Thursday, December 12, 2013
the quality of even average dairy in the UK is remarkably high. milk generally tastes like milk, instead of water, cardboard, or vinyl. some milk, though, is exceptional.
at last sunday's market, i cast about the stands for some milk in which to poach a freshly purchased side of smoked haddock. the poultry lady hadn't brought any with her, and the regular cheese women by the biweekly mushroom guy had sold out. on the verge of giving up, i saw a few litre bottles at the irregular cheese dude's stand (alham wood seems to only come to market when they feel like it). raw, unhomogenised, organic milk. sold in the light of day.
he was trying, with minimal success, to persuade cheese buyers to try samples from a bottle of raw milk that had been unrefrigerated for 3 weeks. for science, i had a little cuplet: lactic, creamy, thick, emulsified. remember what pasteurised milk smells like when you leave it on the counter for a day or two? it smelled nothing like that.
as he handed me the bottle, the cheese dude said, "real food, buddy, real food. it still exists."