“Minum Milo Anda Jadi Sihat dan Kuat!”
Translation: Drink Milo and you’ll grow up healthy and strong!
When I was a kid (a lifetime ago!), I grew up on Milo. For the uninitiated, Milo is a sweet, chocolate-y drink produced by Nestle – it’s marketed as a healthy energy drink and like a lot of similar products, there’s a different formulation for different geographical locations. Milo made in Malaysia tastes significantly different from Milo made in the UK.
Every morning, I would drink a hot cup of Milo before I went to school. When I was ill, I was given Milo. There were those special Milo vans that dispensed free ice-cold Milo that tasted amazing in the heat. When I’m at the ‘mamak’, I loved ordering a Milo Dinosaur (a huge mug of Milo, with heaping spoonfuls of powdery Milo on top). Milo truly permeated every fabric of my existence!
A lasting memory of mine was visiting my favourite uncle (my father’s older brother) and his family in Ipoh every CNY and for special occasions – he would always greet me in the morning with “do you want a cup of Milo?” and proceeds to make the best cup of Milo ever. The ratio of hot water to Milo powder was spot on!
Milo is still very much a part of my Malaysian identity. However far I am away from Malaysia, I can always go through my food stash and make myself a cup of hot Milo if I’m feeling homesick. The smell and comforting sweet taste instantly transports me back to my childhood and my homeland.