Earlier this summer, I discovered a new (or, new to me at least) product in Johnson City, TN, called Magic Straws!
I am a fan of chocolate (and occasionally, strawberry) milk. But the only one that is safe for me to get is Nesquik. Nesquik tends to be pricey, however, and it's not available for purchase in every store. Sure, I could get some Hershey's syrup and make my own at home, but one of the primary ingredients is High Fructose Corn Syrup, which we're eliminating from our diet.
These Magic Straws looked really good, but while the individual packages said they were gluten free, they didn't say anything about the facility in which they were made. Some of you may remember my post from this summer about Edy's ice cream. Supposed to be gluten free, ran on shared lines, not admitted anywhere. So my willingness to take a chance on shared facility products has been greatly diminished.
I emailed the company, and to my delight, this is the response I received from Deanna Hawke:
I am happy to let you know that our manufacturing facility is 100% gluten free.
She also sent me a list of flavors, where I could find them, and on-line ordering options. Sadly, the closest place that I could purchase them in person was in Johnson City, TN. I let Deanna know that I would pick up a package as soon as I could, and would let her know when I had reviewed them on my blog.
She very kindly offered to send me a sample package for free. When I received them, I wrote her back and let her know that I would review them after I had sampled them all. I have now tried all 4 flavors, and here are my thoughts!
Chocolate: This was, by far, my favorite. A slightly sweet, subtle taste of chocolate. So much more real tasting than drink syrups, which have begun to taste more and more like plastic over the years.
If you grew up in the '70s and '80s, I'm sure you'll remember dolls like "Strawberry Shortcake". These dolls varied from soft to hard plastic, and came with a (usually light) fruity scent, which, no matter how hard the company tried, still had an underlying scent of plastic to it. This is how flavored drinks have tasted to me for years. Even if I got Hershey's syrup in a can, it still tasted like plastic, which is quite a change from my remembered childhood tastes of it!
If you've been missing a true chocolate milk experience, you'll want to give these a try.
Strawberry: Tastes like the best strawberry ice cream I ever had, and, like the chocolate, not too sweet.
Vanilla Milkshake: Before I began boycotting Chick-fil-a, I used to love getting a cup of their "Ice Dream" ice cream. A wonderful, pure, old-fashioned vanilla flavor. Just sweet enough. Reminded me of when my Mom used to make "Junket" for me when I was a kid. Mmmmmmmmm!
Orange Cream: This is the only one I didn't really care for. I had hopes that it would be like the Creamsicle or "Push-Pop" of my childhood days, and in a sense, it was. Once the milk was in the straw, I was able to suck a few of the 'flavor beads' out of it and try them on their own. In tasting them that way, I did get that wonderful remembered flavor on my tongue. But with a full straw of milk, I'm afraid the milk came across as a tad sour-tasting to me.
This is how Magic Straws work. The ends of each straw are "pinched". This allows milk through, but keeps the 'flavor beads' in the center. Put the straw in your glass of milk. As the milk flows through the straw, it draws the flavor in the straw with it!
I am taking my remaining Strawberry and Vanilla straws with me for our trip to NY next month. I know I can always get plain milk at just about any convenience store we stop at, and this gives me a way to have flavored milk which is completely safe for me! Hooray! No mess, either, so if you're travelling with kids who are old enough to use straws, this may be a great new option for you. Be sure to check out the Magic Straws nutrition information to see how they compare to fruit juice, syrups/powders, sodas, etc!
This product is also DAIRY and NUT free, so you if you are intolerant/allergic to either of those, you could still enjoy the Magic Straws in another beverage. They are also safe for people with Corn and Soy Allergies
Other flavors include: Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Wild Berry, Banana, Strawberry Banana, and Chocolate Candy Cane (which I'm told will be coming out for the winter holidays).
Check them out here!
If you get to try some of the other flavors, please comment and let me know what you thought!