'This American Life' Coca-Cola Recipe Story Goes Viral
February 16, 2011 at 4:32 AM (PT)
This weekend's episode of "THIS AMERICAN LIFE" included a story about the "secret recipe" of COCA-COLA --, and COKE insists that the recipe isn't the "real thing."
The PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL and CHICAGO PUBLIC MEDIA noncommercial News-Talk WBEZ/CHICAGO show got the recipe from something that has been a non-secret for over 30 years, a photo of a recipe that appeared in the ATLANTA JOURNAL in 1979, but the story took on a life of its own after the show when Internet sites picked up on the item.
"I think other people are having the same reaction to this when I had when I first saw this article in the AJC. This supposedly secret recipe has been hiding in plain sight for 30 years," host IRA GLASS told the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, the successor to the JOURNAL. "I think we all know COCA-COLA. We all have heard about the incredible secrecy. But no no, it’s not a secret. It’s been sitting out there for years."
The recipe appeared in a JOURNAL column by CHARLES SALTER, the "GEORGIA RAMBLER," whose daughter-in-law LISA POLLAK is a producer for "THIS AMERICAN LIFE" and whose column inspired an episode of the show last year. COCA-COLA spokesperson KERRY TRESSLER denied that the show found an authentic recipe, but GLASS, who consulted a historian, said that he believes that COKE syrup creator JOHN PEMBERTON "himself made this recipe, either as his first version of COCA-COLA or as one of the versions early on in trying to make this stuff."