Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Kola (cola) is made from the nut, or fleshy seed, of the kola tree. While initially bitter, the taste becomes sweet as it lingers on the palate. In its native West Africa, kola is chewed fresh, or else it is dried and crushed to make cola drinks. Kola contains a small amount of caffeine. American carbonated colas such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola belong to this family, however distantly. See soda.