If I were to write a love poem to one of my favorite childhood drinks, that’s probably how I’d start it. But of course, if it were an ode to Ovaltine, then the “Jug of Ovaltine” and “Thou” would be a little redundant. That’s okay. I think you get the idea.
You know how you have those flavors from your childhood that just instantly give you comfort and take you back? I have to confess that Ovaltine does that for me. When I recently met their reps at the Type-A Parent conference, I think I overwhelmed them with my enthusiasm for the drink. I think the exchange went something like this:
“Hi, I’m Fadra.”
“Hi there. Would you like to try a sample of our new improved recipe?”
“Oh sure, I’d love to try it. In fact, I’ve been drinking Ovaltine since I was a kid. My mother was a big lover of Ovaltine and it’s all she gave us. I loved chocolate milk but she drank it because she loved the taste and knew it was packed with vitamins. It was in the orange jar. Do you remember the brown glass jar with the orange label? Which flavor was that? That was the flavor I always had. And my mother has several Ovaltine shakers. She has a plastic shaker and a metal shaker embossed with the word Ovaltine. So what do your recommend – shaking or stirring your Ovaltine?”
I’m not sure if they were impressed by me or frightened. But a few weeks later, here I am working with Ovaltine and spreading some of my enthusiasm with you.
Just in case you don’t believe me or doubt my childhood attachment to Ovaltine, I asked my mom if she might share some of her “collection.” Some moms collect little cutesy statues or sequined Christmas sweaters for the holidays. My mom collects Ovaltine stuff. That’s how big it is in my family.
The jars are a big thing. The one I remember most from my childhood was a short, fat, brown glass jar with an orange label. Yes, they really used to use glass jars. You’ll see some of the modernized versions of it here. Apparently, we always drank chocolate malt flavor.
As for the other jars? My mom is 25 years older than me but those were probably a little before her time. Or from a different country. I told you she was a collector!
She also sent me this picture, which I had never seen before. It’s a glass mixer she purchased from someone in England. It was made in the US but not really sure if it was sold here.
I guess it confirms what the Ovaltine reps told me when I asked if it should be shaken or stirred. The official company line is that Ovaltine is intended to be stirred. So I guess it’s settled.
Or is it?
My mom always shook her Ovaltine. And this is one of my favorite keepsakes of hers. It’s an old metal SHAKER. I totally hear what the company is recommending but my mom has been drinking this stuff since she was three years old (probably longer than most of them have been alive) so my vote is for shaking.
I’m wondering if you’ve ever had the chance to experience Ovaltine goodness. I’ve talked to some that say they’ve tried it and they don’t like it. I recently sampled the “New Improved Recipe” Chocolate flavor. While it sounds like marketing speak, it really is better than it’s been in the past few years.
I actually went out and got some right after the conference and it’s going to come in handy. I’m hosting an Ovaltine Awesome Wholesome Backyard BBQ this weekend where I plan to whip up some some healthy snacks using Ovaltine. Yeah, you can use it for cooking too. Who knew?