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Mar 14, 2007 06:59 PM

What is the difference between a shake and a malt?

I don't want to sound dumb but what is the difference between them. I know a malt uses "malted milk" whatever that is. But what does it do for the taste or consistency?

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  1. Not much for consistency but taste - from Wikipedia - Malted milk is malted barley, wheat flour and whole milk evaporated into a powder. The taste difference is hard to describe - I personally like it particularly Malted Vanilla Milkshakes -

    If you have ever had the candy Whoppers - they malted milk covered in chocolate -

    1 Reply
    1. re: weinstein5

      Grapenuts are also flavored with malt.

      Malt is a sugar made from sprouted grain, usually barley. Malt seems to have fallen out of favor as a flavoring in the USA, but, judging from offerings in 'ethnic' markets and aisles, still popular elsewhere (Asia, India, Latin America).


    2. A shake generally has milk in it. A malt does not.

      20 Replies
      1. re: bookwormchef

        As I understand it a malt - is a milkshake with malted milk powder added -

        1. re: weinstein5

          I think that you are correct. Also, a shake, although technically called a milk shake does not necessarily have milk in it, just ice cream.

          I love malt and use to buy carnation malt in a glass jar and add a couple of spoonfuls to my ice cold milk. Now I can't find it to buy. :(

          1. re: justagthing

            When I was a kid, and soda fountains were still common (early fifties), both had milk in them - one was simply a "Milk Shake" and the other, the one that was basically a milk shake with malt powder added, was a "Malted Milk Shake" ("malt" for short).

            1. re: Striver

     it was ice cream, milk, whatever flavor and malt or no malt...where those better?

              1. re: justagthing

                That was my experience (ie milk, ice cream - that was the flavor source mostly - and either malt or no malt). The one time I ordered a malted milk locally, they did it right and dumby me was incensed and unhappy. I rigidly stuck to milk shake after that.

                1. re: justagthing

                  Not a case of better, just different. BTW if no milk was used it wasn't a shake - it was a "soda" or a "float" where i was raised. Again, not better, just different. This thread has stirred dormant cravings - all different, all good.

                  1. re: DockPotato

                    Shouldn't a soda be made with soda water?

              2. re: justagthing

                I bought some Carnation Malt just last week from a regular grocery store...and had a glass for breakfast this morning. Granted the jar is plastic now, but it's malt for sure.

                1. re: ballulah

                  what part of the country is that and can you say which market? thanks

                  1. re: justagthing

                    I'm in NYC and it was just my local supermarket, actually it's the market in my area with the poorest selection of goods unless you're looking for Mexican ingredients. Bravo Supermarket (you don't find these in "better" neighborhoods! haha) on 181st and Broadway. I don't think it was a Latin import.

                    1. re: justagthing

                      If you are talking about Carnation Malted Milk mix, Von's would sell it. I'm guessing you are in the LA area from your profile posts. Here's a link to Safeway (aka Von's). It can be ordered online too if this is what you are looking for.

                      1. re: rworange

                        thanks, i'll go and check my local von's

                  2. re: justagthing

                    I'd been looking for malt for a long time, and finally gave up. But just last week I was shopping in Shop Rite in Wilmington, DE and found it on the shelf, right next to the chocolate syrup and Ovaltine.

                    1. re: justagthing

                      justaqthing- How was it made if it had no milk? What liquid was used to blend it?

                      I worked at a Baskin Robbins for awhile as a teen. In my area (NYC) a milk shake is milk and ice cream run through a mixer. Consistency is as thick as possible but still able to drink through a straw. A malt / malted is a milk shake with malt powder or syrup added. An ice cream soda is a scoop of ice cream in a tall glass that was then filled with soda, preferably root beer. And an egg cream is a little milk, some chocolate or vanilla syrup and then filled with seltzer.

                      1. re: JMF

                        funny, when i use to make them at home i just used ice cream that was a bit melted and then added my strawberries or whatever. but what i really like is root beer and vanilla to make a shake, not a float, so therefore, no milk...suppose I was making it wrong, but it sure tasted right :)

                        1. re: JMF

                          Ice cream in a glass with flavored soda pop is not a soda, but a float, the root beer ones also being called "Black Cows." An ice cream soda is ice cream in a glass, fruit or chocolate syrup added, carbonated soda water poured in, then finished off with the soda faucet pushed or pulled into the "squirt" position, where a very thin, high-speed jet creates a lot of creamy foam as a topping.

