Milk with soda? Sounds a little strange at first, but apparently absolute bliss when sipped. Some say the drink is perfect for summer, since the combination of these two ingredients offers much-needed respite from the heat.
The drink is picking up on social media as the latest viral food trend after social media users discovered a video clip of Laverne DeFazio (played by Penny Marshall), from an episode of the popular 1970s American sitcom ‘Laverne & Shirley’, combining milk with soda in a large bucket and sipping it.
While it is what social media users are obsessing over currently, this combination is not new to the Punjab province of Pakistan where it originates, and is called doodh soda or pakola doodh which translates to carbonated milk.
Gulf News Food took a look at this food trend making headlines and spoke to Pakistani expatriates in the UAE, who explained what this drink is all about….
An unusually compelling combination
It is made usually in a metal glass with soda, like 7-up or sprite, after which we add sugar and milk to it. When mixed, it brings out a creamy texture and a sweet taste… it is also slightly fizzy.
“The thing about doodh soda is that it has an unusual combination that is tasty when you try it out for yourself,” explained the 27-year-old Dubai-based Pakistani expatriate Asim Jamil Muhammad, in conversation with Gulf News Food. “I was very young when I first tried it in Peshawar – maybe 4 or 5 years old. It is made usually in a metal glass with soda, like 7-up or sprite, after which we add sugar and milk to it. When mixed, it brings out a creamy texture and a sweet taste… it is also slightly fizzy. There are many street vendors in Pakistan who make this drink, especially during the summer months.
“We also consider it to be very healthy and nutritious, because it quenches your thirst in an instant and boosts energy. In Pakistan, people actually consider it healthier than drinking soda alone. Plus, if you eat with spicy food, you will be refreshed without feeling too full as it is light on the stomach.
“Sometimes, people even drink it in the mornings with kulchas (mildly leavened flatbread) or at night after dinner because they believe it eases out the digestion process. It is my favourite summer drink and it can even replace a midday meal.”
Packed with benefits and a few drawbacks
Often consumed during the summer, doodh soda is good as the combination brings out the benefits of electrolytes, which are a good source of energy. It helps with dehydration, primarily
Like Muhammad said, doodh soda is consumed with the firm belief that it is healthy for the body. We spoke to Fujairah-based Pakistani expatriate Dr Javeria Qureshi of Thumbay Hospital, who said: “There are pros and cons to the drink. Often consumed during the summer, doodh soda is good as the combination brings out the benefits of electrolytes, which are a good source of energy. It helps with dehydration, primarily.
“In terms of disadvantages, this drink may not be a good option for those with a sensitive stomach because milk is alkaline in nature and soda is acidic. It can lead to clotting in the stomach, if not mixed in equal proportions, and can also cause acidity. However, the benefits overpower the disadvantages.”
While it is the go-to summer drink for those in Pakistan, the drink was first made in Victorian England during the 1880s.
A summer drink for Victorian Era cyclists
According to US-based author and historian, Sarah A. Chrisman, who specialises in Victorian history, it was the “drink of choice for cyclists in the 1880s and 1990s”, as noted in her blog thisvictorianlife.com.
Eventually, the combination faded over time in England and emerged in Pakistan during the first half of the 19th century.