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Thread: Why don't the French drink fresh milk?

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    Why don't the French drink fresh milk?



    Just a simple question...

    France is world-famous for its food culture and high standards. But every time I am in France and go to the supermarkets, I'm shocked that I so hard to find fresh milk. They only have UHT (long-life) milk, which tastes disgusting...

    In many countries, for instance the Nordic countries and the UK, people always drink fresh milk and would never dream of buying UHT milk...

    The French appreciate fresh vegetables, bread etc., but apparently not milk? How can that be?

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    Same in Belgium. You can usually find fresh milk in any supermarket's refrigerators, but UHT milk is much more common because it's much easier to keep at home. There is less waste. With fresh milk you have to go shopping every 2 or 3 days or you have to hurry to finish bottles before they go bad. I only drank fresh milk when I lived in the UK or Japan, but personally I don't think there is a big difference of taste. But I never drink milk alone, only with cereals, or for cooking (pancakes, pudding, etc.).

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    I just found these statistics:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2658175.ece

    UHT milk as a percentage of total consumption:

    Austria 20.3
    Belgium 96.7
    Czech Rep 71.4
    Denmark 0.0
    Finland 2.4
    France 95.5
    Germany 66.1
    Greece 0.9
    Hungary 35.1
    Ireland 10.9
    Italy 49.8
    Netherlands 20.2
    Norway 5.3
    Poland 48.6
    Portugal 92.9
    Slovakia 35.5
    Spain 95.7
    Sweden 5.5
    Switzerland 62.8
    Britain 8.4

    -----

    Maybe it's just a cultural difference...

    I guess we Scandinavians drink a lot of milk compared to other countries. And the fresh milk is sold in 1 litre cartons, which easily can be drunk in 3 or 4 days before it goes bad. So there is no need for UHT milk.

    Moreover, most of us go shopping every 2 or 3 days (or even every day), because we want our milk (and bread) to be as fresh as possible
    Last edited by TheCaptain; 11-06-09 at 00:43.

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    I prefer long life milk over fresh milk, which has a stinky taste for me!

    This coming from a person who eats cheese very often and you know a lot of the cheese here have a strong smell!

    My Japanese friend even told me that the food I had chosen (that had goat cheese on it) was not food for human!

    And still isn't…

    I doubt his taste has suddenly changed in such short period of time especially that he went home already!

    Lastly, it is true that I don't drink a lot of milk!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCaptain View Post
    UHT milk as a percentage of total consumption:

    Austria 20.3
    Belgium 96.7
    Czech Rep 71.4
    Denmark 0.0
    Finland 2.4
    France 95.5
    Germany 66.1
    Greece 0.9
    Hungary 35.1
    Ireland 10.9
    Italy 49.8
    Netherlands 20.2
    Norway 5.3
    Poland 48.6
    Portugal 92.9
    Slovakia 35.5
    Spain 95.7
    Sweden 5.5
    Switzerland 62.8
    Britain 8.4
    I was ready to post that Greeks don't like this milk at all when I saw this list that confirmed it. However I didn't expect that Greece would have one of the lowest percentages!

    Long life milk is really unpopular here. Fresh milk is usually the only type of milk sold in super/mini markets and only the biggest supermarkets sell UHT milk. There are only 2 brands of UHT milk and the last 2 years they are spending crazy amounts of money for advertisement to attract more people, but I don't think there are any results :P

    The same applies for vegetables, fish and other types of food. Fresh ones are the most popular, while the deep frozen/ready-to-eat salads/meals sold at the big supermarkets will stay at the shelves for ever.
    I was surprised by how many people were buying such products when i was in Germany. The first time I ate such a salad was there and I didn't really like it. I can't understand how people trust the companies that make them that the vegetables are well washed and of good quality...

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    There is a general belief, here in Sweden, that people of southern Europe dont drink milk because their stomach cant take it. A genetic hereditary thing, I suppose - not to say that it is actualy true - though I suppose that it might be.

