Thursday, March 16, 2017

The King Of Cola

I was asked to bring soft drinks to a party recently, and something occurred to me in the grocery store--I didn't see any Royal Crown Cola.  Not that I was planning to buy it.  Which is maybe the problem.

I assume it's available if I look for it, but it's not like Coke or Pepsi, which you have to try to avoid.

Even years ago, back when I drank cola on a semi-regular basis, I rarely had RC.  (Was it just as unavailable then?)

But I remember when I was at the University of Chicago.  Sometimes we'd go to Harold's Chicken Shack, and they had a cola machine that only offered RC.

So I would buy it, and perhaps my palate is poor, but I couldn't tell the difference.  How did it become such a poor third to the Big Two?

I also wonder, did Harold have some sort of deal with Royal Crown, because I don't think I've seen it in too many other vending machines.


Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I didn't know that RC still existed. Back when I was a kid, there were three big colas: four, if you count Shasta. We always called it "R.C." -- is "Royal Crown" a Detroit term, like "pop"? The latter always makes me shiver.

Whenever I hear RC Cola mentioned (which is far less than once per year), it always make sme think of this great scene.

2:09 PM, March 16, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I think it was generally called "RC" though if someone said "Royal Crown" it would be no worse than saying "Coca Cola" when everyone else calls it "Coke."

I've trained myself to say "soda" but I don't like it. A soda is pop with a scoop of ice cream.

(By the way, in your link Meathead calls it Royal Crown Cola.)

4:09 PM, March 16, 2017  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Royal crown Cola is what it is called on the picture of the bottle in your post too.

4:14 PM, March 16, 2017  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

Yes, I always knew that "R.C." stood for "Royal Crown", because the fine print on the bottle said so. But I never heard anyone in Los Angeles say "I'd like a Royal Crown Cola". Nor did I ever hear them say "I would like a Pepsi Cola". They always said "Pepsi". Similarly, I never heard anyone in L.A. say "I would like a Kleenex tissue", or "I would like a Coca-Cola beverage", or "My daughter is taking pianoforte lessons."

So when I saw that All in the Family episode, I wondered if the script-writers had messed up, or whether people in Queens, New York really did say "Royal Crown Cola". It sounded so strange that it stuck with me all these years.

Then, after four decades of wondering, suddenly our resident Detroit native mentions "Royal Crown" in a post. "Aha," says I to myself, says I, "maybe the All in the Family thing wasn't a fluke. Maybe this beverage is called 'Royal Crown' in other regions of the country." Of course, even if that theory is correct, there would be no reason to suppose that a map of the RC-regions and Royal-Crown-regions of the USA would have any similarity to the map of the pop/soda/Coke regions!

5:58 PM, March 16, 2017  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I think we've discussed the "pop" thing before. I think one reason Californians react so strangely to this term isn't that we haven't heard it. Rather, we heard it all the time -- on Happy Days". Of course, HD was set in Milwaukee -- but it was never promoted as a show that revealed what life in Milwaukee is like; rather, it was promoted as a show that revealed what life in the 1950s was like. So we all learned that in the 1950s, everyone was polite, girls wore sweaters and giggled, and kids said "pop". So when I first heard an adult in the 1990s call it "pop", it was like the scene in Superman when Clark Kent says "swell".

6:12 PM, March 16, 2017  
Blogger New England Guy said...

In Pittsburgh, we had a discount pop brand called "Regent" or "Regent Supreme" with a picture of a cartoonish king on the top of the label. i.e.

This was a Pittsburgh company and not RC/ Royal Crown which has always confused me

6:54 AM, March 18, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Midwest, we call it RC Cola, not Royal Crown Cola, for the same reason we call it pop, not soda pop.

10:10 AM, March 18, 2017  

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