Milked in Sicily

September 3, 2010

Yes, Sicily has changed me. I hang out my wash, speak in pantomime, keep odd Sicilian hours, wear D&G spectacles, tolerate absurdity. And knock back raw milk.

Not quite straight from a cow, but almost. You situate your empty bottle just so under a teat-nozzle, deposit your cash (80 cents a liter), squeeze START, and out spurts a stream of pearly-whiteness. And this cow doesn’t kick!

Buying Raw Milk in Sicily, Copyright Jann Huizenga

"Just-milked (appena munto) Ragusan milk"

I glug the fat sweet stuff right from the bottle; it’s half gone by the time I get home.

Could this be dangerous? Am I really “playing Russian roulette with my health” as John Sheehan, director of dairy-food safety at the FDA claims? Was there a good reason for Pasteur’s discovery?

When I Googled “raw milk” a thousand things came up. I was surprised to find that only 6 US states allow it, that there’s a raging debate in the US, and a raw-milk campaign. “Why is it that in America it’s easier to buy drugs, guns, and political favors than it is to buy a gallon of raw milk?” asks one site.

“Americans are afraid of their own shadows,” someone in Italy said to me recently. Is he right?


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9 comments to Milked in Sicily

  • Hi Jann!

    I too have tried “raw” milk in Italy. They have the same device in Urbino. Actually, I’m not sure if they still have it. I heard that at the end of last year, someone got sick or something, so they might have done away with it. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

    I was fine after drinking it. It’s actually very tasty and creamier than pasteurized milk.

    Bottoms up!

  • We actually have a local person who delivers such milk from the back of her van!

    • Jann

      That is absolutely amazing!!! It’s so interesting the different things people around Italy get delivered to their doors: veggies, bread, hot ricotta, toilet paper, and now raw milk!

  • I’ve seen those milk machines here in my part of Italy (southern Lazio) and have always wanted to try them. Glad to hear the milk is tasty! And yes, Americans (at least those who are tuned into the media) ARE afraid of everything.

  • I have heard this before! the Americans are afraid of their shadows.

  • Jann

    Thanks for commenting, Michele.

  • I don’t know about raw milk. I am staying away from raw eggs. I honestly think that three year olds with runny noses are far more dangerous to my health than either milk or eggs. Fighting my first virus of the year and we just got into September. This after being so healthy ALL summer! Drat!

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