Whoop whoop, my ninjas.
On a recent trip through Mancos, we noticed the P & D Grocery carries around seven different flavors of Faygo soda. Naturally, we bought the six flavors they had in stock and decided to conduct a little taste test.
What’s that? You’ve never heard of Faygo? Let us fill you in.
Founded in 1907 as the Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works, Faygo was created by Russian immigrants Ben and Perry Feigenson. The Detroit-based soda manufacturer is said to have based their original three flavors – fruit punch, strawberry, and grape – on family cake frosting recipes.
In the early 1990s, Detroit hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse referenced the hometown soda brand in a number of their songs. At a show in 1993, Violent J (one half of the duo) threw an open bottle of Faygo at members of the audience who were flipping him off. For whatever reason, this got a positive response from the concert-goers. Since then, “Faygo Showers” – spraying each other with Faygo (and ostensibly drinking it as well) has become a popular practice among Juggalos and Juggalettes, the clown-faced fans of the music group. Like virtually everything that happens at their annual Gathering of the Juggalos, it’s delightfully gross.
The soda was crazy cheap at $.75 per 20 ounce bottle, and since we don’t see it that often, we decided to see what the big deal was. We originally envisioned our test would feature a panel of experts, but thanks to the coronavirus and social distancing, we had to settle for one bored guy isolated in his house. (We aren’t taking ICP member Shaggy 2 Dope’s advice of eating dirty snow to stave off infection.) Here’s what we found:
Faygo Cola: Smelling just a bit like damp cardboard, this one didn’t taste like most mainstream cola brands. If we had to choose its closest cousin, it’d probably be RC Cola, but the Faygo version lacked any sort of a bite. It was mostly just a weak interpretation of what a cola should taste like.
Faygo Moon Mist: We figured that this was the Faygo version of Mountain Dew, but it looked and tasted a bit more like Mello Yello. The claim on the label, “with a real kick,” is a boldfaced lie. Like the cola, this one also tasted pretty weak, especially in comparison to the other brands of citrus soda. More than any other flavor on this list, it just tasted like sadness.
Faygo Grape: Hoo-boy. The moment you start twisting off the cap, you can smell this one. It looks, smells, and tastes exactly like the grape flavoring pharmaceutical companies add to medicines so kids will take them. If you gave us a tablespoon of this and told us it was Children’s Dimetapp, we’d only question why it’s carbonated. But otherwise, we would believe you.
Faygo Peach: You know those gummy peach rings? This tastes like those, which isn’t entirely a bad thing. In drinking this, though, you don’t get the texture of the gummy or the joy of eating the candy. No, this is a strictly inferior, sugary “peach” experience.
Faygo Root Beer: Smelling and tasting more or less like root beer, this was easily the best soda we tried. It most resembles the platonic ideal of the flavor it’s supposed to represent. Still, it’s just a bit off, like if you found one of those root beer barrel candies in a coat pocket after a couple years and decided to put it into your mouth.
Faygo Creme Soda: Like the Root Beer, this soda smells and tastes like what it’s supposed to be. Then again, the creme flavor doesn’t come through as strongly as the root beer, giving this soda a sugar-water taste. On a positive note, this was the only soda on the list that wasn’t obviously dyed a different color.
If our taste test taught us anything, it’s that there’s a reason Juggalos spray this stuff on each other as much, if not more, than they imbibe it. This was certainly not our first step into the clown love community. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go ponder the mystery of how magnets work.