OPINION: Loveland’s New Strawberry Milk is Disappointing
I love strawberry milk. Strawberry as a flavor is generally less appreciated than others like chocolate, or even vanilla. Despite this, like an obscure 1980s movie with a cult following, strawberry milk certainly has its staunch defenders. I’m proud to consider myself one of them.
What I am not proud of, however, is the strawberry milk that Loveland High School introduced in the cafeteria a few weeks ago. I’m not going to mince words; it’s absolutely terrible. The presence of strawberry milk in Loveland High School’s cafeteria is often ephemeral. It comes and goes like the tide, often disappearing for months at a time. So imagine my surprise when, around three weeks ago, I entered the cafeteria only to see a somewhat-familiar pink carton waiting in the milk section. Somewhere on my phone, there is a text sent to a friend with a picture of a strawberry milk carton captioned “nature is healing.” To say I was excited was an understatement.
However, this excitement was not to last. Upon taking the first sip, it became abundantly clear that this was not strawberry milk. This was a disappointment. The taste, the color, it was all wrong. There are a number of complaints I could make about this weak imitation of strawberry milk, and each would probably get less and less publishable as I go on. However, to keep things at least somewhat brief, I will only talk about my two main grievances: the color and the taste.
There are some known truths of the world: Newton’s laws, cell theory, and, the most important of all, strawberry-anything will always be an ungodly shade of pink. If my strawberry milk isn’t a shade of pink that would make ten year-old me dissolve into ash at the mere sight, I don’t want it. The strawberry lie that haunts our cafeteria is paler than a ghost, and just as substantial. There’s absolutely zero color to it, save the sad refraction of the carton’s pink walls. Strawberry flavoring also has a very particular taste. It is not strawberry. It’s something else entirely, possibly eldritch, but incredibly identifiable. Some have claimed it is the pure taste of the color pink. Others claim whoever created it had never seen (or tasted) a strawberry before. Nonetheless, the taste is as unique as it is beloved. This abhorrent mockery of strawberry milk is a far cry from both the former and the latter. It tastes like someone thought really hard about strawberry flavoring from a municipality away. The flavor isn’t just weak, it's downright transparent. It's like a La Croix of a strawberry milk flavored La Croix. It's plain milk masquerading in an undeserved pink cloak, and deserves to be cast out from the cafeteria for its lies. There is the smallest glimmer of hope, the tiniest particle of that iconic strawberry taste, but it is washed away in an instant by a tide of shame and disappointment.
There doesn’t seem to be a solution to this problem, however. Most likely, we are stuck with this sad impostor until the school either changes providers or gets rid of it altogether. If the latter comes to fruition, I will not weep or mourn. No strawberry milk is better than bad strawberry milk, and this is surely the latter.