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North Korean Potato Soda

North Korean Potato Soda

North Korean Soda gets written about a lot, but North Korean Potato Soda? Yep, believe it, or not its a thing.

Facebook have just been good enough to remind about the epic trip I took 5 years ago. This involved living in Transnistria, visiting Crimea and attending the Rason International Trade Fair of 2015. And it was here that I discovered North Korean potato soda.

To read more about eating in Rason click here, or to learn about running a stall at a North Korean trade fair click here.

Rason Trade Fair

North Korean Potato Soda at Rason Trade Fair

I won’t go into huge detail about the Rason Trade Fair, but it is essentially a trade fair where mostly Chinese, but also North Korean companies get to showcase their products in the main Special Economic Zone of North Korea.

Now, when you keep in mind the huge amount of sanctions that North Korea are dealing with then you will understand that the kind of companies that end up here are weird at best.

North Korea and potatoes

Potatoes are not native to North Korea, but they grow well here, which meant that they were heavily promoted by former leader Kim Jong Il. There is even a song that promotes everything that is good and potato, of course with a socialist flair.

North Korean potato soda

Like any trade fair they give away free stuff at the Rason Trade Fair. I like most people on the planet like free stuff. August in Rason is damned hot, so when I saw someone giving away free soft drinks I jumped upon it. Potato soda? Why not?

What does North Korean Potato soda taste like?

On initial chugging (see photo) it tastes like a normal soft-drink and at first I literally loved it. Had I discovered the next big thing? No I had not. Whilst it is sweet and goes down like a normal soft drink it has an aftertaste of potato.

North Korean Soda - North Korean Potato Soda

No soft-drink should have a potato aftertaste. Apparently potato soda is really good for you, but alas Potato Soda has yet to set the world alight.

Overall on North Korean Soda?

I’m a small fan of North Korean Coke, I don’t mind North Korean sprite and I frankly love their cream soda. North Korean potato soda was a whole other beast though. I simply struggle to describe it. I mean it tasted like a soda, it was so hot I necked it like a soda, but the potato element simply just made an unholy alliance.

As things stand it has yet to reach the masses. Is that because of sanctions? Partly perhaps, and whilst I did not “like” it, it is one of those weird things I really want to try again.

One day I hope….

Written by Gareth

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.

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