“ A new version of Scottish favourite Creamola Foam Crystals „
When I was a child Creamola foam was a massive treat. A tiny tin of crystals which you mixed to make a slightly fizzy drink with a creamy head. I remember being allowed to make the drink up by myself and it was a huge novelty being allowed to do so. Creamola foam was discontinued several years ago and I have joined Facebook petitions to bring it back but the recipe was meant to be lost. I had heard that there were now copycat Creamola foam drinks on the market so when I spied Krakatoa crystals selling for £2.99 in a petrol station which has a sideline in retro sweets I had to have it.
Raspberry was always my favourite Creamola foam flavour and it was this flavour I picked up again. The 80g of crystals are a dark pink in colour and come in an boring plastic tub unlike the original which came in a shiny tin. The instructions tell you to add two teaspoons of crystals into a glass and then add water and stir. You then stir again to release a volcano of foam.
The novelty of mixing my own drinks does not seem quite as attractive as it did when I was a child but I was interested to see what would happen. I placed the crystals in the glass and once I added the water and stirred there was a slight fizzing. I stirred again as instructed and rather than a volcano of foam there was a tiny layer of white fluff on the top of my drink.
The foam itself tastes nice, it is frothy and creamy so it was a pity there was not more of it. The drink itself has a rather strange taste. despite being full of sugar it is rather sour and I can definitely taste the bicarbonate of soda which makes the drink fizz. I would not be able to identify the raspberry flavouring or even guess that it was meant to be fruit flavoured if it had not said so on the label.
The ingredients list of this drink are, as you may expect, not the healthiest. They are sugar, citric acid, bicarbonate of soda, malic acid, tartaric acid, gum arabic, sucralose, orange e160, quillaja extract, flavourings. The excess of acids might explain why my belly hurt after I drank Krakatoa and it is certainly not a drink I would give a young child.
Some things are best left in the past and Creamola foam is one of them.
If you read the review I posted a couple of weeks ago about Gillian Kyle's website, you will recall that I mentioned how Kyle used the artwork from the packaging for Creamola Foam Crystals - a drink which was a rare treat for me in childhood.
My memories of Creamola Foam are all very fond. My mother would only buy it as a treat so we only ever saw it at birthdays or holidays. Creamola Foam Crystals came in a small tub and you would add a heaped teaspoon to a glass of water, stir and wait for the foam to appear at the top of the highly coloured fruit flavour liquid.
What I loved about Creamola Foam was the fact it was both fizzy and had foam. The foam made me feel grown up as I only ever saw foam on drinks in scenes in the pub in Coronation Street and my mother was completely opposed to any fizzy drinks crossing our threshold so it was hugely different from the usual diluting orange we had.
Creamola Foam was available in a handful of flavours - I remember the raspberry one but my favourite was always the orange flavour and as I got older I would add more crystals to less water to produce a more foamy, fizzier and altogether fruitier drink.
I grew out of Creamola Foam in my late teens and was sad to learn production had ceased of this Glasgow manufactured confection in 1998.
~~Krakatoa Foamy Fruity Fizz~~
Last year when I was walking through East Kilbride Shopping Centre I noticed a poster outside a newsagents proclaiming to be selling the "new" Creamola Foam and I was able to pick up a small 80g plastic pot of crystals for £2.50. This was sold under the brand name Krakatoa Foamy Fruity Fizz and is manufactured by a company called Ally Bally Bees, a Fife based business who seem to specialise in producing sweet treats for the Scottish nostalgia market.
The pot claims to make 12 drinks so it's not dirt cheap - but then again Creamola Foam Crystals were never dirt cheap either and recalling the fact the drink was always such a treat for me, I didn't really mind the price - although it has to be said the pot isn't anything like as iconic as the old Creamola Foam Crystals tins that I recall from the 70s.
According to a well told urban myth, the recipe for Creamola Foam Crystals was lost after production ceased in 1998 and the recipe for replacement products has been calculated by analysing original tins of Creamola Foam found in old stores and cupboards over the years. Certainly this is the story being punted by a rival version of Creamola Foam Crystals which is called Kramola Fizz which is manufactured in Dumbarton but I must admit I have yet to see this for sale anywhere.
