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So is this what grass-fed dairy looks like?

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  • So is this what grass-fed dairy looks like?

    The raw Guernsey dairy man was at the farmers' market today, so I bought cheese, milk and a pot of cream. I've had cream from this source before, and it's been rich and devour-straight-from-the-pot scrumptious and utterly unlike the white stuff from supermarkets. But this pot is almost solid, the consistency of well-whipped cream, and a deep, deep yellow colour. Wow.

    All I can think is that the cows are eating spring grass and the carotenoid content of their milk has skyrocketed. So do you naturally get a different colour cream in spring? I had no idea.

    (UK people - Home )

  • #2
    Isn't that amazing?! I've even seen the yellow-ness of Kerrygold's (grass-fed) butter change!!! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! When seasonality is apparent in your food, you are doing something right
    Little Saiyan

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    • #3
      I too have noticed this in the butter. (Mmmm, Kerry gold salted butter, amazing stuff)
      “To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” - William Londen

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Hilary View Post
        The raw Guernsey dairy man was at the farmers' market today, so I bought cheese, milk and a pot of cream. I've had cream from this source before, and it's been rich and devour-straight-from-the-pot scrumptious and utterly unlike the white stuff from supermarkets. But this pot is almost solid, the consistency of well-whipped cream, and a deep, deep yellow colour. Wow.

        All I can think is that the cows are eating spring grass and the carotenoid content of their milk has skyrocketed. So do you naturally get a different colour cream in spring? I had no idea.

        (UK people - Home )
        I buy from these guys too, but only in the spring and summer. They have really good milk, cream and yoghurt. For some reason I don't like their butter though....

        What farmers market do you go to? I go to the one in Notting Hill Gate in London.
        "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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        • #5
          Oxford. I'm lucky that they come all the way from Somerset! I suppose I started buying from them last September or so, so this is my first Spring cream.

          It's pretty bizarre that I've been enjoying dairy products for 38 years and have only just discovered this seasonal change. A 'welcome to the planet you live on' kind of moment.

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          • #6
            yup. milk, egg yolk color (more yellow in winter, more orange in summer), and we're even on a schedule of fruit availability now, too. interesting stuff.

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            • #7
              My farmer sells range hens, they're retired egg-layers. I pick them over the regular broilers even though the meat is so tough because the fat is a beautiful butter yellow -- I'm not exaggerating. The fat floating on top of the stockpot looks like olive oil. Normally I actually avoid poultry because of the high O6s (plus honestly I just prefer pork, beef, and lamb ), but I definitely make an exception for this stuff.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                All I can think is that the cows are eating spring grass and the carotenoid content of their milk has skyrocketed. So do you naturally get a different colour cream in spring? I had no idea.

                (UK people - Home )
                Yup
                And thanks for the link!

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                • #9

                  That cream is officially in the top 10 most amazing things ever eaten, along with roast venison and naturally ripened mangoes... and probably this should be another thread.

                  Re-free range chickens... bought one of those at the same market, roasted it, and y'day I picked all the remaining meat off the carcass. Couldn't help noticing this bird has muscles where the supermarket 'free range' variety has nothing of the kind. Interesting!

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                  • #10
                    Wonderful, magical stuff, innit? =)
                    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

                    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
                    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

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                    • #11
                      Pretty sure the same thing goes for eggs! All cage-eggs have a pale, yellow color, but once you get from free-range ones, they're nice and orange! Also, something I noticed, at least with my last batch from my neighbour, is that the yolk is much more creamy and thick. YUM!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hilary View Post

                        That cream is officially in the top 10 most amazing things ever eaten, along with roast venison and naturally ripened mangoes... and probably this should be another thread.

                        Re-free range chickens... bought one of those at the same market, roasted it, and y'day I picked all the remaining meat off the carcass. Couldn't help noticing this bird has muscles where the supermarket 'free range' variety has nothing of the kind. Interesting!
                        Not sure what the regs are in the US or other places but I think they are similar. All a producer has to do to be able to label it 'free range' is give the chickens access to the outdoors and the freedom to do so. So in the case of a huge broiler barn that could mean an open door to a fenced area and it doesn't even have to be that big especially in ratio to the number of hens in the barn. The chickens don't actually have to range..a lot don't. So many 'free range' hens never ever see the light of day or move around that much. This is because of socialization and because they've been bred to have so much 'meat' (huge breasts) on them that when they get to a certain size they literally can't. They've also had a lot of their natural foraging traits bred out of them. They've also been bred to reach that size super quickly. Generally, at least right now chickens you can find from farmers markets are from smaller farmers who tend to actually range their chickens. Sometimes the breed is a bit different different and foraging ability is traded off for longer growth times. This is one of the reasons that real free range chickens tend to be more expensive. You can't smoosh as many numbers in the same space as a factory barn and it can take a bit longer to get to slaughter size. Most chickens ,even free range ones still get some sort of feed, usually grain feed and more time to slaughter means more feed which means more cost. Factory barn raised 'free range' chickens are more like a marketing gimic. You're just paying a higher price for the word when it comes down to it. Same thing with goes with the 'organic' certification label in a lot of jurisdictions. Most official certification has to do with feed and things like hormone and anti-biotic input and has little to do with how they actually live. Some certifications do address that but have loop holes (like the small door to the outside one). Nothing says they HAVE to go outside.

                        The other thing that's great about market chickens is you can usually ask the seller how they were raised. Do they actually 'range'? This could mean ranged in anything from moveable pens, portable pasture enclosures, in fenced pastures/yards or just let out to run around where ever they feel like it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bissen View Post
                          Pretty sure the same thing goes for eggs! All cage-eggs have a pale, yellow color, but once you get from free-range ones, they're nice and orange! Also, something I noticed, at least with my last batch from my neighbour, is that the yolk is much more creamy and thick. YUM!
                          The big egg producers are catching onto this now so going just by the yolks isn't so cut and dry anymore. They'll add things to the feed that will make the yolk a deeper yellow and more orangey. Just adding flax or a higher ratio of flax to feed will make the yolks a deeper color.

                          Right now the yolks of my chickens are lighter yellow. That's because it was winter and they ate way more grain feed. As the grass and other nibblies start growing it will change color. It's pretty cool to see it's progression. The deepest color usually happens in the summer and the consistency changes a bit. Everything gets firmer, especially when the bugs start coming out in droves.

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                          • #14
                            You know, I really feel like I'm joining the planet. It's some combination of the improvement in physical health and discovering food. I used to eat a fairly 'healthy' amount of vegetables, I suppose, but it was always the same 5 things from the same 5 places in the supermarket, always looking and tasting the same, and eaten with the same staples of rice and pasta and beans & yay, meat substitutes, out of the same packets. Now... I'm enjoying nettles, looking forward to asparagus and chard, mourning the end of the venison season this month (but just discovering slow-cooked beef shin ), and going into raptures about yellow cream. Food actually turns out to have something to do with the world outside my window - who'd've thought?

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