The second Weird soda I obtained from Bit O' Britain in Carlsbad is Fizzy Vimto. Here you can see it in a dignified setting, as befits a British soda.
And a better view. The backdrop is a lovely afghan knitted for me by my Aunt Barbara, who would probably be happy to know that it will now be seen by...er...the throngs which view this site. Throngs, I tell you!
It had a very cheerful-looking can, with something distinctly British about it. It actually seems to me that British junk food shares a sort of...er...
Me: "Hey, K-i-C? You're a literature person. What's the word to use when you're trying to say that a bunch of things share a set of common characteristics that they use to convey meaning? Milieu? Weltanschaaung? Gestalt?"
K-i-C: "Er. I don't think so."
Me: "Argh. Do you know what I'm talking about?"
K-i-C: "No. I was thinking about Euripides."
Dammit. Here I am, unable to come up with the right word, and my Lab partner is off thinking about interesting things unrelated to my needs. How could she?
Oh well. It seems to me that British junk food shares a certain set of common themes in its plumage, the primary element being a fairly short brand name which is simultaneously intriguing and uninformative. "Horbix", "Glutrio", and "Whangee" all seem like they could be good British junk food names*.
This name is typically displayed on a brightly-colored background, in a large, balloon-ish or otherwise curved font, and conveys no information about the nature of the product.
Vimto gives us a little help, at least. It bears the description "Fizzy", and there are images of fruit behind the logo, along with a liquid-looking purple splotch.
Sounds like a Weird soda!
Where and when: Purchased at Bit O' Britain in Carlsbad, CA
Color: Reddish-purple, slightly darker than the Tango. Transparent.
K-i-C: "Strangely, a bit pinkish. Well, not that strange, considering the smell."
Scent: Strong, sweet, berryish. Strong element of bubble gum.
Taste: Sweet, very sweet. Smooth, maybe a bit viscous. Tastes sort of like Concord grape jelly, the sort you find in tiny packets at 3 am at IHOP.
K-i-C: "This is the loudest soda I've ever drunk. Did you hear how loud the bubbles are? Like Pop Rocks. " *swig* "Tastes kind of like Pop Rocks, too."
The bubble gum flavor is there, along with a mild acidity. It's got a moderately mellow taste, like a fruit or berry punch, with grape being the strongest element for me.
K-i-C: "Didn't you hear the bubbles. Here, hold some in your mouth."
She's right. It's like Rice Krispies in there.
What's in this?
Quoth the back of the can:
"Mixed fruit juice drink made with the delicious secret Vimto flavour. A tantalising mix of secret herbs and spices, for the most amazing taste experience you'll ever have."
A mix of secret herbs and spices? My God...it's British Kentucky Fried Chicken Soda!
Okay, maybe not. It lists the ingredients as being carbonated water, sucrose, mixed fruit juices (grape, blackcurrant, and raspberry), and "Vimto Flavour". This last is further described as containing fruits, herbs, barley malt and spices.
I really don't taste the barley, but I can believe it. The secrets of the Vimto Flavour are mysteries perhaps beyond the fathoming even of a Quaffmaster.
It's got a reasonably pleasant fruit flavor, with a strong grape and berry tone, a big bubble gum component, and an unusually smooth texture (especially considering the strong fizziness). Not bad, but not really magnificent.
Quaff rating: 3. Fairly pleasant, but ordinary. I like it sort of as I like Fanta Orange. I'd happily drink it if someone handed it to me, but probably wouldn't seek it out.
Cough rating: 0.5. Strongly sweet, and I don't care for the bubble gum.
* They are also good names for Great Old Ones**.
** Or first-year Latin porn stars
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