6:37 AM

Cream for me please!

Posted by Nicole |

We live in an area with a fair amount of dairies, farms and local food suppliers. This is a huge benefit when trying to source good, wholesome food, especially when you want to ask a lot of questions.

A week or two ago, while in our local food co-op, Heather and I met a farmer/cheese/yogurt maker. He was giving samples of his new yogurt made with whole, Guernsey milk (an interesting link to this farm and info on Guernseys here). The yogurt is delicious! I immediately bought the largest size available, even though I make my own with only a half cup purchased yogurt because I knew we would eat it all. It doesn't contain anything but whole milk and cultures (He does make a vanilla flavor as well, I didn't look at what else was in that). Just what I was looking for! Plus, it had a layer of cream on top. That means it is non-homogenized. For me this was also great, I have been buying milk that is non-homogenized (still pasteurized...) from a local dairy in glass bottles (very cool) that are returned to the store and then reused. I have not always bought non-homogenized, actually this milk isn't even certified organic! Why take the risk, when the organic is only cents more per half-gallon?

My research has shown that homogenization became popular after pasteurization, when in transit, the milk would form a cream line that then became unevenly distributed to customers when the milk was bottled. It also was less aesthetically pleasing, and with marketing campaigns aimed at Americans, by the 50's most people were buying pure white, homogenized milk.

Homogenisation is by definition, according to Miriam-Webster online, "to reduce the particles of so that they are uniformly small and evenly distributed ; specifically : to break up the fat globules of (milk) into very fine particles. intransitive verb" How is this done? It is mechanically processed, pushed (at high pressure) through tubes that minimize the fat globules thus making them mixable with the rest of milk. This is usually done after the milk has been clarified, separated and pasteurized, sometimes before. It is then cooled and packaged. Here is a good link to how milk is made. It may not be accurate for all milk producers but has some good basic information. Some people make the claim that non-homogenized milk has more health benefits than the more processed version.

I have made the decision for non-homogenized dairy products for the reason that it is one extra processing step. Raw milk has cream on top but has not been heated. Non-homogenized milk has been heated (slowly at a lower temperature) and then bottled. Another plus when buying non-homogenized cream is that it whips very quickly. This makes for whipping cream that can be whipped by hand with a whisk instead of dragging out the mixer! And butter whips more quickly as well. In yogurt, simply stir in the cream on top and enjoy! I feel there is a more satisfying mouth-feel to non-homogenized milk and yogurt and am so thankful to have a local supplier - especially one I can meet in person!!
What kind of dairy products do you buy and can you source them back to the farm?


Hanna said...

Jeseryland is a farm near here (about 1.5 hours away) that has organic non-homogenized yogurt and raw milk cheese, both of which are wonderful and available in our local grocery store. I have yet to find non-homogenized milk though.

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