Haven’t we Jews Suffered Enough?

A number of reports on the web indicate that Canada Dry is about to cease production of Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda.


I realize there is younger generation of people who think the idea of a celery seed-flavored soda sounds really disgusting. But one needs to understand the context in which you are drinking it to truly appreciate it. The soda has been in existence since 1869, so clearly its become an important fixture of the Jewish-American collective consciousness, irregardless of whether you like it or not.

Cel-Ray is the perfect, most traditional pairing to a Pastrami on Rye. Cel-Ray is somewhat like a ginger ale in flavor profile, but it has this sort of herbal note combined with heavy carbonation that is absolutely ESSENTIAL because it is used as a palate cleanser when you belch after washing down that big, fatty sandwich. And unless you are a complete schlemiel, you aren't going to pay $13 at Katz's Deli in the Lower East Side for a hand-sliced pastrami sandwich and not ask for the "juicy" cut either, so the Cel-Ray is a foregone conclusion. It's sweet without being too sweet like a cola or a fruit soda drink, and does its job well, which is to get the fatty flavor out of your mouth and to expel the gases out of your gut. The two other Dr. Brown's flavors — Black Cherry and Cream — while good, are too sweet and aren't as heavily carbonated. They are better suited to a hot dog and knish or something else.

They thought the Warsaw ghetto uprising was bad.

Wait until they have to explain this at Katz's or the Carnegie. Mass hysteria. They'll need to bring out the riot gear in Boca Raton to keep the retirement communities from burning down the entire state of Florida.

12 Responses to Haven’t we Jews Suffered Enough?

  1. Webs says:

    In Montreal, it’s black-cherry soda with a smoked meat at Schwartz’s.

  2. The spicing on a Montreal smoke meat is a bit different though. You don’t drink Cel-Ray in Canada? Canada Dry is the parent company.

  3. ellen says:

    OMG-you are sooo right and so near to passover

  4. MJP says:

    This is tragic! I first had Cel-Ray at a bar mitzvah at the ripe age of 13, ten years ago, and it’s my twice-yearly fix of one of those and a pastrami sandwich at Harold’s that makes me feel less guilty for being an atheistic Jew. ;-;

    I’m going to have to stock up on these… here’s hoping a few cases will last until I have kids so they can try the stuff… maybe ten or fifteen years from now. :-(

  5. Joan C. says:

    I heard this rumor but didn’t think much of it. Sorry to hear it’s actually true. So I wonder how long this stuff lasts ’cause I think I’ll buy a few cases before they go kaput.

    I did not realize that it also functioned to expel the gases out of my gut. Hmm, it’s not doing its job…

  6. Webs says:

    Can’t say I recall ever seeing a celery soda up here. I have tried spruce beer. Once.

  7. real soda says:

    Don’t worry. Even if Canada Dry ceases to produce Cel-Ray in cans, there are a number their small bottlers who produce it in glass. Glass bottled beverages always taste better than the inferior canned versions anyway, especially Cel-Ray. Check out http://www.realsoda.com , http://www.sodaking.com and http://www.popsoda.com for details and ordering. Real Soda distributes over 1000 specialty and nostalgic sodas. 714-BUY-SODA

  8. bec says:

    that’s nuts! i’ve been drinking that stuff since i was like five or six. what’s a corned beef on rye at essex on coney without a cel-ray?!!!?

  9. freyne says:

    thank you for your work

  10. NewYorkDave says:

    They CAN’T get rid of Cel-Ray. Why, that would be like shutting down the 2nd Ave. Deli, turning Times Square into a Disney-fied “family” attraction for the tourists, or gentrifying the Lower East Side, the East Village or Williamsburg. Unthinkable!

    Oh, wait a minute… :(

  11. NewYorkDave says:

    Good news: the word direct from the company is that Cel-Ray is alive and well. Thanks to my friend Tom for checking into this for me.

    I just bought a couple of six-packs at my local beverage joint. Viva Cel-Ray!

  12. Michael says:

    What are you, mashugga? It would be heresy and sacrilege to discontinue Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray! The prescribed penalty for such a heinous felony is circumcision!

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