Thursday, October 11, 2007

Swedish Dairy

I would really love to talk about milk, this topic has been on my mind for quiet some time now. Ever since I lived in Sweden I’ve been fascinated by vast amounts of dairy products available in the supermarket. The shelves are filled with all sorts of yogurts, fermented milk drinks in all shapes sizes and fat content. The hardest part is to actually choose exactly what you want.

Let me run you down through all the milk that is available. I am going to talk about one brand in particular “Arla” they hold the monopoly here in Stockholm, they sell to every supermarket and convenient store in town.

Here is a picture of all the available choices; the design on the packet is simple the fatter the stripe on the packet the fatter the milk.

The red packet with fattest stripes has 3% of fat and is very consistent throughout the year. Almost all the coffee shops use this milk for its great taste and its consistency. I’ve used this milk on many occasions. As well as its amazing taste this milk textures extremely well; it’s a very nice milk to work with and it is reasonably cheap 5SEK for 1L thats about $0.7USD if you buy in bulk.

I would like to talk about other milk that Arla makes, but in particular their organic range, so here is the picture. Just for reference the barista milk is not organic.

Lately I’ve been playing around with the organic milk (ecological) that Arla release, it is the one on the far right (oldstyle milk), this milk has more fat 3.8% - 4.5% so compared to the regular milk it is not very consistent through out the year. This milk is not processed and fat levels vary throughout the seasons. Never the less this milk is amazing, it textures even better and tastes fantastic.

The other milk I would like to talk to you is the barista milk, I personally think that this is a marketing scheme, this milk has less fat but more protein (3.8g vs 3.3g). They stress that issue claiming that the milk will texture better. Although it textures just as good it doesn’t taste better by all means. More fat more flavour ,so I favour the organic milk.

In my conclusion I must say that I admire dairy products here in Sweden. The coffee industry is very fortunate to have companies like Arla, they deserve the recognition for doing what they do best. My favourite milk to work with is deffinately the oldstyle milk, for its richness and taste. I believe that guys in Norway are struggling with their milk and Tim Wendelboe has been putting together a partition to import organic milk into the coffee scene in Oslo, I wish him all the best and if you can join forces with him, please do!

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