Louis Pasteur, why did you have to ruin everything?
Because of you, most milk, including big name “organic” brands, is nothing but an opaque white liquid whose flavor is analogous to water when skim and just tastes like fat when whole. We take it for granted that it seems to keep indefinitely in the fridge, adding a few drops to coffee or tea and neglecting the rest.
Because of you, I managed to drink spoiled shelf-stable milk in China this summer, because it wasn’t refrigerated upon opening.
In order to drink the real, straight-from-the-udder stuff, my mother and I were forced to purchase a share of a cow in Illinois. In Indiana, I bought raw cottage cheese and yogurt from a farmer’s market vendor, under the pretense that I was buying it for my dog.
At least here in Connecticut, we can make our own choices. It’s not like I’m actually anti-pasteurization, but if people want to drink milk as nature intended it to be, they shouldn’t have to go through some elaborate system to do so.
Last Monday I picked up a quart from the Raw Milk Co-op. The milk is supplied by nearby Deerfield Farm, “straight from the cow and bottled daily.” As someone who doesn’t drink milk much at all, I ordered the smallest amount.
I could go on about the benefits and risks of raw milk, but I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll focus on what matters: taste. Appearance-wise, the milk was slightly off-white, the way you’d expect freshly churned vanilla ice cream to be. Unlike the raw cottage cheese from Indiana, it didn’t smell “grassy” in the slightest. I shook the bottle, poured a glass, and took a sip.
A glass of this will make you understand why humans drink milk– it’s rich but not cloying, even thirst quenching. In my head, I saw the typical American family, each child washing down their meal with a glass of milk. I felt revitalized instead of groggy, like whole milk usually makes me feel.
A dash in my iced coffee tasted like heaven, of course, by why waste this precious elixir on that? Just as it goes from cow to bottle, it should go from glass to mouth.
In terms of cooking: there’s a reason why typing “raw cappuccino” into Google yielded very few results. Here’s the debate: does heating raw milk completely defeat the purpose, like putting bacon on a veggie burger? My hypothesis is that the deliciousness of raw milk cappuccino could be achieved with any fresh local milk, and that I refuse to waste $9. However, raw milk that has soured slightly is still great for cooking (cornbread or blueberry pancakes, anyone)?
In just 3 days, my quart is nearly empty. Next Monday, I’m getting a half-gallon.
*Raw milk can be ordered by emailing email@example.com. Pickup Monday nights from 5-7 at outhouse!