Given the right balance, simplicity and nostalgia have the power to create something beautiful. I grew up in Hong Kong in the 80s and the iconic soy milk brand Vitasoy is forever part of my childhood. Even their popular jingle agrees. On cold winter days, I remember the warmth of holding a glass bottle of Vitasoy bought from the corner store. The metallic cooler would swap out its icy cold water from sweltering summer days to a warm bath in which the shapely glass bottles waited for eager hands. It was an occasional treat and I remember the difficult decision to choose between regular or malted flavour. While malted milk powder is associated with retro soda fountains in North America, I always think of it as a winter flavour that is a star in its own right.
I went to the local Chinese grocery store to pick up a few things last weekend. Right next to the checkout counter was a shelf loaded with large Tetra-pack containers of Vitasoy soy milk. I never saw them come in 1L size before so I picked up a box of malted flavour without any second thought. The obvious choice would be warming up a mug to sip by the fireplace. But I had other plans.