I grew up in a very autocratic household when it came to what you were allowed to drink at lunch or during snack time. Smuggling soda into the house was always a dangerous game involving sliding the can into your backpack and transporting it into the house, you’d think we were transporting plutonium. If my mother, or anyone else on the snitch payroll found us with a can of soda/pop/cola, trouble would soon ensue with lectures about the rotting of teeth, exploding stomachs, and sugar-high driven crime sprees. The Draconian laws of my household weren’t just extended to carbonated beverages, minimum real juice in your juice box was regulated at 30%, anything below that, or any juice that began with sugar on the ingredients list was immediately deemed unacceptable.
One of the illegal and banned substances in my house was Sun Top, a regionally produced (with the help of the Danes) juicebox that came in a multitude of flavors containing: sugar, water, a dash of vitamins and about 10% actual juice or juice concentrate. Since the juice didn’t meet the minimum juice requirement, it was immediately placed on the embargoed super market shopping list. Now here’s the juicy bit: Sun Top’s marketing team came up with peelable stickers on the sides of every single juicebox involving a zany polar bear on all sorts of adventures (skiing, extreme sports, driving a sports car, roaming the desert, etc). They even took it a step further by releasing sticker albums for you to collect all the little stickers involving the Sun Top bear and his corresponding adventures. All the kids in school were drinking Sun Top and were able to fill up their sticker books and cover their folders on a daily basis. Flaunting their multicolored little albums, the stickers and their books became a widely accepted form of legal tender in the schoolyard. My protests to get Sun Top on the “safe list” in my house were met with a firm “no” and retorted with suggestions to take freshly squeezed orange juice instead. When I explained the nature of the stickers and how I needed them, I was directed to the death stare from depths of hades. To flirt with the illegality of it all, I took my Sun Top substance abuse to frightening levels – nothing was going to get in the way of little elementary school me filling up those sticker books. Whenever away from the prying eyes of any adult, I would guzzle juicebox after juicebox – filling my body up with all that bad sugar water, but also filling up my sticker book with the highly coveted polar bear walking the tightrope, him competing in the karate competition, and the hard to find Olympics series. Under the covers, in the bathroom, in supermarket aisles, the car, and any chance I got, I forced myself to drink Sun Top. In hindsight, the house rules were justified, I should’ve stuck with the healthy stuff; and the stickers, I don’t even remember what happened to them, probably trashed’em.
Thankfully, KDD (Kuwait Danish Dairy) juice was on the safe list at home, and we freely dabbled in the luscious nectar of mango and passion fruit. I don’t know how to put it without stroking anyone’s already over inflated ego, but KDD mango just might be the best mango juicebox on this planet. If you think I’m joking, then go out and buy yourself one, and see for yourself.. it’s not called mango nectar for nothing.. Some of my closest kiwi friends in Boston would get cases and cases of the stuff, that we carefully rationed out till the next shipment. The “vip kdd mango” status I enjoyed was greatly appreciated because of a number of things #1 nostalgia factor #2 cure for homesickness (being in boston in the winter, a little bit of home went a long way) #3 deliciousness #4 I could bend the ration ruling and drink as many as I wanted. Paal paaal paaal. It was called Mango Nectar, cause it was so thick and just tasted so nourishing... My ultimate KDD flavors in order: Mango, Passion Fruit, Fruit cocktail, Guava, Apple, Grape, and Grapefruit.. (not a big fan of the orange)..
Since returning to Bahrain, I’ve remained loyal to the KDD juices and work doesn’t feel right without a juicebox or two. Nothing says aaaaaah, like a nice cold slurp of passion fruit.. drinking this stuff really takes me back..
A big thank you goes out to Chan'ad for letting me swipe the suntop sticker picture off his blog.. cheers mate..