Huffpost Taste

Carnation Instant Breakfast Made Childhood Mornings Better

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Flickr: bluebike
Flickr: bluebike

Before you read on, please note that this post was in no way sponsored by the Carnation Brand. It comes only from a deep nostalgic affection for this morning drink by more than one of the editors at HuffPost Taste.

I'm not sure what people think about Carnation Instant Breakfast today (now known as Carnation Breakfast Essentials). I'm not even sure how I feel about this product and its long list of hard-to-pronounce ingredients anymore. But when I think about Carnation Instant Breakfast I instantly feel like I'm 10 again. And I remember how this breakfast drink made mornings so much better.

Mornings are rough for many of us. And just because kids are filled with endless amounts of energy, that doesn't spare them from the dreariness that is waking up early. And being raised by parents who were also not morning people meant that I did not wake up to a hot stack of pancakes or a plate of scrambled eggs -- I doubt that many of us actually did. Not even a bowl of cereal was waiting.

But it didn't matter, because there was Carnation Instant Breakfast. And it could be made and drank in under a minute flat. For that alone, I'm forever grateful to this breakfast drink.

If you've never had Carnation Instant Breakfast, don't be fooled into thinking it's something special. This drink is nothing more than a flavored powdered milk -- that comes in chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and variations on those flavors -- which you add to a tall glass of cold milk. It's essentially chocolate milk (or strawberry, or vanilla), only creamier because it has milk powder in it. And we suspect this is part of the secret to its amazingness.

But there are other factors, simple pleasures really, that made this drink so great. Like the fact that it let you drink your breakfast through a straw; the powder pebbles that inevitably sprinkled the top of the glass -- no matter how much you stirred -- that would crunch and explode (in a good way) when you ate them; and for that pocket of sugary powder that awaited you at the end of your glass. These might seem like insignificant perks of a hopped-up glass of milk, but they made all the difference to this 10-year-old.

Remembering this drink in such detail makes me want to drink one again. But I won't, because it's one of those memories I just don't want to taint. What foods do you remember fondly (or not so fondly) from your childhood? Share them with us in the comments below.

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If you're up to making breakfast this morning, these recipes are perfect.

Filed by Julie R. Thomson