Apart from a colourful label showing a volcano erupting with several different fruits on the lid, the packaging for the Krakatoa drink is pretty basic. There is a very basic label on the bottom of the pot listing ingredients which looks like it was printed on any decent home printer. Not really a big deal I suppose but when I recall how much I loved the packaging of Creamola Foam Crystals it's a shame that this is so basic.
To make the drink up you place two heaped teaspoonfuls of crystals in a glass and fill with water. You stir for a few seconds and then wait for the crystals to dissolve before stirring again. Then voila - you have your drink!
Although I have incredibly fond memories of Creamola Foam Crystals, I was a bit nervous about trying this supposedly "new" version. I actually bought the pot several months ago and only finally decided to try it about a month ago.
Making it up was fairly easy. As per the instructions I put the crystals into a glass and added water. At first I was a bit disappointed - it seemed I was just getting a glass of orange coloured water with a paltry layer of foam on top. It is however very important to let the crystals dissolve - and that's why the instructions tell you to wait after the initial stirring of the concoction and then stir a second time. It was then that, a bit like a volcano, the foam started to appear on top of my drink in profusion.
I had bought the orange flavour Krakatoa drink and was met with a fairly dark orange coloured drink with a nice foam head.
The proof is in the taste however, and I was still nervous of this letting me down after the nostalgic glow I still have for Creamola Foam Crystals.
I took the plunge and sipped it through a straw and was met with a very sweet, slightly chemical and dare I say it vaguely familiar taste. The drink wasn't as fizzy as some carbonated drinks are but that's not something I particularly minded because I don't like drinks to be really fizzy anyway.
You can taste the orange flavour in this too - in fact I would go so far as to say the orange flavour is stronger than what you get in Fanta Orange even though I assume it is just as chemical. The foam at the top of the drink is nice and creamy too - and although I drank it through a straw the first time I tried Krakatoa I have since drunk it straight from the glass and happily got the Creamola Foam "moustache" that I recall getting in childhood.
What surprised me the most about the Krakatoa drink was how refreshing it was - I had expected it to just feel like a sweet, and obviously nostalgic, treat but it really helps to take the edge off my thirst when I drink it.
Now bearing in mind Creamola Foam Crystals were aimed mainly at children, I thought my daughter would love this - even though she is now 14 and therefore takes great delight in telling me to leave her alone and that nothing in life is fair. Unfortunately I think her experience with effervescent Vitamin C tablets put her off as she took one look at the glass and looked extremely wary.
I told her it was one of my favourite treats in childhood, hoping she might take an interest but unfortunately after a couple of sips she proclaimed it to be "rank" and left me to ponder the fact that Creamola Foam can join Blue Peter in the list of things I loved in childhood that my daughter hates.
Krakatoa Foamy Fruity Fizz drink is, as proclaimed on the label, a blast from past for adults who remember the original Creamola Foam Crystals from childhood. However I wonder if today's children are perhaps too sophisticated for it.
My daughter isn't denied fizzy drinks in the way I was - although I do try to limit them - so there's nothing particularly exciting for her in seeing the Krakatoa drink made up. Smaller children would probably appreciate it more and I imagine they would really enjoy making their own drink up with a spoon, a glass and some water.
Taste wise this isn't anything other than fruity, sweet and mildly fizzy with some chemical traces for good measure, so it's never going to compete with a glass of Tropicana, but for a gimmicky and fun little treat, it's perfectly acceptable and does help quench a thirst.
As for nutritional info I am afraid I cannot tell you exactly how bad for your teeth Krakatoa Foamy Fruity Fizz drink is because the packaging doesn't tell you. Sugar is the ingredient listed first however so I suppose that tells you all you need to know.
So in conclusion I would recommend this for say a childrens' party or for a nostalgic treat but you would probably be best advised to take a leaf out of my mother's book and reserve this for special occasions only. Even if it is great fun!
Sugar, Citric Acid, Bicarbonate of Soda, Malic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Gum Arabic, Sucralose Red e163/e60c, Quillaja Extract, Flavourings