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Abali Yogurt Soda 

$4.59
Global Foods Market
421 North Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood

Call me provincial. Call me a cream puff, but I have certain expectations when something carbonated touches my tongue. Namely, it had best be sweet.

OK, it doesn't have to be sweet. Time has passed, and I've broadened my taste buds. I've come to appreciate, say, the understatement of soda water, or the saccharine bluntness of a diet soda.

But for all my democratic grazing, there is one thing I cannot abide: sour carbonation. Don't get me wrong; it's not that I didn't like my bottle of Abali Yogurt Soda. I did.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's delicious and refreshing — that is, if anything cold, sour and carbonated can be refreshing on a winter day when the mercury barely tops 30 degrees. But it can be said, and I'll say it about Abali Yogurt Soda.

Sold in packs of four, these little bottles look as innocent as a bowl of milk. Who cares that it separates after a few days in the fridge? Give it a good shake and you might as well be drinking kefir.

Except you're not. It's that sour carbonation. The minute it hits the mouth, my tongue recoils as though it has intruded on a fermentation session gone wrong. But then, hiding like an earthworm in front of a blue jay, my tongue slowly realizes that this is not so bad after all.

In fact, once the tongue learns that this carbonation's bite is not of the decaying variety, but actually floats along its creamy medium like a boat of drunkards at Party Cove, it's...

Wait a minute. This is downright delicious! Served with a kebab on the steamy streets of Tehran, Abali Yogurt Soda could even be a contender for the crown currently held by its brown and sugary rival, Coca-Cola!

My mind thoroughly altered by the heavyweight commercial potential of Abali Yogurt Soda, I head outdoors.

But the trees are still frozen. There's not a kebab in sight and my enthusiasm has begun to wane.

Or is that just my bubble-bitten tongue coming back into the light?

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