Calpico Fermented Milk Soft Drink: Strawberry Flavor
Several weeks ago Katie and I were shopping at New Sagaya, a grocery store here in town that’s sort of a cross between a little health/natural food store and a little Asian market. They always have some product on sale from Asia or the South Pacific that I’ve never seen before and that is so culturally different from my normal fare that it just looks bizarre. Such was the case with this beverage in the happy-looking can.
The can was the first thing that caught my eye, but as soon as I took a closer look at it, I had to buy it. “Fermented Milk Soft Drink,” announced the label with proudly. “?,” I thought. I asked Katie what she thought it might be and she shrugged her shoulders and went back to selecting chicken for our dinner. “I’m buying it,” I declared. Katie smiled indulgently and asked if I planned on drinking it. “Yes!”
Six weeks later the can sat on a shelf taunting me, its harmless, friendly packaging design concealing who-knows-what sour, lip-pinching, eye-squinting flavors. I knew I had to drink it. I should not be intimidated by a beverage. But I couldn’t. At first I thought I was afraid, but I realized it wasn’t fear. It was fascination. The potential, what it could taste like, was keeping me from drinking it. It was exciting and I didn’t want to be disappointed.
I mentioned it to some friends, who were nearly unanimous in their encouragement. So I did it. Last night I drank it. Here’s how it went.
|When I got home from work on Wednesday afternoon, it was waiting for me in the fridge. I had left it next to the yogurt and ricotta cheese, hoping it would feel at home near other dairy products. I like my food to be happy, not sad.|
|Straight from the can, or in a glass? From the can might be a more “natural” experience; it’s how I would drink any other soda. But I opted for the glass. I wanted to see the beverage. I needed a complete sensory evaluation.|
|I was surprised by the soda’s appearance when I started pouring it from the can. I expected it to be kind of thick, but it was just like regular soda. I started to wonder if I should have shaken the can to mix up settled material, but then I realized that it would be silly to expect consumers to shake up a can of carbonated liquid.|
|So there it stood. Pink. Fizzy. Daring me to pick it up. To ignore its Pepto-Bismal color and enjoy its tangy, bubbly essence. It was go time.|
|I tentatively took my first sip. I didn’t know what to expect at this point. The consitency had thrown me for a loop. It didn’t seem as bubbly as should have either. Had I gotten a bad can? What if this was something that I would like in its pure, correct state but ended up hating because of bad packing and a short shelf life? How would I ever know? There was nought for it but to drink.|
Think of thinning down some Strawberry Quik with mineral water. That gets pretty close, but that would just be sweet. Fermented Milk Soft Drink has the extra tang of fermentation to it. It really is unlike anything I’ve drunk before. I am quite glad to have overcome my trepidation and expanded my horizons.
|Overall, I would say that Calpico Fermented Milk Soft Drink: Strawberry Flavor is a Good Thing. Will it replace Dr. Pepper as my #1 soda? Nah. Will I keep it in stock around the house? Maybe. Will I have it with lunch when we go back to New Sagaya sometime? You betcha!|
Katie, my beloved wife and bemused partner in many of my goofy escapades, also tried the Fermented Milk Soft Drink. The poor woman came home from a ten hour shift at the veterinary clinic where she works and I was standing there with this oddball drink in my hand saying “Take my picture while I drink this! Now you drink some while I take your picture!” Her reaction was quite different and is displayed below.
|First, sniff it.|
|Second, sip it.|
|Third, try to figure out how to get the taste out of your mouth.|