Jan 13, 2011

Got (raw) milk?

The slogan reads something like, "Between the cow and you, stands only a bottle." Before Louis Pasteur brought us one of the 20th century’s biggest breakthroughs, raw milk is all we had. Protein, enzyme and fat-rich milk from cows has been a staple for many pastoral cultures.

A growing number of pediatricians, nutritionists and eco-minded dairy lovers are embracing that ancient, frugal pioneer stand by turning to raw milk on tap.

Advocates rely on the untouched dairy’s nutrititive properties. Milk that has been pasteurized is subjected to a short burst of heat followed by rapid cooling; raw freshly-drawn milk is not treated with heat, thus causing vitamins, Calcium, proteins and creamy flavor to remain intact. Raw milk is also said to retain precious beneficial bacteria, proteins and enzymes that aid in digestion, which are otherwise lost in pasteurization.

In addition, the raw milk alimentary trend provides adequate remuneration to breeders and convenient prices for consumers (the current price for a liter, approximately 1 quart of raw milk, is 1.20 €Euro as opposed to supermarket sold industrial milk, which costs €1,50 to €2,00). The environment benefits from this operation too: fewer food miles between cow and breakfast table, and uses the clients’ own refillable glass bottles, which greatly reduce waste.

Despite the controversy surrounding raw milk, and the claims of correlated pathogens, like E Coli, listeria and salmonella, the demand is expanding among health-conscious city and suburban dwellers for milk consumed straight from the udder.

Here is a list of Rome suppliers:
· Fiumicino-based 3rd generation cow breeder Giuseppe Brandizzi’s Biolà cooperative has an automated dispenser in his Testa di Lepre farm – SS Aurelia Km. 22 – Tel. +39 06 668 9067. All you need are a clean glass bottle, a cooler for transportation and a few coins.

· For us Roman cityfolk, there’s also a Biolà refrigerated van with automatic dispensers that distributes organic filtered raw milk (and yogurt, cheese, ricotta, honey and meat) to subscribed clients around town; in rotating neighborhood markets, and at local CSA pick-up spots.

A voicemail service provides a daily recorded list of updated drop-off points. Tel. +39 06 667 4653

Out of town:
· Albano Laziale, on Via delle Mole
· Anzio, on Via Piccola Cannuccia
· Bracciano, on Via Paolo Borsellino
· Ciampino, Via Mario Calò
· Frascati, on Via Enrico Fermi
· Guidonia, on Via Baracca / Via Maremmana / Viadei Girasoli
· Ladispoli, on Via Glasgow
· Le Vittorie – Via Palombarese, off Via Nomentana in Poggio Fiorito (on the way to the golf course)
· Monterotondo, on Via della Libertà /Via Berlinguer
· Palestrina, on Via Madonna Aquila
· Pomezia, on Via Procula
· Rignano Flaminio, at Mangiar Sano shop on Via San Rocco 23

Check out MilkMaps for details on raw milk distribution for the Rome province


  1. intriguing...i have had raw milk on a few farms in my day...

  2. Ah, have cow, will travel -:) We took our bottles to a nearby dairy farm many years ago. I suspect it is still possible, though I've not heard of many within the city doing so. Really hard to beat the taste of "top-milk" on something like warm bread pudding!

  3. Brian~
    I never knew what milk tasted like, before...

    Once you go raw you never go back. And I cook with it too, and even there I notice a difference!

  4. I grew up on a farm and occasionally there would be no bottle, straight from the teat to the mouth—warm, right from the udder. I rarely drink milk now, because, well, it's not very tasty in comparison. Currently I live near the Colosseo and will check out your links and maybe develop a relationship to milk again... Thanks for the great recipes too!

  5. Mi piace tantissimo, mi ricorda quando ero bambino e la mattina bevevo il latte fresco, da un paio di metri dalla mucca :)))

  6. when i can i too buy organic milk... it tastes better too

  7. Amber~
    Wow, we're almost neighbors. Let's hook up!


    Che fortuna! Growing up in such healthy and genuine conditions is so precious.


    Yes, the great health benefits are nothing compared to the great flavor!

  8. thank you for your kind words at emily's...and may you and your little one have peace as well...

  9. Interesting. Eleonora ( responding to your comment on my blog) I love what you have accomplished here in so few months. Your talents, energy and sheer committment to this project have resulted in a great product. I'm proud of you!

  10. You were here?? Again?? Oh dear, I suppose I'm going to have to get to Rome myself, if we're ever to meet! I'm so glad you and little e had a wonderful, if brief, time.
    I miss you too Bella.
    xxx lori

  11. I've always been of the view that cow's milk is for baby cows... - but given calves drink the stuff unpasteurised, one would assume that's the way it should be drunk, unless, of course, one takes the view that I do... :-)

  12. Back again in blogland! Missed your posts and wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!

    XOXO Lola & Nora:)

  13. Ciao Lola,
    I'm planning to get some raw milk first week of February. There's a dairy that sells at an event that happens the first Saturday of every month.
    Glad I don't live in California. Don't know if you've heard some recent news: an armed police raid on an organic grocery in California that was selling (gasp!) raw milk.

  14. Sorry for the late reply, friends!

    Sending hugs and love to you and the gang.


    Thank you Rosaria for your wise understanding and insightful comments. You're my Maestra


    We were in CA for 4 days, full of family hugs and happy tears. Waiting for you here!!


    I don't feed my child the raw stuff yet, his young digestive system still needs to grow a bit. But some pediatricians are OK with it.


    Thank you, welcome back!! Ciao


    Incredible! With all the trouble America is going through, why should milk pose a threat?! Did you read the TIME article I link to in this post?

  15. Lola, I've read the article now. (Clicking on the link from your blog link does not work from my browser, I get a 404 msg.) If I had to put on my cynical hat, I'd say that large commercial milk producers benefit from not having raw milk become popular. While raw milk is not for everyone, people should be left alone to make that choice on their own. As for the US FDA, these are the same folks that give the public salmonella-tainted eggs and approve aspartame as a "safe" additive.

  16. Andrea~
    ...as well as high-fructose corn syrup and GMO soy & alfalfa...

    Of course it's the big producers that scare consumers out of trying raw milk. Unfortunately we've been trained for decaded to NOT make our own decisions...

    Thanks for engaging in this very important conversation.

  17. Oy, non cominciamo con i GMO, senno' mi viene mal di fegato... :-)

  18. Andrea~
    Yeah, don't get me started either! I misspelled a word in my previous reply, it was DECADES, obviously.

    Ciao and thanks again for your comments.

  19. Sometimes! There have been reports of people finding bottles with messages in them years after they have been cast. A bottle just floats wherever the tide takes it, so it is difficult to say who will find your bottle and when. Italian Glass Bottles