In 1904, a Swiss chemist, pharmacist, and business man invented one of my favorite drinks: Ovomaltine. Ovaltine as it is known elsewhere in the world is basically powdered malt with cocoa that you mix with hot or cold milk. It is a drink I automatically associate with Switzerland. When I visited Zurich a few years ago, I made sure to buy the largest bag of Ovomaltine I could fit into my carry-on. Through Ralphie’s obsession with the secret decoder ring in the movie A Christmas Story (1983) I learned about Ovaltine’s sponsorship for the radio show Little Orphan Annie (1931–1940). Conicidence? Well, I think us Annies just know what’s good.
The title photo is from that Zurich trip, where I read another of Friedrich Glauser’s novels called “Der Chinese” (1939). You can tell I’m a Glauser fan, right?