So, we moved to Arizona in 2002. And in 2003 I went to cook up some barbecue, and as part of that equation, I headed to the soda aisle. It's a bit old school, but it's kind of a Texas tradition to drink Big Red Soda with your BBQ. To my shock, they didn't have it. That would be grounds for dismissal in Texas - we always have Big Red in any soda selection of quality.
I started looking around at convenience stores and other groceries, then finally asked my co-workers, and none of them knew what I was talking about. Apparently Big Red is pretty regional.
So: Big Red is a "red cream soda". You can shorten that to "cream soda" and assume it's been colored red. It has nothing to do with Big Red the cinammon-flavored chewing gum, so get that our of your head right now. If you've had A&W Cream Soda or Dr. Brown's... something like that. Only... redder.
I don't really drink sugar soda or any soda other than soda water these days (love me some Topo Chico), but every once in a while I still sneak a Big Red. You don't need much... it's pure sugar.
HEB is a Texas-based grocery chain, and every once in a while they like to just mess with people and their weird Texas obsessiveness. And that's how, I think, we ended up with a Big Red Soda Cake.
I've always heard about soda cakes, but never had one. Fortunately, as you can see, after Jamie spotted it at the store and some frantic messaging, she brought it home.
|Your Blogger welcomes you to join him in The Arena|
|We have cake. We have soda. We are not @#$%ing around.|
|we unsheath the cake.|
|Evidence. This is happening.|
|we waft the scent of the cake towards us. It is a sweet, cakey smell. Yeah, I can smell the distinctive notes of Big Red Cream Soda.|
|The odor in our nostrils, we consider the journey ahead|
|man, that really smells like Big Red|
|that's a feature, not a big|
|we prepare to cut into this wonderful beast|
|oh, yeah. This is what it looks like from above, btw|
|behold, the first slice|
|the first taste, cake on my finger|
|okay, okay... promising. Very sweet, but it IS cake and Big Red|
|Let's not forget where we came from.|
|built in bottle opener|
|checking for similarities, make sure I wasn't fooled|
|that there is the quality bouquet of a fine Texas Big Red|
|Jamie said I should drink from the bottle, but we are a civilized people at The Signal Watch|
|one more sniff|
|okay, okay, no more stalling. It smells like Big Red.|
|hey, that's... a hell of a lot of sugar. I mean, I can taste the Big Red, but that is a bomb of sugar. Which is not bad.|
|gotta make sure I'm right|
|yeah, that's definitely sugar with a hint of Big Red|
|I mean, you could do worse...|
|but what sort of monster turns down more sugar? And with Big Red?|
|cleanse the 'ol palette|
|We come to our conclusion|
This is A LOT OF SUGAR. I've really been eating less sugar the past couple of years, and this is not that. This is all the sugar.
I like cake, and it is that, so points for that. It is also definitely a grocery store cake, and thus has that certain Office Cake je ne sais quoi. Points deducted.
Honestly, I hoped for more Cream Soda flavor, but it IS a cake, so it's in there in butter, sugar and fat. In my opinion, it's better than you'd expect, less like Big Red aside from the odor, but a good novelty to drop at a summer party. Kids would go bananas for it.
NEXT UP: Jamie taste tests the cake.