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Diet Cel-Ray, R.I.P.


rlibkind
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For the sake of being a true eGulleteer I should probably try a Cel-Ray just once to see if it's palatable.  I'm just freaked at the idea of CELERY soda!  I mean, Broccoli soda doesn't sound appealing.  Neither does cabbage.

EXACTLY. And fwiw, I did give it the official taste--WITH pastrami. I still stick to BLEAH. :wink:

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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For the sake of being a true eGulleteer I should probably try a Cel-Ray just once to see if it's palatable.  I'm just freaked at the idea of CELERY soda!  I mean, Broccoli soda doesn't sound appealing.  Neither does cabbage.

Why??  Now that I think it through it isn't even the flavor that frightens me.  It's the concept.  :blink:

You enjoy tree bark and roots in your soft drinks, yes? Why not stalks? (Like you, however, I draws the line at cruciferous vegetables.)

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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  • 4 months later...

news posted here at BevNet.com

The news is not good today for those who cherish the soda we have all enjoyed from Dr. Brown's ... Cel-Ray ... what else can one have to wash down their corned beef sandwiches? :rolleyes:

NYT circa 1999

I loved the exhilarating sting of carbonation, the delicate hint of vanilla and the icy, mouth-dousing sweetness. The glass bottles gave no clue as to the identity of Dr. Brown, and yet I pictured him as a kindly, white-coated man not unlike my dentist. In a pristine laboratory filled with bubbling test tubes and beakers, Dr. Brown concocted the amber elixir that washed away the saltiness of corned beef, cut the peppery after-burn of pastrami or kept me from choking on a throatful of brisket.

Who here joins me in mourning the passing (shortly) of this beverage, often called "Jewish Champagne"? :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I must confess, I was never fond of this stuff myself. Too salty for me, I guess. An odd savory flavor I couldn't wrap my head or tastebuds around as refreshment.

But there's a long list of my family members and acquaintances that will be mourning this actively. And my condolences go out to them and the legions of others that won't know what to do without a Cel-Ray to go with their deli sandwich.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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But there's a long list of my family members and acquaintances that will be mourning this actively. 

Dear Rabbi,

Can one properly sit shiva in a deli?

Signed,

Forlorn in Flushing

But of course. You order the cold cut platters "for here". :raz:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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The producer stopped making diet Cel-Ray about a year or so ago. The flavor is definitely acquired taste (one I acquired half a century ago at Ratner's on Second Avenue). Should this regrettable rumor turn out to be true, I'm going to start buying celery seeds and learning how to use them to flavor sugar syrup.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Say it ain't so! First the Second Avenue Deli, now this :shock:. It's an averah!

Sign me up for the minyan. Oy. :sad:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Crud! I've just emailed my mother asking her to pick me up a couple few six packs. I can't get it in Indiana, so it's been a couple years since I've had it as it is. A salt bagel is not the same without a Dr Brown's Cel-Ray.

They also make the best American orange soda I've had, but that's small compensation. It's not like I can shrug and move on to Fanta Celery.

I'm reluctant to experiment with Cel-Ray cocktails the way I was planning, because I don't want to waste any. It's decent with gin, but I was thinking maybe some pepper vodka, some tomato ...

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news posted here at BevNet.com

The news is not good today for those who cherish the soda we have all enjoyed from Dr. Brown's ... Cel-Ray ...

Is that really "news"- an official statement from Canada Dry- or just a post about "reports" (business talk for "rumors", I suppose) on another list, albeit an beverage industry one?

Not that I'd doubt it- I've been complaining about not being able to find Cel-Ray in most central NJ supermarkets, even those with large Kosher sections and in Jewish neighborhoods, even tho' the stores do stock the Dr. Brown's Cream and Black Cherry. I'd say they missed out on dozens of cases sold from me alone in the last few years.

My wife actually found it somewhere last year and gave me a six pack for Christmas- that's how rare it's been for me. (Never did get around to asking her WHERE she found it, now that I think about it- perhaps in a Stop 'n' Shop that's surrounded by retirement villages populated by escapees from NYC and North Jersey. I tend to avoid that store- it's just too frustrating to do a "quick" shop. I once gave a dollar to the woman ahead of me in the mis-named EXPRESS AISLE who was arguing about an expired coupon for a product she didn't buy in the correct size, just to move things along.)

I mean, I'm not expert, but it seems that if Canada Dry or it's distributors don't STOCK the brand, sales are gonna suffer.... :wink:

One would think that's there's enough demand for celery soda, that another local NYC metro area soda company (Boylan's, maybe) would pick up the style.

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I never have Cel-Ray except with a pastrami sandwich and have only rarely bought a large bottle -- always to accompany a take-out pastrami sandwich. But I do like to drink a can with my pastrami sandwich and would really regret the demise of this unique soda. Would I be reduced to drinking tap water with the sandwich? Oy!

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I hope Jesskidden is right and it's just a scare tactic or marketing ploy. It's nearly impossible to find here, too, but I hate to think I can't go to NYC or Miami and find one. I think the best insurance policy is to get my hands on some and, instead of swilling them, use them to try and break-down the formula so I can replicate with my trusty juicer.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I hope Jesskidden is right and it's just a scare tactic or marketing ploy. 

Did I say that? :cool:

Actually, my point was that even tho' the post was on the BevNet site, it was hardly official.

