In my childhood days, when chocolates were rationed to one a week, and Ma Hog stole my Easter eggs, I turned to various alternative sources in order to get my sweet fix. Sugar cubes on café tables, niblets of raw jelly, cake-mix-covered beaters from my Granny’s kitchen – they all helped me get to the end of the week, when Ma would bring out the Chocolate Jar.
My ultimate fix, however, was a secret spoonful of drinking chocolate. Powdered undiluted crystals, mushed up in the mouth. Easy to do when your ma’s not looking –and hard to notice when levels are lowering too. Apparently undetected, I developed quite a habit.
Now, thank goodness, I control my own access to chocolate supplies. My powder-eating days have slipped by the wayside and spoonfuls only pass my lips through the medium of hot milk. Still, I look on my old habit fondly – and expect it is partly why I like Milo products so much.
Milo – if you don’t already know it – is a chocolate malted drinking powder, hailing from Australia. The company doesn’t limit itself to liquids, however. Namely they make the Milo Bar (my mother’s favourite): a solid malted bar dipped in rippling milk chocolate.
There are Milo Nuggets too, of course – though I only discovered them recently. Brought to me via Hong Kong– and the last of my cousin’s exotic treat haul – I opened a packet last week, and spent an ecstatic few minutes introducing each one to my belly.
There was something about the texture which really got my Happy Bells ringing. They were simple but delicious: compressed clumps of malted powder, modestly covered with a layer of thin milk chocolate. I loved the way they crunched and disintegrated, filling the gaps of my teeth, crumbling on my tongue. Did they transform into hot chocolate on the way down to my stomach? I like to think so – but it’d probably take a scalpel to find out (I think I’ll pass on that one, thanks)…
Anyway, with packaging and a chocolate shell, I feel like my childhood habit has been legitimised. It only begs the question: did Mr Milo’s mother steal his chocolate? Did she drive him to the powder with her rationing? If so, I’m mighty glad she did. Those nostalgia-filled Nuggets make it all worth while.