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Lait Cru


bleudauvergne
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I was pushing hard to stop at a cafe on the way home from the market and my husband reminded me (he is the food auditor) that we received a large bag of cocoa from Madagascar for Christmas. So I complained we didn't have milk. We were just near the end of the market where there was a cremerie, and he goes skipping off to avoid spending the 6 euros on two large steaming bowls of hot chocolate in the cafe. I call after him: "Hot chocolate can only be made with LAIT CRU!" - that ought to put a wrench in things. Oh well, he found some.

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Well, it was good. Since then I drank a large glass of it cold with no ill effects, man oh man, it is the paragon of lait. In addition, I have used it in cooking and had it in my coffee all week. I'm not sure what I should be afraid of. It tastes alright. My husband asked if we should take any special precautions with it, and the vendor said it's just regular milk that needs to be used in a few days time. Is this true? What's the taboo about unpasturized milk except the fact that it will go sour more quickly? I know that down the line of course the differences it makes in cheese are clear. But when it's new and fresh, what microorganisms live in it?

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PAstaurisation became the norm as a protection from Tuberculosis which was endemic in the national herd.

Nowdays bovine tuberculosis is rare. Thus the nescessity for pastuarising milk is much less. Unfortunately human tuberculosis is increasing, especially for immuno-compromised people, where it can be an early symptom.

Indeed there is no known case of illness caused by raw milk cheese, although plenty of food poisoning can be traced back to poorly kept pastaurised dairy products.

I deeply regret that I can't get unpastaurised cream here anymore. The local farm shop used to have it, shipped from Neal's Yard, but they have stopped as they were getting too many batches that had gone off.

ANy enterprising dairies that can ship to Cambridge UK?

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Try contacting Cheryl or Mark at LFM (London's Farmers' Markets. They can tell you.

Mark Handley and Cheryl Cohen

London Farmers' Markets

Po Box 37363

London N1 7WB

Tel: 020 7704 9659  Fax: 020 7359 1938

Email: info@lfm.org.uk

Good Luck!

I deeply regret that I can't get unpastaurised cream here anymore. The local farm shop used to have it, shipped from Neal's Yard, but they have stopped as they were getting too many batches that had gone off.

ANy enterprising dairies that can ship to Cambridge UK?

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There's a funny article in the November 29 New Yorker (p.62) about raw milk. Apparently it's being sold on the black market in NY as part of the raw food craze. People believe it's a "milk cure" for all sorts of aliments.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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yes perhaps the best hot chocolate is made with lait cru. boil for 10/15 minutes before using though. also, you can boil the milk and let it sit overnight to allow the cream to rise. you can use this on a tartine and i promise you'll have a hard time forgetting it!

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You might want to read this article about one particular disease with which I am familiar.

Undulent fever

My stepdad got it from drinking raw milk at the farm of one of his friends. He was quite ill for about 4 months and had some relapses (an old name was "relapsing fever")

He was an opthamalogist and was unable to do any surgery for quite a while because he had a residual tremor in both hands for some time.

I buy unpasturized milk for making cheese, but I have an electric pasturizer and always pasturize the milk before I use it to make cheeses.

In the U.S. we have "certified" raw milk. That is milk from cows that have been examined and tested for various diseases and are certified by the county health department.

The testing is expensive and it is not usually feasable for small farmers to have it done.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Indeed there is no known case of illness caused by raw milk cheese, although plenty of food poisoning can be traced back to poorly kept pastaurised dairy products.

In the Vacherin Mont d'Or thread, listeriosis is mentioned as a potential problem with raw milk and I mention that a lethal outbreak of listeriosis was traced to cheese sold as Epoisses. Traditional Epoisses were made from raw milk, but the factory that made the tainted cheese bought both raw and pasteurized milk and there was no way of determining the actual source of the listeria bacteria. That factory was also stripped of its right to use the Epoisse designation for its cheese for other reasons, and I am not aware of any disease that can be traced to the cheeses from makers who used only raw milk. Preganant women are advised, in the US, not to eat raw milk cheese or most soft cheeses. My understanding is that although raw milk cheese is illegal in the US, we have had problems with listeriosis stemming from commerical cheese made from pasteurized, although prevention of listeriosis is one of the reasons given for the prohibition against raw milk cheese. Some people claim it's just much cheaper to pasteurize the milk than ensure it's clean at the source and that the dairly industry doesn't want competition from better tasting cheese from abroad. The important thing is that contamination can come both before and after pasteurization.