From previously poking around I've done on the 'net, I thought the situation was that "Dr. Brown" is merely canned/bottled by Canada Dry under contract, and that the brand was not OWNED by Canada Dry (which, of course, is now merely a division of 7Up/Dr. Pepper, which is in turn owned by Cadbury Schweppes). At least, that's how I thought it worked, but I notice that the cans don't say "canned under contract by" or other such wording or mention any other company.

http://www.dpsu.com/ Maybe there no room in the portfolio for more than one "Doctor". (Wanna have some fun- go to the CS home page http://www.cadburyschweppes.com/EN , click on "About Us" and search for a brand- whoa... )

If you check under "Brands" at either the CS or Dr.Pepper/7 Up sites, you'll note that they don't even LIST the "Dr. Brown" brand (altho', they keep in "regional" distribution, like Squirt & Vernors). So, if the "Dr. Brown" brand is independently owned, it's entirely possible that they could move the contract to a different bottler.

(Similar contract moves happen in brewing all the time, when a beer is contract brewed by someone else but the demand either grows too big or too small for the current brewery to handle/bother with. )

Dr. Brown is listed under a "Cricket Cola" (huh?) at the American Beverage Org. site http://www.ameribev.org/variety/who.asp along with an #800 number, which turns out to be Canada Dry ( (800) 784-4486 X 256, if you're into complaining about Cel-Ray's disappearance Monday morning...).

Seems to me there used to be a separate website for the Dr. Brown brands, but I can't find one anymore. If one checks the various soda pop internet sites, tho', you'll see that Dr. Brown's, in bottles, comes in a variety of shapes, labels and sizes (I only see cans anymore in NJ), so it's possible that it's made at more than one bottler. (CS uses a lot of independently owned bottlers for it's many brands).

  I think the best insurance policy is to get my hands on some and, instead of swilling them, use them to try and break-down the formula so I can replicate with my trusty juicer.

Hmmmm... how 'bout just throwing some celery seed in a coffee grinder (rinse well before the next morning's coffee... :biggrin: ), pour through a strainer, into a typically bland, flavorless, modern "Ginger Ale" (like Canada Dry's :smile: or even "Vernors" :angry: which sure has lost a lot since the purchase by CS).

Edited by jesskidden (log)
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Hmmmm... how 'bout just throwing some celery seed in a coffee grinder (rinse well before the next morning's coffee... :biggrin: ), pour through a strainer,  into a typically bland, flavorless,  modern "Ginger Ale" (like Canada Dry's  :smile: or even "Vernors"  :angry:  which sure has lost a lot since the purchase by CS).

Thanks for 'feeling our pain' and offering us an entirely viable solution!

I will, of course, continue to search for a resolution to the "Rumor or Reality?" situation in which we find ourselves ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I hope Jesskidden is right and it's just a scare tactic or marketing ploy. 

Did I say that? :cool:

Sorry, didn't mean to put words in your mouth. I hope you are right about it not being official, a done deal, over, irreversible. The scare tactic/marketing ploy speculation came from my natural distrust of Madison Avenue. :cool:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Where is Bush on this issue?

Cel-Ray is a national cultural treasure and requires a Federal Bailout. What's more important, Chrysler or Cel-Ray? The answer is clear.

Write your congressman and senators. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

This can't be allowed to happen.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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I hope you are right about it not being official, a done deal, over, irreversible. 

Perhaps this speculation began as a result of this item:

Dr. Brown's has been produced since 1869. No self-respecting deli in New York would be caught without Dr. Brown's on hand.

Attention: Diet Cel-Ray is no longer in production. :hmmm:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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This IS bad.

We must mount an all-out campaign to keep Cel-Ray alive! Many is the deli I have walked out of because they haven't been able to serve me one with my pastrami sandwich.

Let's mobilize !!!!!

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Let's mobilize !!!!!

Okay, Mark, time to dig out my black turtlenecks from my anti-Vietnam protests in the 70's ... man the barricades, mes amies!! Aux armes, citoyens ... :laugh:

Vive les "boissons gazeuse"!! :shock:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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  Dr. Brown is listed under a "Cricket Cola" (huh?) at the American Beverage Org. site http://www.ameribev.org/variety/who.asp along with an #800 number, which turns out to be Canada Dry ( (800) 784-4486 X 256, if you're into complaining about Cel-Ray's disappearance Monday morning...).

DR. BROWN LIVES!

Just got off the phone with customer service at the above number for Canada Dry (the extension isn't correct, however, that'll link you to a voice mail to apply for a driver's job- altho', I suppose if you're a driver, you'll have access to fresh Cel-Ray and maybe an employee discount on top of that).

They claim that Cel-Ray IS still being made, that any store that carries the other Dr. Brown soda flavors can order Cel-Ray and that any rumor of it's demise is probably the result of the discontinuation of the Diet Cel-Ray.

Now, to find some...

"If Dr. Brown don't cure you, nobody can do you no good..."

Lyric from the song "Doctor Brown" written by Waymon Glasco, performed on the vinyl album "Mr. Wonderful" by Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac (back when they were a BLUES band and a darn good one at that, you know, for Limeys and all....).

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  • 2 years later...

I happened upon this thread while searching for something else. I am not a Cel-Ray drinker, but my husband is. He is also diabetic, and I've often wondered why I never see a diet version on the shelves at Wegman's, the only place in Central Jersey and, now, the Philly suburbs, I've been able to find Dr. Brown's. I guess I'll have to stick to the full sugar version for the occasional treat.

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