Friday, May 1, 2009

Caffeine Free Pepsi, Home-made Jucy Lucy's

I took this picture for insurance reasons.
I had to prove that dent was there when I received the can.

Caffeine Free Pepsi

Caffeine Free Pepsi reminds me of the Biologic Show comics. You know, the short lived series by Al Columbia who did all those terrifying comics for various compilations like Zero Zero.

The similarity lies in the discovery of the thing. I'd been an Al Columbia fan long before I saw Biologic Show comics for sale, they'd been out of print and impossible to find. I go to Austria on "business" in 1998 or 9 or 2000 or something, and visit a Viennese comic store. There I find Biologic Show comics for sale. "!" I exclaim, and buy doubles so I'll have one to share when I get home.

I get home and find out that these comics were on sale everywhere now. I'd just happened to be someplace far away when they re-entered general circulation with a new print run. Ha. I'd thought that some rare pocket of comics had just miraculously shown up in Vienna, like when I saw all the Polish weight lifter guys wearing Vision Streetwear clothes in Warsaw. That was just a wacky coincidence with discount goods going on sale.

So it was with Caffeine Free Pepsi. I see it on sale while looking for Pepsi Natural, buy a can and take it home, thinking it a rare treat. Later that week I see it everywhere. Ha. Nothing special at all. Just newly distributed.

Anyways, I'm not a big Pepsi fan but I like the Caffeine Free Pepsi. Much more so that I like regular Pepsi, believe it or not. It's different. Or maybe the cans aren't as old and stale. Who knows. It's sweet the way Pepsi is supposed to be sweet, but not chemically tangy like Pepsi usually is. I think I also prefer it to caffeine free Coke, it tastes sweeter and doesn't have as much senseless carbonation.

I drank my first caffeine Pepsi with home-made Jucy Lucy hamburgers, so it was kind of lost in the shuffle. A Jucy Lucy is a Minneapolis delicacy, a hamburger patty stuffed with molten American cheese. It was incredible when I had one at "Matt's Bar", but mine weren't so hot. I couldn't manage to cook them the proper amount of time, I'd either melt the cheese and have a dried out hamburger or a perfectly medium rare burger with a lump of unmelted cheese in the middle.

Then I ate too much and felt sick.

A real Jucy Lucy is crispy on the outside of the patty, soft no the inside, and the cheese center is no longer just cheese. It's a super goop composed of boiling American cheese, melted fat, and blood. It's heaven.

Surprisingly enough I managed to get pretty close to the original by accident. I cooked way too many hamburger patties so I put some in the refrigerator for the next day. These I microwaved and they came out perfect, an almost identical eating experience to a real Jucy Lucy. The microwaved heated up the cheese inside, but didn't overcook the medium-rare meat. Really good, though I'd be embarrassed to have a microwave be a part of my hamburger cooking.

This is a home-made Jucy Lucy. Note the unmelted cheese
and that it's upside down on the plate. I like to think of myself as an
"Outsider Art" style cook.


  1. I was inspired by your post to make a Jucy Lucy of my very own. What a lovely thing.
    Welcome back!

  2. Did it turn out well? I made them again the other day and they came out overcooked. Next time I'm going to microwave them to get the core temperature up. I'll try before and after regular cooking.

  3. Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. The cheese didn't fully melt on mine either, so in that sense, they didn't. On the other hand, there's a limit to how badly a burger with embedded cheese can be considered to be; it's inherently better than many things.

    I think it was too thick, so the heat was absorbed by the meat. Clearly more attempts are called for.

  4. This is the basic recipe I followed:

    So yeah, next time I microwave after I'm done with the cooking.

  5. ewww...
    Pepsi natural is called Pepsi Throwback in my region of America-the redesigned logo is a delight. Coke also came out with a "retro" can logo, yet didn't decide to change the formula at all. How rude. At least keep up with the competition, for goodness sake.

  6. Pepsi Natural and Pepsi Throwback are two separate products. The Natural version comes in a wacky bottle and tastes like that orange fruit which starts with an "a" which I can never remember the name of. Throwback is modeled after the older version of the Pepsi drink, it's not natural at all. Both use real sugar.

    Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback aren't available in NYC. I hate you for having access to it. I hate with a deep and unending passion.