But Is LaCroix Actually Any Good?: A Question for Our Times

Do you know about LaCroix? I would guess: Yes, probably. After all, the sparkling water which comes in a can that wouldn’t look out of place on the set of a Golden Girls episode has had its virtues extolled in places like the New York Times and The Awl. But just because its presence in the media (and on, you know, media Twitter) is, if not ubiquitous, at least commonplace, the actual beverage is elusive enough in New York (read: not available at most corner bodegas, though in abundance at Whole Foods, naturally) that it has the aura not only of popularity but also of exclusivity, thus making it even more highly esteemed than ever. But still, despite the beverage’s rising star and its ubiquity in print features, one question begs to be answered: Is LaCroix actually any good?  

Oh, I know, what you’re thinking, That question’s already been answered! There was a whole ranking of the flavors! Well, yes. But: The ranking wasn’t about whether or not any of the flavors were good, it was just about which ones were better than the others. And I know what else you’re thinking, There was a whole Letter of Recommendation centering around LaCroix! Who would recommend something that wasn’t “good”? Well, yes. But: In the (quite brilliant) Letter, while Mary H.K. Choi does freely admit to liking LaCroix, the only real descriptor of the drink (beyond lukewarm praise that the sparkling water “offer[s] a suspicion of flavor rather than a bracing burst of taste”) is that “LaCroix is not as exhilarating as taking ecstasy at Joshua Tree, blanketed by a glittering velveteen.” And since we all know that taking ecstasy in the desert under an enveloping night sky is the very definition of good great, then we can maybe assume that LaCroix is not good.

And yet: In the same way that the defining feature of each of the twelve LaCroix flavors is an absence of that specific flavor (i.e. coconut tastes not like coconut, but like sunscreen; peach-pear tastes not like peaches or pears, but like what your mouth tastes like hours after you’ve eaten a handful of Runts candy that you got out of a quarter machine at a bowling alley; pamplemousse tastes not like grapefruit, but like, well, pussy tbh, which is why it’s the most beloved flavor, I think), LaCroix is similarly good because it has an inherent absence of “goodness.” Sure, it might not have any added sugar or preservatives or unpronounceable ingredients, but it’s impossible to feel virtuous about buying sparkling water. Isn’t it? It really should be.

Also of note: I literally spit out my first taste of coconut LaCroix because it was so confusing to me that I could smell coconut so strongly, like as though I’d just slathered Hawaiian Tropic all over myself, yet the taste of the actual drink was precisely this: tasteless. Can a drink that makes you instinctively spit it out actually be any good? I don’t know. Or, maybe, yes. Because I kept drinking it. I’m drinking it now. So, basically, if it’s not good, then what would that even make me? In conclusion: There is no conclusion. The question of whether or not LaCroix is actually any good remains unanswered. Except by an anonymous source I know, who has had a few flavors at this point and has this to say: No. It’s not. Just pamplemousse is ok.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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