What? Soda's pop. Before there were bottles of Coke on every street corner, there were soda fountains on every block where soda jerks would mix carbonated water with flavored syrups and talk to each other in a cryptic food language of illusions and symbols-"burn a crowd of van" (an order for three vanilla malteds) and "bucket of mud" (for a scoop of vanilla ice cream). Some of those syrups contained phosphoric acid, a tart flavor enhancer that also added fizz. In the new lingo, these sodas became known as phosphates. Think back to old movies, and you can probably conjure up at least a couple of ice-cream-parlor scenes in which orders of cherry phosphate figure. Only the use of the name, not the practice of adding phosphoric acid to soda, waned. Today an eight ounce glass of Coke Classic, a formula developed in 1886, contains 41 milligrams of phosphorous derived from phosphoric acid.
When? November 26, Stephen Gontram, Harvest