“ Milk „
There's just the two of us in our house and every weekend we get 2 x 2l containers of milk for £2 from Asda. This lasts us all week, unless for any reason, we use more than we normally do. Just such an occasion happened this week such that when shopping for bits and pieces yesterday, I was looking for just a small bottle of milk to tide us over until Saturday.
Of course, I could have opted for the smaller bottles of ordinary blue top. (Sorry, but red and green top just doesn't pass the taste test on cereals), but here was a chance to try something new.
Tesco Finest Channel Island Milk is kept in the chiller near to the cream (which I also bought together with some strawberries!) and is a very reasonable 95p for a 1 litre container. It comes in a traditional milk bottle shape but of course the container is plastic. It features the traditional gold coloured top which I just about remember from the olden days when Mum used to order some of this for the weekend and you could see a line where the cream had risen to the top of the bottle.
Now I can get by with any old milk for tea and coffee, but I do like my cereal and in particular my muesli, to which I add fresh fruit, so when I got home, it was a good enough excuse to try this out....so I did. I added a couple of chopped strawberries that I had bought - noticed the creaminess of the milk as I poured it into the bowl and in I went.
Well, I have to say that this was lovely. It looked good, it tasted good and by golly, I felt as if it was doing me good. When I later read the label, I changed my mind on the last bit because there's lots of saturated fat in this product - enough for it to be identified within the red zone as regards the traffic light labelling. There's 34g of saturated fat in the one litre bottle and that's a lot.
To drink the full bottle would add 800 calories to your daily intake, which would be a meal in itself. I do like this and would certainly buy it again, to the extent that I may even engineer a milk shortage next week as well. I think it would taste great as the basis of a milk shake. The extra creaminess plus a dollop of good quality ice cream would make all the difference, I think.
I have gone back to buying this milk recently, not as the main milk, as it's too expensive for that, but as a nicer extra.
It's a full fat milk and it comes from Guersney and Jersey cows, what is sometimes referred to in ck books as gold-top milk. It's either non-homogenised or less homogenised which allows the cream to come up to the top.
It's creamy rather than completely white in colour and it comes in 1l transparent bottles with a gold coloured screw top.
This is milk as milk should be: it looks very enticing (so much that I checked the bottle for a hint of colourant added but have not found any), it smells of milky, slightly grassy smell (or is it just me imagining things) and it tastes lovely: creamy, sweet and rich.
The biggest disadvanatge is the price, as it costs 95p for a 1 litre bottle as opposed to for example £1.50 for 4l (2x 2l) bottles of Tesco Pure (own-brand Cravendale equivalent) filtered milk which I normally buy.
The biggest advantage is the taste. I find that gold top milk is too creamy to put in in my tea or coffee but great on cereals, and for pudding making purposes.
What about the health though? One of the dooyoo reviews is titled "die happy". Is Channel Island Milk as bad for you as it sometimes is declared?
Gold top milk has more fat than a standard full milk - 5.2g per 100ml instead of 3.6g (semi-skimmed has 1.6g, and I won't even mention skimmed, because it's such a dishwater than it's not even worth talking about). It's still only about 5% fat, though which is pretty low fat as far as food in general is concerned.
Due to the higher fat content, it has more clories: 161kcal in 200ml in comparison to 126kcal in whole milk and 90kcal in semi skimmed. If you are conecenred about your calorie intake and assuming you would use as much as that on your cereal (I certainly use less), it's still only a difference of 70kcal even if comparing it with a semi-skimmed: you can easily save that amount by simply using less, or NOT eating half a small chocolate bar, half a packet of crisps, or a small banana.
I believe in quality over quantity, and on that score the gold top wins hands down. It's better to have less of a lovely thing than more of an indifferent one, and it makes you more satisfied and thus probably eating less overall.
As everybody should know, no food, unless gone off, is bad for you in itslef. Ocean racers live on chocolate with nuts and mountaineers swear by Kendal Mint Cake (pure sugar). It's all a question of proportion.
When we were children one of our daily jobs was to go and collect the milk. It didn't mean a visit to the local shop it meant a long haul up the hill to the farm, at the dairy they had just finished milking the herd and we were handed a metal billy can full to the brim with warm, fresh and creamy milk.
