Lox and Gravlox
A "Grate" Secret for Tender Biscuits

How Soda Pop Got Its Name

Is the soda that is in pop the same as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda? Thank you.


The history by which soda pop gets its name is interesting, if a little confusing.  The original sparkling waters were naturally bubbly spring waters.  The most notable of these may be Seltzer water  from Germany.  Generic carbonated water, particularly the kind made at home with what is now referred to as a soda siphon, became commonly known as Seltzer even though it had no connection to the German origins.

Inventors from several countries tried to imitate natural sparkling waters by adding bubbles to still water.  Various techniques were invented using different chemical and mechanical methods.  One of these methods, patented in the United States in 1809, created bubbles by mixing water, bicarbonate of soda and an acid to make what was called "soda water."

Since then, the simpler technique of combining water with pressurized carbon dioxide gas has come to predominate the commercial market.  The word "pop" was added in the mid-nineteenth century and supposedly reflects the popping sound that is made when a carbonated beverage is opened.

Somehow, despite the fact that sodium bicarbonate is no longer used in their manufacture, the term "soda" has remained attached to the name for drinks made from carbonated water.  So historically it was the same soda, but that is no longer the case.

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