Several people in this thread have suggested that raw milk be boiled before using. I'm not sure I understand that. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to some point below the boiling point. Once you bring the milk to the boil, it's no longer raw milk. Pasteurized milk starts out as raw milk. It loses that quality when it's heated. Surely, there's something I'm missing. If Lucy's artisan dairy farmer's raw milk makes better hot chocolate than the pasteurized milk available, it may just be that the milk is not only raw, but super creamy and just plain better milk.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Bleu-

I grew up on raw milk. I don't ever recall seeing it packaged like that though. It just came straight from the farm to us. I do remember that we drank it up immediately. But then we didn't have a frigo. Now my mama has a frigo so when I visit we can take a little more time to finish it.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Lucy, years ago I lived in house whee I had old fahioned dairy service: the guy from the local shop visiting every household early in the morning. At that time, I had a liter raw milk every morning. I drank almost daily for several years and I never experienced the slightest problem.

Raw milk is not homogenized as well, thus part the fat globules are relatively large and tend to float at the top (cream). But the large globules create a creamy mouth feeling and raw milk seems to be fatter than processed ones (which is rarely true).

Today, I can buy it in organic shops. To be allowed to sell it, Swiss law requires a lot more monitoring than with processed milk (regular testing for microorganisms and sanitary conditions of the licendsed farmers) and mechanical filtering is also mandatory. In all the years, I never heard of any problem with raw milk. From time to time, I buy it, mainly because I think homogenization is the process which damages the natural structure of milk.

FWIW, I have also access to organic yoghurt made from unhomogenized milk. After eating that kind (with a fatty skin a the top and producing a lot of "milky water") I coudnl't go back the regular stuff, lacking all the finesse of a true yoghurt. Think of a piece artisanal cheese compared with industrial stuff. The producer, a very small dairy, sais that food engineers usually call his anti-interventionistic yoghurt "defective". Oh well.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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andiesenji, I am so sorry that your step-dad got sick from drinking it straight from the cow! That's enough to scare anyone. As Boris mentions rather stringent screening in Switzerland for Lait cru, for bacteria levels and filtering, I wonder what the requirements are here in France, I assume they are rather strict. I think it would be worth it to find out, though.

Raw milk is not homogenized as well, thus part the fat globules are relatively large and tend to float at the top (cream). But the large globules create a creamy mouth feeling and raw milk seems to be fatter than processed ones...

I agree it felt good in my mouth. It tasted like a nice rich milk, more than whole milk you usually get. I think putting it in coffee is kind of a waste because it doesn't taste any different from pasturised milk in coffee, although I can see from the way the soups came out that it will be a nice idea to finish out everyday soups. I think it does make excellent hot cocoa, but I don't boil it. I think drinking it plain was the most satisfying, however. I want to to check the normes and maybe call the dairy to see what's required of them. I think that it's better to do that just to be sure, and then maybe get some just for drinking. :smile:

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It will be most interesting to learn what you find out about the requirements for raw milk in France. I would not hesitate to drink it and I look for Lait Cru when buying cheese in France. I might hesitate to offer it a very young child, but cows' milk is not recommended for babies these days anyway. My greater fear is that EU legislation driven by the countries with the most sterile food (in many senses of that word) will take it off the market in all of Europe. It is bacteria and the like that make some of our foods what they are -- cheese, wine, bread.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Interestingly, I learned that non-cooled raw milk (only over a short period of time, a few hours maybe) has a kind of self-protection mechanism which works better than cooling. Obvioulsy, there's a kind of microrganic balance at work there which tends to get destroyed with cooling.

That's why Alpage cheese production ( the cheese which is daily made on spot up in the mountains on the summer meadows) has lesser sanitary problems to solve than with other raw milk cheese, even if these non-industrial production locatiions have no cooling at all (no electric power up there).

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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Normandie butter made from raw milk. I could eat it like cheese.

EDIT: To remove "wub" emoticon. I had to try it. But it just looks weird! :laugh:

Edited by chefzadi (log)

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Normandie butter made from raw milk. I could eat it like cheese.

Brittany never gets the respect it deserves. The best butter I ever had and perhaps the only butter I could eat like cheese, was purchased at the market directly from the source in Hennebont, Brittany. It was purchased by my son-in-law. I don't know for sure that it was from raw milk, but I suspect so. It was incredily nutty like good crème fraîche. Then again, I've only had commerical Norman butter. Brittany is always seen as the poorer cousin when it comes to cider and apple brandy as well and it produces little in the way of cheese worthy of note.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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A little anecdote...

You know it's the French way to use very sensual metaphors for describing food. My wife told some French women, "my husband says my skin is sweeter and smoother than the cream and butter from Normandie" They gasped and proclaimed "Your skin is THAT good!"

We REALLY like our dairy from Normandie. And I enjoy the simple dishes of Brittany They don't have too many "signature" dishes. I would like to move there when I retire. I'll have to convince my LA wife that 72 degrees F isn't freezing and that 50 degrees F is slightly chilly. I think once she tastes the oysters there she won't want to leave.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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