If you follow my Instagram you will notice that as well as being genuine Street Food fanatic, I also have a soft spot for the glorious pray of soft drinks that the world has to offer! If you don’t follow my Instagram, then you bloody well should @thestreetfoodguy
On my IG there’s a few quests that I have, one is Fantaquest, where I try to find all the best Fanta’s. I think he winning one here would be Tonic Water Fanta from Belize. I have my Irn Bru quest, which would be jointly held my Cuban, and Colombian Irn Bru, and lastly there’s my Cola quest. Recently I found a clear “tab” type Pepsi in Macao. It didn’t get itself a blog, but it deserves an honorable mention! As always I digress….
Now to say that North Korea and America aren’t exactly chums would be an understatement, so thus there has never been a Coco-Cola bottling franchise in the DPRK. So, the DPRK, much like Cuba went down the road of making their own version of the quintessential imperialist pop! The Cuban one, I have to say is one of the best non-coco-cola, or coke rip-offs I have ever had, but to be fair when your main drink you produce is rum, you cannot fuck up your Cola. Moving on.
Nowadays you can actually buy “real” coke in North Korea, real as in bottled/canned in China, and imported, but going back not all that far you could not, and thus the Koreans created “Ryongjin Cola”, or Cocoa Sparkling. This as well as their version of sprite are the core North Korean sodas.
I got my first try of this ten years ago on one of my first trips to North Korea, and how to describe it! Cuban Coke, or as it is branded tuCola is made in partnership with a Brazilian company. I would describe it, as I said before as one of the best copy cokes I have tried. Ryongjin Cola is not tuCola. Remember when you were a kid and you went to a poor kids birthday party, and they had store brand cola, well its almost as good as that………
Luckily if you need a coke, Chinese imports are available, and they don’t really have rum, just soju, which you drink straight, or use Taedonggang Beer as the mixer.
The Street Food Guy has spoken.
Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.