John Nese, proprietor of Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, exudes a childlike exuberance when he talks about his favorite subject: the independent and small batch bottles of pop he sells in his store. In this wonderful video interview by Chowhound, he reveals all kinds of interesting factoids about bubbly beverages, and projects an infectious enthusiasm for the topic.
Soda’s a hard one to claim as joyful, given its contribution to the obesity epidemic and myriad other health problems. But Nese reminds us that soda is a treat, something to be enjoyed occasionally, not guzzled in place of water as so many people do. When asked about diet sodas, he condemns most of them as unsavory, and says, “Drink less. How’s that? Have six ounces rather than twelve, and then you get 60 calories instead of 120 calories. And then you’re satisfied and you’re happy.”
Of course, moderation is hard when you’re facing the trifecta of color, sweetness, and bubbles. Especially the bubbles. Watching the solution fizz and sparkle, seeing the tiny orbs appear from nowhere, feeling them glitter on the palate – carbonation is an oddly magical pleasure. Upon discovering champagne, the monk Dom Perignon was said to exclaim, “Come quickly! I am tasting stars.” Though this story may well be apocryphal, the quote captures our sense of awe and delight at effervescence (alcoholic or otherwise). Something about bubbles seems to elevate us. They carry us upwards with their inexhaustible lightness, buoying our celebrations, our moments of refreshment and play.
We’re evidently not the only species that enjoys bubbles, either. While writing this post I remembered this sweet video of SeaWorld’s dolphins, which have turned bubbles into a novel underwater toy. Enjoy!