Sunday, April 17, 2011

Milk products

I love milk.  Like most children I was not allowed to leave the dinner table until I finished my milk.  I probably didn't love it as much then as I did later. When I became a little older and was outside terrorizing the neighborhood with my childhood friends I would often take a break and come inside the house to chug down some milk (if no one was looking, from the carton).  It was what I drank to quench my thirst.  I will say, to this day, that if anyone ever wanted to go head-to-head in a milk challenge I would win hands-down.  Even now, I can't force myself to put down a latte and pick up a glass of water.
As we grew up the milk began to get thinner and thinner until we were drinking what seemed like white water.  Everything became "skinny", non-fat, skim,... whatever.  I wish some of those women that order "skinny" anything could see me now.  I drink full-fat milk, half and half, heavy cream and milk so thick it has milk chunks and it tastes so good that I want to bathe in it (great for the skin, by the way).  Not only is the milk full fat but it is as minimally processed as possible.  If I could get it straight from the udder, I would.  Raw milk is truly the best kind of milk you can buy, if it is available.  Unfortunately, there are laws against selling raw dairy products in some states.  It is so illegal that a swat team will literally break into your store and destroy your establishment at gun-point (no joke).
A brand that I am lucky to have available to me is Kalona SuperNatural.  The dairy farmers (many of which are Amish and Mennonite) do not use chemicals, chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.  Their milk products come from grass-fed cows, are totally organic with no added hormones and are non-homogenized (a process which mixes the milk and ruins the flavor and quality).  The products are also Grade A and have way more nutrients than what you generally get at the store probably because the milk is pasteurized (the legal requirement making it not raw) at the lowest heat allowed.  Industrial-scale milk producers heat their milk up to as much as 265-300 degrees in their pasteurization process while Kalona SuperNatural heats it to 145 degrees.  Read more about their processing methods on their site.
Hopefully the Natural Grocers near me will carry more of their products soon but as of now I drink the whole milk and use their buttermilk for making crème fraiche and adding to my baking. 

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