Sunday, June 13, 2010
Recently, milk distributors have sprung up around town to allow individuals to buy milk directly from the makers. It's a wonderful project that has become even more important, considering the latest news about Italian milk production.
This is the one I go to in Camin, managed by a farm in Villa del Conte, north of the city. For 1 Euro, you get a liter of fresh, unpastorized milk. That's 20% less than prices available at the supermarket and some people prefer the lack of pastorizing treatment, which takes some properties away from the milk. The Italians call it latte crudo (raw milk) It definitely has a fuller, thicker taste.
Just drop a coin into the machine and the window opens. Cute "milk" music begins playing as a woman's voice instructs you on how to proceed in getting the milk into your bottle. After the requested milk amount comes out, the window automatically closes and the space self-cleans with water inside. Outside, they have provided paper towels in case you need to wipe your hands or bottle. They have even thought about helping those who came without their own bottle to recycle: you can buy a plastic or glass one from the vending machine on the right. Other milk-based products are available, too, such as yoghurt.
A famous television news magazine, Anno Zero, dedicated its last episode of the season to the milk crisis in Italy. Last week's Padania al Verde showed how Italian milk farmers are being paid too little for their milk to stay in business while thousands of gallons of milk destined for the Italian market are coming from Germany and countries in Eastern Europe, as well as evidence that powdered milk is being watered down and mixed with fresh milk. The show also called for reflection about hazardous breeding has led to cows that produce too much milk a day to maintain their health and live a long life. (Click here to watch the recording online.)
Basically, after seeing the show, I never want to buy milk again from the big companies and want to stay clear of the long-lasting milk, which mostly uses the foreign milk. (Latte a lunga conservazione is a milk product that can be stored at room temperature until the container is opened and lasts longer in the fridge than regular milk.)
So, I'm cleaning up my glass bottle, hopping on my moped and filling up with fresh, creamy, local milk.
For a map of latte crudo distributors in the Padua area, go here. The site also has more detailed information about the milk and its characteristics.