Friday, November 4, 2011


It seems such a generic basic kinda thing.  White, usually cold.  Basic a staple.  Unchanging.

Then we got here and started buying different brands of milk.

This shouldn't be a surprise in fact.  I know that milks change their flavours depending on what the milk producer is eating at that time, be they bovine or otherwise.   What is really interesting here is that the milk producers are sufficiently small, and local, that the different brands actually have different flavours.

Our personal favourite is ATO, though the Condis brand is fine.  I have to say that the Condis brand (a Catalan? chain of supermarkets owned in Angola the man says) is a big enough buyer that the milk basically has that ubiquitous milk taste, but the other smaller brands?  ATO lists 7 dairy farmers that supply them with their milk.  Seven.  Now I am not naïve enough to really believe that these 7 farmers are small farms, they must have hundreds of cattle each, but the reality is that the milk has a distinctive flavour.  Another brand, Pasqual, has a different flavour again, one that Youngest can. not. stand.  She won't drink it.  This is a much bigger company than ATO, and the flavour is quite different.

Interesting.  I think anyway.

I've never noticed flavour differences in milk in Canada.  Ever.  We once had fresh milk on a farm in Germany, it may have been unpasturized straight from the cow, I was too young to remember, but I do remember it tasting quite different, but that may have also been because it was also full fat milk and we normally had 2%.

My poor kids live on skimmed, and are basically happy, but MUCH prefer the fattier milk.

I also have some suspicions that skimmed milk here is not as skimmed as Canadian skimmed, no blueish overtones and you can get a milk mustache.  I wonder if the different brands have different fat levels too.

Hmmm, something to look into.  I know we once got some milk that had olive oil added to it.  Seems weird, no?  Very different taste there, I can tell you.


Anonymous said...

I didn't notice it at the Milk level, but when the milk becomes cheese, you can see that the cheese has a different flavor depending on what the cow's been eating. Fresh pasture in summer, or dried straw/grass in winter.

swenglishexpat said...

Very interesting post. And I remember very well the skimmed milk I had in Sweden in my teens (on the odd occasion), whitish-bluish water! That was definitely a few per cent too ambitious on the healthy path. Might as well have had tap water.

oreneta said...

ElP, I have to agree, it is astonishing how much the flavours are intensified in the cheese making process.

Swenglishexpat. The Canadian skim isn't THAT thin, but the blue tint was there...especially at the edges of the glass, no?