For those weeaboos in our fanbase, I finally found and picked up a few bottles of an American brand of classic Japanese soda pop. Oh sure, you could find imported bottles of “ramune” (rah-moo-ney) in stores like FYE or Suncoast (or possibly in a local Asian market), but the prices usually aren’t worth it, especially if you’re at FYE, where a single bottle of the stuff (which is only 6.76 fl oz, or 200 mL, mind you) can run up to $3. Paired with the extortionist prices for Pocky that they have there as well, you’re often better off trying to find a local Asian grocer that might carry these oriental treats.
Within the past few years though, a western company has been releasing a brand of ramune here in the states known as “Marble Pop”, no doubt named after the iconic marble that’s found in the bottle once the drink has been opened. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of trying it yet, the bottle is sealed by said marble, and the “cap” is a little plug which one uses to push the marble into the bottle. The marble’s purpose was to keep the bottle closed, but now it can be used to prevent the bottle from dripping if turned upside-down. On one side of the bottle’s neck are two little indents that can be used to keep the marble from blocking the flow of the soda while drinking, as the marble rattles around inside.
For kids who’ve never had the chance to try the stuff, the bottle is just as fun as the actual soda, but this is an article about how things taste, so let’s just say that while the bottle is cool, the pop has to live up to it. And thankfully, it does. I picked up three flavors of Marble Pop: “original”, strawberry, and blueberry. There was also a green apple flavor, and evidently these four flavors are the only ones available under the Marble Pop name, despite ramune coming in a menagerie of awesome flavors in Japan, including curry, octopus, lychee, wasabi, “flaming”, and that mysteriously named Japanese staple: “Blue Hawaii”.
I’ll start with the “original” flavor, which is based off of the original ramune flavor in Japan. Evidently the word “ramune” is derived from the word “lemonade”, so it makes sense that this flavor has a very lemon-lime feel to it. I wanna say it tastes like Sprite or Sierra Mist but… there’s just something different about it. It tastes kind of like a sweeter version of our lemon-lime sodas. Perhaps it’s from the great amounts of carbonation that this soda has? Either way, it’s rather smooth. Nowhere near as sharp as how Sprite can taste. It smells like candy. I like it!
Blueberry is… well, what do you expect? It tastes like that blue flavor that masquerades as “blueberry”. Again, this flavor has the same sort of sweetness that the original flavor has, possibly due to the high level of carbonation. If you’ve ever had a “Blue Razz” Blow-Pop, it kinda really reminds me of that flavor, and it even smells like that tastes.
…Wow. The strawberry one is really sweet. Like… REALLY sweet. I guess it’s safe to say that all of these flavors are a lot sweeter than your average soda, and a lot less sharp-tasting than most, but strawberry is just a whole ‘nother level. Strawberries are my favorite fruit, too, so that helps.
I highly recommend all of these flavors, as they’re all very sweet and lack the kick normal sodas have, which makes them a lot more relaxing, I guess. I’m not sure how green apple is (I can’t imagine it being very sweet, but seeing as how the other flavors are, who knows?), so maybe I’ll get to that one eventually. If you can pick up a few bottles of Marble Pop, do it. It’s just as good as ramune and (hopefully) a lot less expensive.