Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Oronamin Experiment: Day 1

A discussion with one of my students about last week's experience with the Final Fantasy XII Potion led to a discussion of other Japanese products that tout themselves as genki drinks (where the meaning of genki is unclear, but probably has something to do with "bringing healthiness for your happy life"). One of the most popular of those "little brown bottle" drinks is Oronamin C, a carbonated, vitamin-enriched mixture that looks and tastes something like Mountain Dew plus grape. It's not as heavy on the behavior-altering chemicals as some of the other genki drinks out there, which makes Oronamin C popular with kids and adults alike.

My student pointed out to me that the official Oronamin C Website has a page of recommended "oishii recipes" involving the drink: Oronamin Milk, Oronamin Shake, Oronamin Float and Oronamin Beer. Based on this fascinating find, my student made an excellent suggestion: To try each of these recipes and write about them on my blog.

Starting today, I will try one Oronamin recipe a day until I've done all four, or my stomach explodes, whichever happens first. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Day 1 of the Oronamin Experiment is Oronamin Milk. Of the four recipes suggested, Oronamin Milk was seemed to be the most probable according to other students I asked. Some of them even told me they had tried it themselves. I, however, wasn't completely sold on the idea of mixing milk with a carbonated soft drink. It seemed wrong, in the same way that hating kittens is wrong.

Still, I dutifully followed the website's instructions, mixing equal parts milk and Oronamin C, yielding a result that looked mostly like yellowish milk. The amazing thing is that the two flavors seemed to cancel each other out completely. Oronamin C is apparently the olfactory opposite of non-fat milk, because their combination in equal parts had almost no flavor whatsoever. Amazing! To put it in quantitative terms:

[Oronamin C] + [non-fat milk] = 0

I'd like to point out, additionally, that the Oronamin C website also suggests slowly adding milk to a glass of Oronamin C with ice. The two are then supposed to separate, resulting in a layered mixture you can drink creatively by adjusting the depth of your straw to "achieve new flavors!" Please excuse me while I do anything but that. As if I didn't already feel that Oronamin C and milk go together like oil and water.

Tomorrow: The dreaded Oronamin Shake (hint: does not involve ice cream)!

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