A Milk Appreciation
When was the last time you drank a simple glass of milk? Sheila Dillon asks if we treat cows' milk as a commodity and how we might value it more with tips from a 'milk sommelier'.
When was the last time you drank a simple glass of milk? Perhaps you view it more as an ingredient for cooking or to splash in your tea rather than a product of beauty with its own strengths and qualities? When the retailers slashed milk prices to lure in customers, treating it as a loss leader may have made the consumer also view it as a commodity and devalue it too. Is it simply the 'white stuff'?
Dairy UK figures show an 18% decline in the average consumption of milk and milk products over the last 20 years. In the last year while volumes of milk sold on the market have increased slightly the value has declined. This Summer saw many dairy farmers protesting at supermarket depots, taking cows into stores and buying up all the supplies on the shelves in some branches.
Meanwhile sales of many milk alternatives are rising despite costing more. Sheila Dillon explores how these milks are made and can be used, what they give us compared to cow's milk and why they've become so popular.
Dutch 'milk addict and sommelier' Bas de Groot invites her for a tasting of milks, along with public health nutritionist Dr Helen Crawley and Professor Peter Atkins who's written about the history of milk. They discuss what could make us value the product more highly, what makes a variety distinctive and if it's possible to taste the 'terroir' of your pinta.