Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Real old-fashioned milk
When I was young I used to drink milk for pleasure and I don't think it was just because I was a child. It was truly delicious but for years I haven't had milk that tasted anything like as good.
Today I did: Jess's Ladies Organic Special Breakfast Milk which I bought in the weekly farmers' market in Corn Street in Bristol. It was sweet and creamy without that slightly metallic taste I now realise most modern milk has.
According to Jess - aka Jess Vaughan of Hardwicke Farm in the Severn Valley in Gloucestershire - it's because it's not homogenized like practically all milk these days. Homogenization is a process that extends the shelf life of milk but also alters its structure, making it more indigestible and also less nutritious and less tasty. (You can see some of the sources Jess cites for this on her website)
The cows - or 'ladies' as Jess calls them - are also carefully reared, allowed to suckle their young and not milked while they are due to come into calf. "We know the ladies all by name and we milk them personally every day to make sure they're a happy, healthy bunch" she says.
The breakfast milk is extra rich with 4.5% fat compared to a maximum of 3.9% fat for whole milk, according to a profile on the farm in food writer Andrea Leeman's meticulously researched A Taste of Gloucestershire. And it won a gold in last year's Great Taste Awards.
You can buy the milk all over Gloucestershire, in Bristol and in one or two outlets in London from just £1.20 a litre - an affordable luxury if ever there was one. I'm going to use it to make my macaroni cheese for Cheese School this weekend but have a feeling it would also make the ultimate rice pudding.