Crying over Chilean milk

Remember last week when I was talking about the best cookies in Chile?

Well really, only one thing could have improved upon that cookie experience: a tall glass of ice-cold milk. 

Milk in Chile comes in a box, called a tetrapak.

You’re probably thinking, what’s so hard about that? Just go out and buy some milk!

Except that we have a problem. I hate Chilean milk.

That’s right, I used the h-word.

Chilean milk goes through Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) Pasteurization, which means that it can sit on a shelf un- refrigerated before being opened. In the U.S., the milk we buy at the store is also pasteurized, but under the High Temperature-Short Time (HTST) method, which means that it must be refrigerated, even before being opened.

Damn you UHT!!

I swear, the UHT process makes milk taste different. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but it tastes less like milk and more like…chemical (even though there are no chemicals used, it’s just heated to a higher temperature).

However, I care about my bones and know that I need calcium. So I do the following things to be able to get enough calcium.

  •  Mix it with chocolate milk. You can buy chocolate milk here in the grocery store, but it’s really thick and sweet. So I usually use half regular milk and half chocolate milk.
  •  Drink tea with milk. Every morning I have tea. I only fill up the mug halfway with water and then the rest with milk.
  •  Make banana milk. I have a new blender, so I just put one banana and about a cup of milk into the blender and voila! I don’t hate it anymore.
  •  Milk and cereal. I normally eat oatmeal in the morning with fruit and a splash of milk. If not, I have cinnamon Cuadritos de Avena, which is my favorite cereal here.
  • Yogurt. I eat at least one yogurt every day. My favorite is Yoplait low-fat plain yogurt with fruit. Yum.

I still really miss milk from the U.S.  I grew up on a farm, remember, and drank milk three meals a day. For awhile it was fresh milk from the farm, but then my parents realized the dangers of salmonella, and we started buying pasteurized milk from the store.

If you are living abroad, what is something you really miss from home?


>Common sense and Milk

>The other night at my house I had a few gringas over (Isabel, Shannon and Jessica were among them, plus Emily who doesn’t have a blog but should get one ASAP!). One of the topics of conversation was Chileans and common sense. I myself haven’t really noticed that Chileans in general lack common sense, but some gringas thought so.

However, today I was face to face with a great example. My Chilean mom’s best friend has been coming to the house to take care of things while she is gone. Even though she knows that she doesn’t have to do my laundry, wash my dishes or cook me lunch, she does anyway. And she buys me chocolates and other sweets (I think she’s trying to fatten me up!) The other day she pointed out to me that there were two open cartons of milk in the main refridgerator, and informed me that I would need to drink them because she does not drink milk and I do.

First of all, yes, I drink milk in the US because it tastes good. I also grew up on a Dairy Farm, so it would be kind of a travesty if I didn’t drink milk. Also, milk in the US doesn’t come in a box and sit on a shelf unopened for months/weeks before it’s put in the fridge like it does here. So no, I do not drink milk here. I put it on my cereal (when I eat ceral, which is rare), pour some into my coffee (when I drink coffee, which is rare), and use it to make scrambled eggs. Needless to say, it was going to be difficult for me to drink two cartons of milk (plus one I had in my fridge already open, making it three!) in a little under four days.

But to please her, I took the cartons of milk to my fridge and slowly started to “drink” them. As in, I made myself eat cereal in the morning (Chocapic, none the less…I feel like a 7 year old) and drink Nescafe (shudder). I also have made eggs a lot this week.

Then today, as I was taking some Chocapic from the main kitchen to eat with my milk, she comes in and says, “Look, Abby, there are three more cartons of unopened milk here in the cupboard! Open one and use it!”

WHAT??? That makes NO SENSE. Does she honestly think I’ve gone through three cartons of disgusting milk in four days? Does she not realize that unopened milk here in Chile can sit on the shelf for weeks without going bad? In fact, I looked at the expiration dates, and they are all in April or May.

So I told her, “Tia, I have three almost full cartons of milk in my fridge. I’m going to attempt to drink those before I leave, but probably won’t be able to, so I think it’s silly to open a new one.”

She said, “Okay, but in case you run out, there’s more down here.”


Also, she is insisting on making me something new for lunch today, even though we have left over pasta, potato salad and salmon in the fridge. I told her, “Tia, I’m leaving tomorrow and I don’t want this food to go bad. So I’ll eat the left overs so you don’t have to cook anything.” She told me, “No! I want to make something fresh for you. I don’t want you to have to eat left overs.” Why is she so worried about milk on a shelf going bad, and not food in the fridge?

Now that just doesn’t make any (common) sense.