Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 10/02/99

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Fruita! Fruita! Kinda rhymes with hooter!

It's very hard to find original soft drinks on the market these days. In the course of my professional life, I get to travel more than the average street sweeper, but it seems that things go better with Coke on a worldwide basis. Not that I've got anything against The Real Thing -- I even own a Coke recipe book -- but just occasionally you crave something a bit more diverse.

For this reason, I look back in particular affection at Fruita, a soft drink which I consumed in inordinate amounts during my childhood. Fruita was (and is) manufactured by South Australian drink company Halls, which meant that I only got to sample it during our biannual Christmas visits to the grandparents.

One of the few things to look forward to on that long, long journey from Armidale to Swan Reach (which takes at least two days, and can take four when you have a carful of screaming brats whose patience for travel is, frankly, low) was the thought that a bottle (or, more likely, a case) of Fruita was waiting at the end of the journey. In fact, normally we didn't have to wait that long; Mildura (which used to be the third overnight stop on our journey) normally also had supplies.

So what's so special about Fruita? Don't ask me, I just like it. The nearest equivalent available in NSW is Fruitipyne from Shelley's, but despite being a similar colour -- a kind of dayglo passionfruit orange -- the taste isn't quite the same. Enjoyable, but not addictive.

On a recent return visit to SA (for my grandmother's wedding, a story which I'll have to tell another time) I swooped upon the first bottle of Fruita that presented itself. I'm pleased to report that it tastes as good as ever it did, and now comes in that seemingly mandatory 600ml bottle. However, there's a twist; when I read the bottle, it emerged that Halls has been bought out by . . . Coca-Cola Bottlers.

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