Wednesday, January 28, 2009
My Eyes Are Opened to the Ovo Malt Drink
In addition to Rivella, another popular drink in Switzerland is the "Ovomaltine," a chocolate malt drink that you can find in the refrigerated aisle as the "Ovo Drink." This chocolately beverage has an ephemeral malt aftertaste and light milky fragrance, and is one of Switzerland's top selling refreshments. Therefore, during my Swiss honeymoon, I made sure to load my travel pack with a few plastic bottles of this nutritious drink.
However, my whole experience with these milky malt drinks is clouded in ambiguity. Based on my Switzerland travel guidebook, I was informed that "Ovomaltine" and "Ovo Drinks" were the genuine Swiss food products, while "Ovaltine" (the product that we know in the U.S.) was considered by the Swiss to be merely a cheap imitation. However, Wikipedia informed me that Ovomaltine and Ovaltine are the same drink and made by the same company, but called "Ovomaltine" in Switzerland and "Ovaltine" in England. Irregardless of semantics, I rediscovered and came to love the Ovomaltine/Ovaltine drink during my time in Switzerland.
When I was a kid, I preferred to get my malt fix via chocolate-coated Whoppers, and my chocolate milk fix by mixing milk with the gooey chocolate syrup with the Nestle Quix Rabbit on the label. To me, an Ovaltine was just the drink in the Christmas Story movie, and along with Yoohoos, they were beverages of a bygone era that my parents loved but only purchased for me on very, very rare occasions. However, now that I have had the opportunity to rediscover the rich, chocolately and milky aroma of Ovaltine/Ovalmaltine as an adult, I now appreciate its timeless appeal.
If you are interested in more Swiss beverages, check out my previous experience with Rivella: