New Lane's icecream is just the tonic
Oamaru's own icecream outlet in the Victorian Precinct has a new icecream flavour and it is closely linked with both the early history of the town and the building it is sold from.
Deja Moo icecream owner Shaun Osborne operates his business from the Lane's Emulsion Building where the tonic was developed and marketed by Edward Lane in 1898.
The original recipe for the tonic was purchased in 1971 by Crombie and Price, of Oamaru, who manufactured it until the early 1980s when, as Bevan Crombie says, it was overtaken by other health products.
Mr Crombie recalled the days when brandy, one of the additives of the tonic, was imported in hogsheads from France and the amount required to manufacture a week's worth of Lane's Emulsion was drawn off in the presence of local customs officers.
"Each hogshead contained 45 gallons of brandy and it was stored at the existing building in a special bond store," he said.
Mr Osborne has developed the icecream with the blessing of Mr Crombie and Crombie and Price and although two of the original components, cod liver oil and creosote are missing, Mr Crombie, after tasting the Lane's Emulsion ice cream flavour, gave it a thumbs-up for taste and creaminess, saying it was "like a good wine, it left a nice note in your mouth".
"It certainly reflects the original statement of Lane's Emulsion which was ‘It's famous because it's good'," he said.
The Lane's Emulsion building (now the home of Deja Moo Ice cream), has many of the original fixtures, fittings and and signs, and is often the site of locals and visitors alike recalling the days when parents delivered doses of the tonic to them as children.
The original recipe contained cod liver oil, beechwood creosote, mineral lime, soda, brandy, vitamins, fresh egg yolks and some secret ingredients.
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