When learning to cook at a young age, I was mostly interested in making dessert. The problem with desserts is that they are typically the hardest recipes to follow. Very near the top of my favourite dessert list was Tapioca Pudding. The delicious substance derived in it’s entirety from South American substances, the traditional Manioc root, Vanilla bean, eggs and milk, and the modern sugar. Since I am a baker by personality, I religiously followed the directions on the box. These instructions were, I think, intended to keep kids from making Tapioca Pudding. The first step was to boil milk, and then add the sugar. Any kid who can get past this daunting step with out scorching his mother’s pans reaps the reward of sugar headaches all day long. For almost 2 decades, this is the only context in which it ever occurred to me that one might boil milk. Oh sure, I had heard of Pasteurisation in middle school science class, but I never really thought about what it meant for milk. I just accepted Pasteurised milk as a fact of life.
I vaguely remember that Pasteurisation had saved the world from certain death, and that good ‘ole Louis had stopped the Bubonic plague or something. Maybe it was that he discovered France. Wait, that would have been History class… OK, never mind. I have no idea what he did. Except boil milk. Since then, the process of making milk drinkable is called Pasteurisation. If you want to make it really drinkable, you can Ultra-Pasteurise it. Just don’t tell Sally Fallon (or her army of young mothers) what you are up to, or they will flog you with organic bamboo reeds.
To be completely honest, I am sceptical about a few of the miracles claimed by raw milk. I have been consuming raw dairy almost daily for about 2 years now. It tastes identical the the store bought stuff, and I have approximately the same number of colds/flues as before. I will say that my teeth have fared a lot better, but even those are pretty shot this late in the game. No, I have not been cured of anything by eating raw milk in my cereal. But I have also, strangely, not died. My limbs haven’t fallen off, I have not been struck with blindness, and Listeria has yet to make a comfortable home in my intestine. Raw milk may or may not help you, but in my experience, it is safe.