16 September 2009

Miracle Milk

What you see here is an absolutely miraculous product, milk that does not spoil without refrigeration. Or at least I have been unable to keep this product long enough to experience it spoiling without refrigeration.

I noticed these relatively small boxes of milk at the grocery just sitting out on the shelves. One liter. They are not displayed in coolers. That is what first caught my attention. I wondered whether it was some kind of powdered milk or concentrate or what the hell it was. I shook the container and studied the label. I could not discern anything unusual in the label's text. It says it is milk. As you can see, there is a picture of a cow on the label, thus eliminating other possible mammalian sources like skunk or beaver. You can never assume anything around here.

Per the instructions, I am simply to store it in a cool dry place. So I store it in the shade underneath the camper on the ground behind the tire and out of sight in a small, empty cooler so that the cats cannot get it. The camper gets pretty warm inside during the day. The inside of the truck attains temperatures sufficient to fire ceramics. This milk does not spoil or turn. It sits there unchanged awaiting my next bowl of generic cornflakes. I cannot afford Raisin Bran anymore.

You will recall my entry about the new budget wherein I resolved to renounce the hassle and expense of ice. I thought I was thereby renouncing milk at the same time. Not so. I have gone through three containers of this milk now.

Do we have this stuff in the United States? I have never seen it before. The only word on the label that might shed some light on its unusual nature is the word ultrapasteurizada. “Ultrapasteurized.” Could that have something to do with this?

I thought the word "pasteurized" is like the word "pregnant." There is no such thing as "kinda pregnant" as in, "Honey, I'm kinda pregnant." Women are either pregnant or not pregnant. Milk is either pasteurized, or it is not pasteurized. Have we now somehow improved on Louis's process whereby we can not only kill existing organisms in the milk but also prevent the future invasion of new organisms? Is this stuff loaded with chemicals that are slowly rendering me sterile? If so, then so be it. After having been married four times, I was not anxious to start a new family anyway.

In any event if we do have something like this in the United States, I wish someone would have told me about it sooner.


John said...

How interesting! We used to buy this stuff all the time when we lived in Germany. They called it "ultraerhitzt," in other words, ultraheated. I also don't know why it is not more prevalent in the U.S. It makes good sense.

Bloggerboy FFM said...

John's right. They also call it H-Milch here. Here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-high-temperature_processing. I still freak out when I come downstairs in the morning and see an open milk box on the counter, but it takes a long time before the milk goes bad. Of course the climate here is a fair bit cooler than where you are, so don't overdo it. It tastes fine and you can buy it in low-fat or whole. But cornflakes in warm milk????

Sheila said...

In the UK it is called UHT or long life milk. I must admit I hate it, it tastes different to fresh milk, but then I am the sort of person who tastes milk as "off" after one day, or when it it has been left out anywhere for any length of time. I'm also a full fat milk fan, non of this skimping skimmmed or semi skimmed rubbish for me, it has got to be full fat or not at all. I dislike these variants on a milk theme so much that when I am away from home and all that I can get is UHT, or semi-skimmed, or powdered stuff I just do without. As for warm milk on cereals - no, yuck!

Señor Steve said...

Thank you, folks, for these very informative comments. Very interesting. I do detect a bit of a different taste but certainly not enough to put me off of it.

Actually, early morning hours are so cool outside that I am having cool milk not warm milk with my cornflakes. However, it is certainly not cold milk. I am thinking that perhaps I can accustom myself to anything necessary in order to hold out here including retrieving milk from behind a tire underneath a trailer in the morning.

Candy Minx said...

I first saw this milk in small shops in Paris. I remember being completely blown away by the concept. My friends and I bought some, and were rather disappointed. Mind you...we had been drinking huge bowls of coffee and fresh cowws milk at our dorms every morning. I also remember being enchanted by these boxes of milk a few years later in Rome. I again bought some for my hotel room...and found it tasted much better than I remembered. I suspect the processes have improved. The last time I had this milk was when we went hiking in Tofino on a remote island only reached by our kayaking. The milk came in handy for some cooking. We carried fresher cream or "half and half" for our coffee. The boxed milk was for if we ran out during our trip. No stores in the rain forest.