Is the famous predilection of African Americans for grape sodapop due to nature or nurture?
My bet would be nurture, in that there would appear to be a sizable role for imprinting in what tastes you grow up liking.
I don’t know about grape soda particularly, but I can recall somebody in the marketing business explaining to me that orange soda tends to be one of the flavors that a developing country first falls in love with because refrigeration is spotty or nonexistent. Orange apparently tastes okay warm. Is something similar also true for grape-flavored drinks?
In contrast, the cola flavor is much better ice cold. That’s a big reason that Coca-Cola is so associated with America: America, with its hot summers compared to Europe, had more refrigeration earlier than the rest of the world. And even before the spread of mechanical refrigeration, America had a sizable ice industry, going way back to at least 1806 when Frederic Tudor started harvesting ice from Boston area ponds and shipping it to Martinique. Thoreau wrote in Walden, “The sweltering inhabitants of Charleston and New Orleans, of Madras and Bombay and Calcutta, drink at my well.”
The American love of cold drinks is indicative of the U.S.’s traditionally high standard of living. Coca-Cola was invented in Georgia in the late 19th Century to be drunk cold at commercial soda fountains. I have a vivid memory of escorting a visiting distant Swiss relative to Disneyland in the summer of 1980 and her insisting on ordering the smallest cola on the menu and then objecting when the glass came half full of ice. You’re at Disneyland in August, do like the Americans do: order a big soda with a lot of ice.
On the other hand, it’s not impossible that different racial groups might have, on average, different innate tastes. Different groups have clearly evolved different physical and cultural responses to alcohol over the ten or twelve thousand or so years that agriculture has been around, so it’s hardly impossible that they’ve also evolved other beverage and food likes and dislikes.