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Raw milk

RST | Jan 12, 2004 11:32 PM

I have found a personal source for raw (unpasteurized) milk. A couple of guys who own a farm in Wisconsin and who supply produce to several local restaurants and a small list of CSA subscribers, knows a neighbor who can supply me with it. This neighbor is described as some kind of an "eccentric bachelor genius" who has figured everything out by himself. He owns a herd of 23 Jerseys (a low-yielding breed, producing milk w/ high-fat content//unlike high-yielding Holsteins and other breeds) raised on an organic/sustainable regimen. The cows are pastured in summer and are fed hay, alfalfa and oats in the winter (no sillage). He milks only once a day, i.e. the cows are not fed hormones in order to overproduce. Unfortunately, bec there really is no market for this specialized kind of product, the milk gets sold to large industrial cheesemaking concerns, where volume of milk-and not its quality-is the overriding concern. This milk is then dumped in with poorer quality milk of other farms to be made into supermarket/industrial cheeses.

I have secured a 5-gallon batch (this is the minimum that the guys think is worth their while to bring down from Wisconsin). It will come to me in a 5-gallon thermos jug which will ensure the unpasteurized milk's stability.

The arrangement is among friends of course. But what I would like to know (and I think that we have gone through this before, without any conclusive answers) is if the sale of raw, unpasteurized milk is in fact forbidden in the state of IL. Or are there specific conditions governing its sale? Does anyone know for sure?

I cannot drink all five gallons on my own of course and have been thinking about how I can use up the rest of the milk. I have thought of bringing some of this milk to folks around town (the friends we have made on this board) who use milk in their cooking, in the hope of leading them to the realization that there still channels for such things as raw milk. I am thinking for instance of having the milk turned into Balkan kaymaak or Iraqi/Assyrian gamour by the people who make them in the city, who presumably use commercial milk. There are Mexicans who specialize in the making and selling of fresh cheese, such as that little girl who sells queso fresco outside carnitas Don Pedro on Sunday mornings. I don't know if the girl brings the cheese down from farms in WI, or IL or even MI but assume once again, that an inferior milk source is used.

Any other ideas? Fresh milk for Penguin Ice Cream?

RST

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