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Thursday, July 30, 2009

About Ovaltine

While walking around Acme with Hubby with no grocery list in hand, Hubby decided that he wanted chocolate milk. Since we have a gallon of milk in the fridge, we had the perfect excuse. After walking around aimlessly in search of syrup and/or Ovaltine, I just asked the worker for assistance. His response was something along the lines of, "I think it's in aisle 2... and what is Ovaltine anyways?" Oh boy.. I must be getting old if this teenager has no idea what Ovaltine is. Well we'll ignore his comment and move right on. I declared that the syrups were a no go with all of them listing high fructose corn syrup as the first ingredient. I felt better with sugar as the main ingredient in the chocolate powders. Since we were in search of Ovaltine to begin with, it was clearly the one for us.

What is Ovaltine exactly? Let's use the trusty Wikipedia as our main source and do some research. Here's the break down:
  • brand of milk flavoring product made with sugar (except in Switzerland), malt extract, cocoa, and whey
  • developed in Switzerland, where it is known by its original name, Ovomaltine (from ovum, Latin for "egg", and malt, originally its main ingredients)
  • was exported to England in 1909; it was a misspelling in the trademark registration that led to the name being truncated to Ovaltine in English-speaking markets
  • popular chocolate malt version is a powder which is mixed with hot or cold milk as a beverage
  • U.S. children's radio series Little Orphan Annie (1931–1940) and Captain Midnight (1938–1949) were sponsored by Ovaltine
  • "Ovaltine" is an anagram for "Vital One"
  • In Hong Kong, like Horlicks, Ovaltine is known as a cafĂ© drink; the powder is sold without sugar, to be sweetened to taste by the consumer
  • In Brazil it is commonly mixed with vanilla ice cream
I am a sucker for brands that have been around for a long time, especially those that play a part in my favorite part of history (1930s-1960s). I was actually introduced to Ovaltine back when I was a kid watching "Supermarket Sweep." What.. you don't remember the show? Let me remind you with this clip...

It pretty much convinced me that Ovaltine was a super yummy product, but I never got a chance to try it out. Now that I'm older and have full purchasing power (without my parents yelling at me for buying "junk" food), it was time for me to experiment. At Acme they had three kinds available: Classic Malt, Chocolate Malt, and Rich Chocolate. Seeing how Nesquick, Ovaltine's main competitor, did not offer any products with "malt" in the title, I knew that I had to either get Classic Malt or Chocolate Malt. We were in the mood for chocolate, and that solved our problem.

Ovaltine's Chocolate Malt

Product Description from the Ovaltine website:
"With a unique and wonderful malt taste, Ovaltine Chocolate Malt is the mix you can't resist. Over the years it has become a staple of the American family. Fortified with eight vitamins and minerals, Ovaltine Chocolate Malt is rich in antioxidants: vitamins A and C."

While back home we mixed 5 heaping tablespoons of the powder with a large glass of cold milk. It was delightful with a nice chocolate taste. It was much different from the chocolate milk with Hershey's syrup that I am usually accustomed to. Surprisingly, it reminded me of my childhood. Do you remember the pouches of chocolate milk that came with the school lunches? It tastes exactly like that, and boy was that a pleasant surprise. The malt taste is subtle (or maybe I was just so dazed reminiscing about my childhood) and delicious. As am extra bonus, Ovaltine is fortified with vitamins and minerals.

milk pouches from my childhood are similar to the ones shown in the bottom half of the photo - (source)

After enjoying a nice tall glass of Ovaltine, I am declaring it a Yin approved product! Sweet! Next time we'll mix in 4 heaping tablespoons instead of 5. Hubby prefers it to be not too strong in flavor, and I think 4 tablespoons will yield the perfect Ovaltine concoction. Yumm!


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