I've been thinking a lot about the boxed milk here. It's just not the same. I miss my gallon jug of 2% milk. Cold. And I really really miss a nice bowl of cereal. I used to eat cereal a lot. And many times at night. I stopped doing that altogether since I came here. Mostly because I don't like the way it tastes.
So I've done a little research to find out why it tastes so different. And I thought I'd share it with you.
Milk is pasteurized in different ways. One way, and also the way in which is mostly used in the US is called High temperature short time Pasteurization (HTST). Milk is heated to 161 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. This process kills most disease producing organisms. It is given an expiration date and then of course is shipped to the store nearest you, cold.
Another way is called UHT, Ultra High temperature pasteurization. Milk is heated at a much higher temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 seconds. When heating it this high, it kills almost all of the bacteria and spores. In a sterile environment it is then sealed and placed into a square container that looks very much like a big juice box.
From the extreme heat of the process, the sugars are burned off and the milk becomes sweeter. The milk is not refrigerated, and is given a shelf life of 6-9 months.
Overall, this has been a bit helpful. We can buy more of it at a time and keep it in the pantry. And the kids love it. But that's as far as it goes for me. I'm not loving it.
But since I've only been here for 3 months, and I still have another 20 months to go... (roughly) I will give it another shot. Maybe it will grow on me. Maybe.
I know one thing is for sure, when I get back to the states on my vacation, I am going to eat a bunch of cereal. And I will drink a lot of milk. I do miss it.
This picture especially makes me homesick. I know this cereal too well. And I like it. Just as much as my kids do.