As some of you know, we spent some time in my home town this summer (northern hemisphere summer, winter in Australia). Perth is a small city on the west coast of Australia, and is the capital of the state of Western Australia.
I escaped from this city in December 2006. I’ve been back a few times for holidays. I go back to see family and friends. Or to attend to things like banking matters. Or just to be reminded of why I don’t live there anymore.
I’m not sure I ever want to live there again. But that’s not why I’m writing today.
I’m writing because Australia has some great food! I don’t mean ‘great’ like French cuisine ‘great’ or German sausage ‘great’. I mean ‘great’ like ‘that’s so disgustingly bad for you that you shouldn’t let it anywhere near your mouth – ever’.
I’m a bit of a junk food addict. Well, that’s not quite correct. I’m not an addict in the true sense.
I just like it a lot.
Anything that’s fatty/greasy or sugary is usually on my list of things to eat. Especially in Australia.
Think fish and chips. Fish is quite healthy, right? And potatoes are too, right? Right. Whack them in a deep fryer full of hot oil and I’ll be first in the queue.
Fairy floss? (or candy floss as it’s known in other parts of the world). Yes please. Give me that big ball of sugar and I’ll make it disappear in no time.
When we were in Australia this year, I tried to be reasonable when it came to shopping for things to take back to Moscow. We still had some travelling to do in Vietnam and Thailand after Australia and we didn’t want to fill our suitcases with crap from Perth.
But, we needed some Australian food to enjoy in Moscow.
So, we bought about 15 Cherry Ripes to take back to Moscow with us. If you don’t know what they are then you’re missing out on something truly amazing. (I just took some photos of the remaining ones for this post. There were 9 left. There are now 8 left).
We also picked up a couple of packets of Tim Tams (although we did find them in a supermarket in Bangkok as well so we bought a couple more from there, too).
And 2 small jars of Vegemite. Obligatory for all Australians living overseas.
I really wanted to get some Milo, but decided that it would just be much too big to carry around with us in Asia, so I sadly left Perth minus the big green tin.
I’d had some Milo in Moscow that my daughter and her husband had brought with them when they visited us for Christmas 2016. I rationed it and it lasted quite a long time. But it doesn’t last forever.
They also brought me Twisties, which are long gone. And Tim Tams, also gone. And probably something else but I forget because it was so long ago and my memory is fading as fast as the years.
So, it was with a heavy heart that we left Perth in July without the big green tin. Not even a little green tin. Nothing.
And so we went to Vietnam and after a wonderful couple of weeks there we went to our final destination before returning to Moscow – Thailand.
We decided not to spend our last few days in Bangkok and so headed to Kanchanaburi, only 2 – 3 hours by bus from Bangkok. It’s a nice little town; if you’re ever in Thailand head over there for a few days. There’s plenty to see and do and it’s a good place to relax. The photo of me on this page was taken in Kanchanaburi.
I’d read that there was a shop in Kanchanaburi which was like a mini-supermarket which stocked some ‘western’ products to cater to foreigners needs. So we set off to find it.
The shop is opposite the fresh market, but it looks just like all the other shops there. There was nothing to indicate that inside it there could be some hidden treasures – such as Milo.
But, Milo there was.
It takes a lot to make me happy, but I was happy that day. Or I was happy that minute. At least during the few seconds when I first saw the green bag sitting on the shelf waiting for me I was happy.
So, I bought a 1 kilogram bag of Milo in Kanchanaburi. I couldn’t wait to get home to Moscow and eat the chocolatey, crunchy powder. And drink it.
But wait I did. I was very patient and a couple of months back in Moscow passed and I still hadn’t opened the green bag yet.
That’s because I’d hidden it at the back of one of the kitchen cupboards and forgot I had it.
When I eventually remembered it and found it again, I couldn’t wait to open it and take a big spoonful of the delicious crunchy Milo-y Milo.
So I did. And I was bitterly disappointed.
I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t taste like the Milo that all Australians know and love. It tasted more like cocoa powder. Or Milo mixed with cocoa powder. Or something else.
But it didn’t taste like Milo.
I had been looking forward to the crunchy texture in my mouth. Crunchy crunch crunch. I was looking forward to making a Milo drink with cold milk and scooping the wet crunchy Milo from the top of the drink and eating it off the spoon.
You all know what I’m talking about, right? You do this too, don’t you?
But there was no crunchy Milo.
It tasted like cocoa and it wasn’t crunchy. It was powdery. And it was really sweet.
And I have 1 kilogram of it.
So, I asked my daughter to send me some photos of her Milo tin from Australia, so I could compare it with the information on the bag of Milo I bought in Thailand. And she did.
Let’s start with the pack design.
- They both have ‘Active-Go’ written on the packet/tin.
- They both show a boy playing sport (cricket in Australia and football in Thailand).
- They’re both green.
Now let’s look at the ingredients list.
|Extract of malt barley (16%) or malt barley and rice (total extract 35%)||Malt extract from barley 36%|
|Milk solids, sugar, cocoa, minerals (calcium, iron), maltodextrin (corn), vitamins (C, B3, A, B6, D, B2, B12), emulsifier (soy lecithin).
Contains gluten, milk and soy.
Skimmed milk powder 21%, sugar 18%, cocoa powder 12%, palm oil 9%, vitamin and mineral mixed 0.40%, stabilizer (maltodextrin), artificial flavour added.
Contains milk and barley.
So, what do you make of all of that, then? Interesting that the Australian Milo doesn’t give the percentages for each food ingredient, just a list.
Still, they look quite similar, don’t they? Well, maybe the ingredients look similar but they certainly don’t taste similar.
Unfortunately the Nutritional Information Panel on the Milo from Thailand is in Thai, so I can’t make any comparisons there.
Also something else that I find interesting is that the Australian Milo recommends making it with hot or cold skim milk (not hot water and then a dash of milk, as I’ve always done), and the Thai Milo clearly shows pictures on how to prepare it using hot water, then adding milk as required, with more cold milk and ice blocks for the cold version.
So, I guess that’s it then. I have a kilogram of Thai Milo to get through. And it’s not crunchy or tasty.
How long do you think it will take me?
PS. While writing this post, I ate one whole Cherry Ripe, scoffed several teaspoons of Thai non-crunchy Milo powder and drank a hot Thai Milo drink. I feel a bit sick now.