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    This is half true.
    It is true that Southern Europeans have the highest lactose intolerance in Europe and northern ones the lowest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance .
    My mother has this problem also since she was a teenager, but me, my father and brother don't.
    What is not true is that we don't drink milk. I don't know about Spanish or Italians but Greeks, I can assure you, love milk. We drink it like crazy, an hour later after opening time you can see employees restocking the shelves with milk at the supermarkets!
    Companies that produce milk, also sell fresh milk with 70% less lactose which is suitable for people with lactose intolerance, causing no problems to their stomach.
    My mother buys such milk and she says it doesn't affect her stomach like normal milk does. Its expiration date is the same as normal milk, 2-3 days or so. I've tried it and it tastes like normal milk.
    So with or without lactose intolerance, Greeks drink tons of milk.
    Last edited by Marianne; 13-06-09 at 13:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Marple's nephew View Post
    There is a general belief, here in Sweden, that people of southern Europe dont drink milk because their stomach cant take it. A genetic hereditary thing, I suppose - not to say that it is actualy true - though I suppose that it might be.
    Scandinavians and Dutch people have the highest lactose tolerance (95 to 99%). However I doubt that this has any influence on UHT vs fresh milk preference. Belgians drink UHT and are also 95% lactose tolerant. Greeks only drink fresh milks, like Danes, despite the big discrepancy in lactose tolerance.

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    Here is another question:

    Why is it that they don't refrigerate eggs in many countries? I have always thought that eggs should be kept in the refrigerator all the time...

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Marianne View Post
    .....with or without lactose intolerance, Greeks drink tons of milk.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    ..... Belgians drink UHT and are also 95% lactose tolerant.
    I have a sudden urge to go to the nearest pub to drink a White Russian! Anyone care to join me?

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    Sure, if it wasn't for this beach party I have to go tonight :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCaptain View Post
    Here is another question:
    Why is it that they don't refrigerate eggs in many countries? I have always thought that eggs should be kept in the refrigerator all the time...
    I have always kept eggs in the refrigerator. But it's true that supermarkets here keep them outside refrigerators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I have always kept eggs in the refrigerator. But it's true that supermarkets here keep them outside refrigerators.
    Pretty much the same in the UK

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    Eggs should definitely be kept in refrigerators,but there are not many supermarkets, it is better to say that there are a few of them which keep them in refs. Isn't it the disturbance of the sanitary code?

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    It is more practical to store in long-lasting milk house be having to go to buy more fresh milk has a lot of fat. Only skimmed milk consumption, except a couple of times a year that fresh milk consumption in Spain is consuming more long-lasting milk, as for breakfast or snacks usually drink milk with coffee.

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    Coffee with milk is tasty, isn't it? Long-lasting milk is more practical, maybe.

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    It would be indeed paradoxical for the French, since they are found of raw-milk cheese.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCaptain View Post
    Just a simple question...
    France is world-famous for its food culture and high standards. But every time I am in France and go to the supermarkets, I'm shocked that I so hard to find fresh milk. They only have UHT (long-life) milk, which tastes disgusting...
    In many countries, for instance the Nordic countries and the UK, people always drink fresh milk and would never dream of buying UHT milk...
    The French appreciate fresh vegetables, bread etc., but apparently not milk? How can that be?
    You're probably comparing UHT milk with pasteurised homogenised milk, which seems to be the norm for Northern Europe. I agree that UHT can be an unpleasant surprise for people used to pasteurised homogenised milk.

    In France in most supermarkets I go to in the south-centre of France one can buy UHT milk, but also "lait cru", which is even less prolonged-life milk than pasteurised homogenised milk. In contrast to UHT/pasteurised/homogenised milk, lait cru is entirely raw and hasn't been altered since leaving the cow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marrabel View Post
    Eggs should definitely be kept in refrigerators,but there are not many supermarkets, it is better to say that there are a few of them which keep them in refs. Isn't it the disturbance of the sanitary code?
    Eggs ought to be kept in a dry place, but the inside of a fridge tends to have a level of humidity higher than a cupboard. They also ought to be kept away from other smells or flavours, such as one usually finds in a fridge.

    There's not much point putting eggs in the fridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Marple's nephew View Post
    There is a general belief, here in Sweden, that people of southern Europe dont drink milk because their stomach cant take it. A genetic hereditary thing, I suppose - not to say that it is actualy true - though I suppose that it might be.
    Here is a lactose tolerance map. Iberia has the same tolerance as Finland or Balts :


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    Iberia has the same tolerance as Finland or Balts

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    Another map :




    Western africans have the same tolerance as the Scandinavians...

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    Right now I just drink a glass of skim milk with cocoa very long time, does that mean the event that I have an affinity with monkeys?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    I don't know what is so funny. It's from this study :

    http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v35...ng1263_ft.html

    " (c) Geographic distribution of the lactase persistence allele in contemporary Europeans. The darker the orange color, the higher is the frequency of the lactase persistence allele. The dashed black line indicates the limits of the geographic distribution of early Neolithic cattle pastoralist (Funnel Beaker Culture) inferred from archaeological data15 "

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