Today we celebrate milk

While in the USA today on "Say something nice" day seems super friendly and peaceful, the world today celebrates one of the drinks or foods where minds are divided: Milk

Where does the milk come from?

Probably everyone knows that most of the milk you can buy in the supermarket is cow's milk. As with people's breast milk, cow's milk is intended for suckling the little calves. Similar to human milk production, however, it does not stop after a certain time when the mammary glands are in permanent irritation. With daily or regular stimulation, the glands will therefore continue to produce milk.

In addition to cow's milk, goat's milk, sheep's milk or even camel's milk can also be purchased as animal products. 

For the vegans there are substitutes: coconut milk, oat milk, rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, ... Just to name a few.

What's in it?

Milk consists of water, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and trace elements. Depending on the type, it has a different proportion of fat. The varieties described here refer to cow's milk.

Thus, only milk directly from the producer may be called raw milk without further treatment. The fat content here is between 3.5 % and 5 %. Preference milk is milk that has been filtered and packaged and can be purchased in shops. This has a fat content of 3.5 % to 4 %.

The well-known whole milk must be heat-treated in addition to filtration and packaging. The fat content here is at least 3.5 %. Low-fat milk (with 1.5 % to 1.8 %) and skimmed milk (with a maximum of 0.5 %) also have the same processing method. If the milk is still heated to ultra-high temperatures, the well-known UHT milk is obtained. However, the fat content is the same here.

Is milk healthy?

In principle, milk can be regarded as healthy on the basis of its ingredients. 

100 ml of milk contains 120 mg of calcium, which we need to build and stabilize bones. Milk also contains an enormous amount of essential amino acids, which we as humans definitely need.

There are also several studies that have been carried out on the effect of milk consumption on diseases in old age. Only a positive effect on cardiovascular diseases has been proven so far. The remaining positive effects are only guesses and have not yet been proven.

However, if you now look at the high number of lactose intolerant people, you might think that milk is not necessarily healthy. But this intolerance is due to the fact that we humans need the enzyme lactase to digest milk and split the lactose in the stomach. This enzyme is fully developed in infancy. However, this development decreases more in some people, while others retain this development.

This ability - to split the lactose - is a relatively new genetic development in our digestive tract. But for all those who cannot tolerate lactose: there are also lactose-free dairy products!

What can you do with it?

The variations of use are now almost infinite. From a simple glass of milk to milk powder, everything is included:

  • Drinks

Of course, you can drink milk straight. But the food industry has come up with a lot of ideas here. Cocoa, strawberry milk, any other fruit milk, milkshakes, buttermilk, lassi, basically there is certainly something for every taste. Especially with the milk products made of nuts, one also has a different taste without any additives. Milk is also used in coffee drinks. Condensed milk, which is a good flavor carrier with its high fat content, is often used here.

  • Yoghurt

There are also many different variations of yoghurt. From skimmed milk yoghurt to Greek or cream yoghurt (with even 10 % fat). With fruit preparation, natural, with honey, with caramelized nuts. There are also no limits to the imagination and the palate.

Yoghurt in general is produced by thickening milk with lactic acid bacteria. The name comes from the Turkish and means translated "fermented milk".

  • Butter

Butter is made from the cream of milk and is a spreadable fat. Here there is the sour cream butter, which is produced from microbially acidified milk. The sweet cream butter, which can be produced from milk, cream or whey cream. If you acidify it slightly, you have the so-called mildly acidified butter.

In cheese production, the protein in the milk is coagulated. Especially the casein. Here you have the different types: cream cheese, cream cheese spread, semi-hard cheese, soft cheese, hard cheese, blue cheese, and many more. The best known are probably the semi-hard cheeses (Gouda, Tilsiter, Butterkäse, Cheddar, etc.) and soft cheeses (Camembert, Brie, etc.)

  • Quark 

If rennet is added to the milk during processing or lactic acid is formed, the milk protein casein is precipitated. If the whey is now removed, the soft to crumbly curd mass is obtained, which in turn distinguishes between the low-fat, half-fat and full-fat stages depending on the fat content. As with yoghurt, you will find both natural products and products with added flavor in the form of fruit, honey or similar.

  • Powder

If you extract all the water from the milk, you get the so-called milk powder. If you add water to this powder, you get milk again.

Which dishes with milk (products) are available?

But which dishes can be made with it?

Cheese dishes (obviously): cheese platters, grilled cheese, oven cheese, dishes topped with cheese, Mac'n'Cheese, and many, many more

Milk noodles or rice pudding Very popular with children - and at least with me this popularity has not yet faded away. With cinnamon and sugar and warm apples simply a culinary delight

French toast simple, but still super delicious. Just dip old toast in milk and egg and then fry it in the pan on both sides.

Creams from Panna Cotta, Tiramisu, Crema Catalana or similar - simply unbeatable as deserts.