Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Got milk?

Always, because in Belgium the milk doesn't go off. Huh? Okay, let me explain.

When we moved here the first time in 2000 we were totally stumped by the fact that we could not find fresh milk.  Anywhere. The only milk we could find was what is known as long-life or UHT (ultra-pasteurized) milk.

Then one day I got home from work to find a bottle of milk in the fridge. Don’t drink that, said the man.  It’s BAD.

But it was meant to be ‘bad’, it was buttermilk. Then we realized that if they sold buttermilk they had to also sell, fresh milk. And they do. You can find fresh milk in the fridges of any of the big supermarkets, but you have to go early, or else it will get sold out. Which explained why we could never find it? Plus the fact that the milk bottles didn’t look at all like we were used to/expected.

Now, 10 years later (we moved back to South Africa for 3 years) we have gotten used to the long life milk, well sort of. I never drink plain milk but I’m happy to use it tea and coffee or over some cereal. The kids are also happy to drink it if mixed with nesquick. And it is really handy that you can buy milk in bulk and not have to worry about it going bad.

That said, since our first year in Belgium things have ‘improved’ in so much that there seems to be more fresh milk being sold in the supermarkets and even some of the smaller ‘night shops’ will now stock it.

an example of our fresh milk ... image via google images

I have also heard of some people who buys their fresh milk directly from the dairy farms, and as nice as that sounds I really just don’t have the time to do that.


  1. Well, now, this was an interesting post!! I honestly don't know what kind of milk we have here - haha! It's pasteurized, but I wouldn't call it "long life" - usually after the expiry date, it goes bad. (Sometimes even before.) I don't think people keep milk in their fridges more than a few weeks before the expiry date.
    My friend married a dairy farmer and they always have "fresh milk" in their fridge - I've never tried it, and she says it's NOTHING like what we buy in the stores. She says most people have no idea what they're missing out on...
    I'm not much of a milk drinker myself. I had a dairy allergy as a child, and never liked the taste of milk. I only use it minimally, like you - in coffee, tea, on cereal, and in baking.

  2. Now that's different. I didn't even know that milk could be sold where it wouldn't go bad. What do they put in there to make it last?? Kinda scary. I couldn't live without my milk. Between me and Lex, we drink about two gallons a week. Crazy, right?

  3. I've never heard of long last milk. This is so interesting! Although our organic milk lasts three times longer than regular pasteurized milk.

  4. So how long does this long lasting milk last? Our milk lasts like 2 weeks and I think that's a pretty long time and I usually don't let it go that long!

  5. I remember seeing milk on shelves in London and wondering how everyone wasn't sick all the time! Haha. It's amazing how different the little things are. This is a great series!