Last summer I followed my springtime plan and took a jet plane on an early summer trip to Victoria, British Columbia. One warm afternoon while sitting on a bench, I savored a milkshake, a vanilla malt to be specific.
I ordered the shake asking for vanilla gelato, malt and real milk. And that's what I got, I think. As I sipped the creamy malt and observed my surroundings overlooking a boat harbor I was in heaven, sort of.
An older couple from the United Kingdom befriended me. They, like me, noticed the locals were a bit aloof with a strong vibe of arrogance. It made me think of me at home at Tahoe. Sometimes, when running errands dodging tourists, I can be a bit on the cool side while standing in swirl cookie lines at stores or eateries.
The man and woman were pleasant, reminding me we were tourists and the "attitude" wasn't in my imagination. We laughed and talked, making me feel comfortable and not so isolated in a strange land.
I enjoyed the home-style malted milkshake, one offered at soda shops around the world. There's something about the distinct taste of malt that made me feel at safe, cozy and at home.
After all, at our grocery stores I have scooped out chocolate malt balls from the bins and have also purchased boxes of Whoppers at the movies. The flavor you get from candy is similar in the vanilla malt.
I used to drop by at 31 Flavors and order a chocolate malt milkshake requesting extra vanilla ice cream, low-fat milk, malt powder and chocolate syrup.
When you add malted milk powder you've got a malted milkshake or malt shake. Often these include chocolate, but it can be just vanilla. Malted milk powder is a sweetener (made from barley malt, wheat, milk, and salt) and is super to whip up a classic parlor-type malted milkshake.
This shake is Canada-inspired and simply just as good at home on the South Shore.
Old-Fashioned Malt Parlor Vanilla Malt
2 tablespoons malted milk powder (I ordered a pricey name brand online)
½ cup organic half-and-half (it's richer and creamier than low-fat)
1 cup vanilla bean gelato (premium brand)
1 capful pure vanilla extract
Garnishes (optional): mint leaves, chocolate shavings
Whipped cream (optional)
In a blender, pour in malted milk powder and half-and-half. Add gelato (let it soften for about 10 minutes in room temperature), and vanilla extract. Blend for less than a minute to keep creamy and thick.
Makes one large shake. Serve in a pretty glass with a straw and spoon. Garnish as you please. Serves one or two.
To increase the protein and fiber in your malt milkshake try adding California walnuts or almonds and fresh strawberries or blackberries from our West Coast.
While this malted shake contains sugar because of the gelato (which also boasts some protein and calcium), treats like this one are a treat, so moderation is key. No, making a sweet beverage isn't the same as whisking off to Victoria but it can make you feel chill while enjoying the Lake or trees in our neck of the woods.
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.