Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cod Liver Oil.

Fashionable supplements come and go but the good old cold liver oil stays and it is the only one for me. I have been on it since I can remember and I can tell you that over the years, they have added things in it to make it taste less and less like the good cod liver oil I once knew. Now it tastes like vanilla, with a bit of orange. It's not the same but I have no complaint whatsoever. I guess things change over time, and they've gotta make it more palatable to the younger generation although I doubt if the younger generation would want to gulp a spoonful of the emulsion down first thing in the morning, or before bedtime.
I remember the minyak ikan hospital Dungun. It's about the worst medicine you could have if you had been down with fever or something like that. It had the cooking oil look, rich golden yellow. In a bottle it looked pretty harmless, but wait till Grandma poured it into a spoon and asked you to take it in like a good boy. It would slide down your throat, sticking to the walls for days that you didn't want to have anything to do with fish or whatsoever for the rest of your life. Maybe you liked it when you were my age, about 10 or thereabout. But I hated it until Aunt said there's another form of minyak ikan that looked like smooth cream and it had orang putih name to it, Scott's. I said you go get it right now or I'm running away from this house and not coming back. Grandma said, why don't you go down to Leong Thye's shop to find out. And so I cycled down to the shop to ask Mr Leong Thye himself whether he got this wonderful alternative to minyak ikan hospital Dungun and he said, you mean Scott's Emulsion? I liked the name already, it sounded so Orang Putih, so Australian, no so Irish.
And that's how I was introduced to Scott's Emulsion, the only cod liver oil I have been taking until now. Cousin introduced something called Waterbury's Compound but Aunt found out later that it had alcohol. And so it was Scott's Emulsion all way until the early 90s when all kinds of supplements flooded the market with garlic pills, ginkgo biloba and all kinds of extracts like tongkat pak abu or something, or kacip maksom or something like that. All this is supposed to be good for you. But I wasn't convinced. Nothing beats the creamy white stuff in a bottle with a picture of a guy carrying a fish as big as the man himself.