Milking It!

May 4th, 2011

A short feature on milks not normally found in supermarkets:

Goat’s Milk – “One of the most unusual things about Goats is that they don’t have to produce kids every year to stay in milk”, says Ros Earthy of the British Goat Society. “Some will go on milking for 3 or even 4 years after a kid, often giving a gallon or more of milk a day. If it is properly chilled, there is not any strong difference between goat’s milk and cow’s”. There are however some health imperatives for making the switch.

“If someone is allergic to cow’s milk they’ll be allergic to goat’s, but if it is an intolerance they’ll find goat’s easier to digest, being closer in composition to human milk than cow’s”

If you wish to find out more about Goat’s and their milk go to in the meantime if you are unable to accommodate a goat in your own garden, we at Scoopaway sell fresh organic Goat’s milk at £1.69 per litre, delivered fresh on Monday’s and Friday’s. Also, we stock Goat’s Yoghurt @ £2.10 for 500ml.

Ewe’s Milk – Pecularily, sheep only have two teat’s rather than four. Their lactation period is only 8 months after lambing compared to 12 months with cows. It also has twice the amount of fat and calcium of cow’s milk so is almost too rich for drinking and is incredibly expensive. You’re more likely to see yoghurt or cheese even in the regions of France, Greece and Sardinia that are dedicated to raising sheep for dairy.

Sheep (and goat’s) don’t produce carotene so the milk is very white, unlike cow’s which has a yellow hue when you hold it up to the light. The fat is naturally homogenised so it doesn’t rise to the top as it would on an unprocessed cow’s milk. It also sets very thick due to its high calcium content.

No room for sheep either…Scoopaway stocks Sheep’s Yoghurt in 500ml @ £2.60 and Cyprus Haloumi Cheese, sizes vary along with prices.

Raw Milk – The Environmental Health regard Raw Milk as a bit of a dark art. There are only about 100 specialist dairy farmers in the UK that have the license to sell it. It is pumped from the cow as hygienically as possible and filtered to remove hair and straw. This process is undertaken in a vacuum so as to not expose the milk to air. It is then chilled to 3 or 4°C which keeps it fresh for about a week.

The taste of raw milk is sweeter than pasteurised. Unfortunately, we are unable to sell Raw Milk.

Buttermilk – a natural by-product of buttermaking and a traditional household ingredient until more recent times. The majority of buttermilk goes to large manufacturers making a whole range of products, leaving it to the smaller independent dairies to supply smaller independent shops to meet demand from discerning cooks.

“When you churn cream you make butter, which is about 80% fat, and buttermilk, which has about the same amount of fat as skimmed milk, but with a different composition”, explains Konrad Schwoch of Longley Farm in Yorkshire. What we sell is cultured buttermilk. After churning our butter in the dairy we ferment the buttermilk to give a distinctive lactic flavour and a thicker consistency”.

Today it is mostly used for baking. It is great for scones and soda breads, or any recipe that uses bicarbonate of soda rather than yeast as a raising agent. Buttermilk is quite acidic which helps to produce the bubbles of gas that make a sponge lighter and less stodgy.