In this unstable world of severely fluctuating markets, global terrorism and infighting of American Idol judges, we have little to count on. The “rocks” that I cling to, personally, include my lovely wife, my fabulous daughter and the fact that a Coca-Cola® served at McDonald’s® is better tasting than any other Coke in the world. But even this pillar of truth has been attacked by close friends and respected coworkers.

But I’m telling you it’s true.

A Coke from McDonald’s tastes sweeter, is more satisfying and tickles my taste buds with light citrus notes. In fact, when I’m at other Coke-serving restaurants, I’ll ask for a slice of lemon in an attempt to recreate that great “Golden Arches” experience.

After years of defending my position, I finally asked The Great Oracle if there was anyone else out there like me. Google said, “Yes, you are not alone.” It turns out that several forum posts, and Yahoo Answers pages, are devoted to the idea.

UNNXMAL.com featured a Coke fan asking a McDonald’s shift manager about it — he told her they “pre-chill” the syrup before it gets mixed and dispensed, so straight from the fountain (with no ice) your drink is quite cold. Other restaurants pour room temperature soda into a cup of ice — creating instantly-watered-down-Coke.

But I am confident that it goes beyond not being “watered down.”

The folks who took the time to comment on a Yahoo Answers thread postulated on several theories:

1. McDonald’s uses more carbonation and less syrup.
This doesn’t seem to be true, as I have found it’s actually sweeter.

2. Freshness of product.
I think there is some merit to this.

3. The quality of the local municipality’s tap water.
This makes sense. Note to self: Do not order a Coke in Love Canal, NY.

And others say that McDonald’s just cleans its machines more thoroughly and more often. I have performed my own blind taste test — pitting a McDonald’s Coke against a can. Each was placed in a glass, and I readily picked the McDonald’s coke.

So, what does this mean? Have I fallen into the chasm of Brand Evangelism? Have years of habit petrified into years of devotion? Were my taste buds horribly disfigured in a freak soda accident? Maybe it’s simple truth. Or maybe it just means that I will never deviate from my drink order, and I will carry that allegiance to my grave. All I can really say is: Have a (McDonald’s) Coke and a smile.

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