                          The possibilities of inventing fountain drinks are so many and varied that they won't necessarily all fit some existing name. My home favorite is to break a banana into a tall glass, add about a cup of milk and a heaping soup-spoon of Chocolate Malt Ovaltine and dump it into the blender. I'll add a scoop of ice cream if I'm feeling deeply self-indulgent...

                        2. re: justagthing

                          they sell it at kmart and giant eagle

                        3. re: weinstein5

                          My parents had a small restaurant (ie. greasy spoon) up until the mid 60's in Toronto...they always had 'malt powder' that you added to a regular milk shake(chocolate ice cream, milk and chocolate syrup (or vanilla syrup, vanilla ice cream & milk) The malt powder tasted sweet and if you held it on your tongue long enough it turned into a sweet and rich blob which you could then eat as a candy. The Malt Powder came in a rather large tin which was always kept on the shelf above the ice cream freezer along with the syrups and the tin (?) containers to make and serve the Shakes !

                          1. re: pearlD

                            ok, I would take a spoonful or two and put it in my milk and then take a spoonful to play with, dipping it in the milk, licking it off and then doing exactly what you said, taking a spoonful in my mouth. yummy!

                        4. re: bookwormchef

                          Bookwormchef, I spent several decades ordering malts at soda fountains where I sat at the counter watching the malt being made, and I guarantee you that through the 1930's, 1940's, 1940's, and 1960's when malts abounded, milk was used in the preparation along with ice cream, malted milk powder, and flavoring (like chocolate syrup). Also I have made them with milk at home for longer than that. Ice cream alone would make the mixture too thick to be processed in a malted milk mixer and it wouldn't go through a straw.

                        5. A malted is a milk shake that has malt powder or syrup added. They are sooo much better. there isn't much that beats a peach malted.

                          1. Horlicks works if you can get it in the USA

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: smartie

                              I just saw some Horlicks today at the local chinese supermarket. I hear its very popular in Hong Kong.

                              is ovaltine a malt based drink?

                              1. re: bitsubeats

                                if it is, it sure doesn't taste as good as good ol' malt

                                1. re: bitsubeats

                                  Yes, Ovaltine is chocolate malt. And if you buy the Asian branded Ovaltines in Asian markets, you will find a product that is much less sweet and "chocolatey," and way more malty than the American product.

                                  Horlicks, otoh, is even less sweet. I like it, but it's much more malty than Americans normally like

                              2. I think you'll find that milkshake terminology varies greatly from region to region. In New England, a milkshake or shake is ice cream and milk. In other parts of the country, a shake, or milkshake, has no ice cream. Even more specifically, if you ask for a frappe in the Boston area, you'll get milk and ice cream. In Rhode Island, the same is called a cabinet. Then, there's the Fribble or the Awful Awful.... =)

                                You can add "malted" to any of them.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: dukegirl

                                  In NYC, a "frappe" used to be another word for an ice cream sundae. We never asked for a milk shake at the corner candy store in Brooklyn -- we always asked for a malted.

                                  1. re: dukegirl

                                    My first job was at a dairy bar in Middleboro, Massachusetts (near Cape Cod). If you asked for a "milkshake" you got milk and flavored syrup, whipped up with the blender. You ordered a "frappe" if you wanted ice cream, milk, and flavored syrup. And we didn't serve malts at all.

                                    1. re: manraysky

                                      Yeah, I never remembered the malt option at all when I was a kid in Massachusetts, but I'm starting to see it a bit more often now.

                                    2. re: dukegirl

                                      I grew up a little north Boston and used to love getting vanilla frappes at Friendly's on a hot summer day. I used to suck up the milk with the straw and then pour as much of the ice cream and milk mixture into my mouth that I could stand without getting "head freeze". Even in Boston today when I order a frappe the young servers look at me like I'm a dinosaur. I thing Brighams had frappes also, not to be confused with the Friendly's fribble...

                                      1. re: BostonBarGuy

                                        Ah, was it Brighams who had the Awful Awful?