A Logo From Another Time

by the other theo

Visiting with my grandparents on my Mom’s side when I was small brought many things.  There were the old toys in her attic.  There were the small 7 oz. bottles of what would now be called craft soda, but then was just a local soda company that just managed to hang on since who knows when.   There were visits to the neighborhood store built onto the back of the house where the owner lived a block up the hill that seemed to inevitably mean walking home with a piece of candy or two, some of which were shiny new brands and some decidedly retro for the time.  There was home baked bread.  There was french toast in the morning served with ridiculously thin bacon.  There were new TV shows, some of them classics; I first saw Speed Racer and Tom Baker-era Doctor Who while visiting my grandparents.

Among these many memories were different things to make chocolate milk.  I never developed a taste for plain milk.   I still like to have something in it, if I can.  At home, we always had either Nestle Quik or Hershey’s syrup.   When I visited my grandparents, it sometimes was one of two other things: Ovaltine (the malted kind, not the malt chocolate flavor) and Bosco syrup.

Ovaltine is something I’ve had other times since, either at my parents or since I moved away.   I still have a glass jar of the malt chocolate stuff in my pantry at home.   Globalization and the desire to provide maximum profit to investors may have resulted in the solid brown glass turning to brown plastic on the store shelves, but I just refill the old jar.

Bosco is more of a unicorn.   We never had it much in my parents house.  Sometimes an opened bottle would come home from my grandparents’ house, but it was either never carried locally or it was available at grocery stores where my Mom didn’t regularly shop.

It’s a memory that’s faded substantially over the years, but it never completely left me.   With the emergence of the Internet and the World Wide Web in the 1990’s, it was a name I could track down.   It was easy to see that it was still out there, but living thousands of miles from my parents meant that it wasn’t likely to show up in stores anywhere nearby (at least in those days.)   The makers of Bosco appear to be, by and large, dedicated brink-and-mortar loyalists who cultivate the nostalgia that their product generates.   Looking at their web site, I see that the few sellers near me are listed as seasonal, meaning good luck finding it.  That said, of course Bosco is available on Amazon.  It’s a big mistake to be otherwise, these days.

So, it was something of a surprise when I went to the hardware store of all places and spotted this:

IMG_1635I went in to get a LED light bulb, a most 21st century invention.  I came out with that, and a flood of memories from the Ford and Carter eras.

I’ll give the chocolate a B grade.   The chocolate is flavored with vanilla for a certain round flavor profile that elicits all kinds of nostalgia.  Those feelings are probably manufactured because my sense memory for taste isn’t that good.   The consistency and mouth feel of the chocolate let the bar down.   The chocolate feels a bit gritty, not smooth, as you eat it.   Still, the memories are priceless.

I guess I’ll have to get a bottle of the syrup online to meet the product again.  It’s been a long time.