28 October 2008

Don't Got Milk

I was so excited on Sunday about the prospect of telling everyone about drinking fresh milk here. Last week one of Mike's coworkers pointed out a place where he buys fresh, local milk every Sunday. Two liters for 2,000 bufers (Burundian francs; about $1.70) and you have to bring your own container. It's one of those secret kiosks that are all over the place here -- a blank facade with no sign indicating what could be on the other side of the door. If you're not in the know... you'd never know.

I asked a Belgian nurse that I work with about any possible health risks from drinking the local milk. I think she thought I was crazy to try it, but she gave me instructions for pasteurizing it at home. Mike and I were willing to give it a shot. We miss milk so much!

So on Sunday morning we found some containers, our nalgene waterbottles, three of which amounted to 2.25 liters. Mike found the secret location again and we walked up to a little window, like at a bank. The woman was very nice, and surprisingly asked us if we wanted pasteurized or unpasteurized. We weren't sure if we should trust the local pastuerization process and decided we'd stick with the original plan of doing it ourselves. She filled up our bottles and we were on our way. (We got the muzungu price, though, 2,500 bufers -- $2.09 -- for our 2.25 liters.)

The milk was so thick and heavy! And it smelled so good. Mmmm, cream. We poured it into a large pot and started warming it up. We slowly got it up to what we'd been told -- 80 Celcius -- and let it simmer at about that temperature for 15 minutes.

It started to smell less like milk and more like yogurt. We thought maybe once it cooled down it would be okay. So we waited and waited... and it still smelled and tasted like yogurt. We cannot put this in our coffee or enjoy it on our cereal. We have curded milk now.

We were pretty disappointed. We're going to go back next Sunday and try the pastuerized milk. We gave the curdled milk to our cook to try and salvage by making yogurt or paneer.

I hate the word curdled. And I keep thinking of Little Miss Muffett, sitting on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey. Bleck. I don't want curds. I want cream for my coffee!


pitsam said...

I'm going to guess that it curdled because you got it too hot. The protein in the milk coagulated which is irreversible. There must be information online on how to do it.

Derien said...

There is! I tried to make this comment three times the other day and the site wouldn't let me post, but I'll try again.

There's a Canadian site which says 75C for sixteen SECONDS for creamy milk (and a lot of details for milk with stuff added and the like).

But what I want to know is; Did you get cheese??


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