November 15, 2006

Cico Drinks and Other Nostalgias

My kids were eating their lunch today and I asked Cecilia if she wanted orange juice and she shook her head "no" and asked for a juice box instead (I like to keep those for school lunches and outings) and I was thinking how lucky American kids are to have so many things to choose from (or are they?). I tell the boys sometimes how life was when I was a child.I grew up in Communist Romania in one of the poorest times of that country. When it came to choosing a juice to drink, the only choices I had were black Cico (read chicco), a kind of cheap Coke immitation, or yellow Cico, the cheap Romanian version of orange soda; even those, I only got the chance to drink when I was going to a pastry shop ("cofetaria", a place where they're selling little cakes and other desserts and Cico, of course :), very popular places to hang out at, in Romania and most European countries, kind of like Starbucks in America). But it's not like we ever had Cico at home in the fridge. A few times during my childhood I actually had the chance to drink real Coke (I don't tell that to my kids cause then they'll be like "Mom, then why are we not allowed to drink Coke?"), Coke was only served at the seaside (Black Sea) because there were foreign tourists coming there and at some expensive restaurants.
The only kinds of juices I remember drinking at home were (luckily for me) healthy homemade ones because there weren't any fruit juices to buy. When mom or grandma were making apple pie (a very different recipe than the American one), the juice that was left from the apples was given to the kids (my cousins and I). During the summer (I think) we kids (including the neighborhood kids)would go and pick these white flowers from a certain type of tree ( called "soc" in Romanian, I don't know what it's called in English) and the grown-ups would make a slightly alcoholized beverage out of them (and yes kids were allowed to drink it, it was actually the beverage of choice for children's birthday parties, and no, I don't remember ever getting drunk from it).
Writing this makes me a little nostalgic. Do people still make "suc de soc" there? I would like to drink some next time I go to Romania, for old times sake.
And weirdely enough I kind of miss the taste of yellow Cico too. Maybe I should try to get the recipe and open a Cico stand here in Edmonds. Would there be any takers? I doubt it :)

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