you off of sugar entirely.


  1. I knew I was going to have a love-hate relationship with Asian soft drinks the first time I encountered "Pokari Sweat" nearly 23 years ago.


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