Milkshakes in modern plastic containers don't taste the same as old fashioned milkshakes. They came in a metal container, sometimes with a paper straw. Fluffy and cold. All kinds of flavours. I preferred blue heaven, partly because of the blue smothered lips and tongue it left you with. Or perhaps a vanilla with malt for an even sweeter treat.
There was something healthy about them, made up of so much milk. The sweet flavouring was all sugar but that didn't seem to matter in those days. Food was about pleasure and enjoyment for its taste and the occasion. Worries about health and weight didn't seem to come into the picture as it does today. Spoiling the fun of eating out.
Milk played a big role in my childhood. Firstly there was the milk served at school, served at playtime, warmed by sitting in the sun. Partly curdled, I couldn't stomach it then and I've been known to recoil years later at the thought of it. Teachers, well intentioned, no doubt, encouraged or perhaps insisted that we drink it all. I learnt over time to find ways to avoid it, to pretend I'd had it, to give it to other kids who didn't mind it so much, or to tip it out without anyone seeing. It's a wonder than that I could enjoy milkshakes after that experience. As long as it was cold and flavoured it seemed to be ok and I could forget the experiences of the sun laden milk.
Then during my adolescence we bought our very own milk bar. Milk bars were common then, one on each block. This one was close to an industrial area so profited from the local residents as well as workers during the week. I was allowed to play shopkeeper on weekends and that allowed me to eat or drink what I wanted as my payment, I would sometimes make myself a milkshake, or even when adventurous or not bothered to make it for myself or influenced by the advertising targeting my age group, have a Big M packaged flavoured milk. Perhaps in the hope of looking like a beach loving Big M girl, popular, confident and fun loving.
Milk for me now comes in the form of a skinny latte or the occasional thick shake. Certainly not on par with those old fashioned milkshakes.