The milk had a high cream content and when it was left to settle a layer of thick cream would build up on the top. If you had a pudding after your meal then the cream was saved to top the pudding.
Of course this would be frowned on nowadays! Although when I was listening to Radio 2 I heard something mentioned about the Duchess of Devonshire, the Duchess has always had her milk straight from the farm and she declared that it had never done her any harm.
But times have changed dramatically and great emphasis is placed on pasteurising our milk to free it from unwanted bacteria.
Pasteurisation is a process where the milk is heated to a high temperature, often 72 degrees, then it is held at that temperature for around 30 seconds.
But as soon as you get that carton or bottle of milk home and open it new bacteria start to grow, the quicker the new bacteria multiply the quicker the milk will sour.
We have all kinds of milk on offer at the supermarket, skimmed, semi-skimmed, full cream, UHT milk. I think most of us tend to buy either the skimmed or the semi-skimmed version.
If we are honest all we seem to get from that type of milk is a whitening agent for our tea!
Although I buy semi-skimmed milk I am hard pushed to find any taste attached to it, although it does make a decent sauce or rice pudding.
Even if you throw caution to the wind and buy some full cream milk there is very little substance in it really. The chances of it tasting very creamy are pretty remote. But if you add the full cream milk to your tea or coffee you can instantly notice the fat content, when the hot drink is finished the cup develops a greasy layer inside.
Take a close look at the stacks of milk in the supermarket and it is all pure white, creamy looking milk is almost a thing of the past.
We can be good some of the time, but not all of the time! Occasionally the odd sauce or pudding recipe will crop up that requires milk. If I am intending to use the recipe for a special occasion then naturally I want the end product to be near to perfection as I can manage.
So this is where Tesco Finest Channel Island milk comes in, the creamy rich milk is perfect for those calorie laden dishes that we all love to treat ourselves to from time to time.
Tesco have made a good effort to maintain a traditional appearance to their Channel Island milk, rather than put the milk inside of the normal plastic bottle that we all expect they have recreated the shape of the old fashioned milk bottle.
Undo the screw cap and just smell the milk, whereas our ordinary day to day milk smells of nothing the Channel Island milk has a distinctly creamy smell. The milk is thicker and instead of being pure white it is a rich `buttery` colour. Instinct tells you that it the product is good quality.
Although the milk isn't thick enough to use as a pouring cream it has substance.
As you pour the milk from the plastic bottle the inside remains coated in the creamy milk.
I can think of many uses for this rich milk, superb for morning porridge or on breakfast cereals. It will make delicious custard or milk puddings. Maybe if you feel you have deserved a treat then you could make yourself an extra creamy cup of coffee for elevenses.
Tesco Channel Island milk contains double the amount of calories contained in our usual semi-skimmed milk, it is high in fats, saturated fats and sugar too.
Milk is often referred to as Natures tranquilliser, rich in tryptophan and amino acid protein which both aid relaxation. Of course it is also a valued source of calcium too.
A one litre bottle costs in the region of 95p, so the quality is reflected in the price.
I wouldn't buy Channel Island milk on a daily basis but for those special occasions it is well worth the investment.
Okay, let's get the health part out of the way first. This stuff is NOT good for you. In fact, your arteries are probably clanging shut just from reading this review. This isn't just full-fat milk - it's milk so filled with cream it looks YELLOW. It has 161 calories per serving, 6.8g of saturates per serving (34% of your daily allowance) and 10.4g of fat per serving. It isn't good for you, and at 95 pence per litre, it's not cheap either.
That said, it tastes divine...
I am a lover of whole milk, let me admit that from the start, and I will add cream to just about anything I can get away with. This milk is gorgeous drunk, and can also improve so many things if you use it in the kitchen. Porridge turns deliciously creamy, custard suddenly tastes incredibly good - even mix deserts like angel delight or the creme caramel mix you can get to make up start tasting a bit special. We won't even TALK about how good it makes hot chocolate taste.
Our local Tesco stopped stocking it - I suspect possibly people weren't buying it due to the health aspect. It's still available from Tesco Online though, and probably the big Tescos too.
It's not good for you, and you probably shouldn't buy it on a weekly basis. But for a one off treat? Get it. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes.