These days, the question isn't really "got milk?" It's more like "which milk?"
Everything from old-fashioned whole milk to lactose-free skim to unsweetened soy -- it seems like the last time everyone in the family reached for the same gallon may have been back when they all shared the same phone number, too.
And if a venture backed by Dubai's ruling sheik gains momentum, Americans may one day be adding yet another carton to their shopping carts: camel milk.
As the Associated Press reports, a company in the United Arab Emirates has recently been cleared by E.U. health regulators to become the largest exporter of camel milk products to Europe. If all goes well there, camel milk could eventually make its way to the U.S.
Why camels? According to enthusiasts, camel milk is superior to cow's milk for a lot of reasons: it's got less fat overall but higher levels of heart-healthy unsaturated fats; it has five times the level of vitamin C; and it's naturally lactose free.
The milk in Europe will be marketed under the name "Camelicious," initially in a powdered version. There are long-term plans, however, to one day open a camel farm somewhere on the continent that may be hospitable to the desert-dwelling dromedaries, like Spain.
Camel's milk has long been consumed in the Middle East and across North Africa, and though the desert flora that camels typically eat naturally gives their milk a bit of a salty tinge, that can be augmented by adjusting their diet.
Still, flavor aside, camel milk is obviously considered exotic abroad, and as such, a tough sell to replace a household staple.
"We're thinking about [starting with] health food stores and alternative markets," a Camelicious spokesman told the AP, "It's probably going to be a niche thing at first."
True, but if it's anything like soy milk, in fifteen years we might be drinking camel-milk lattes at Starbucks.http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5guH5KWu7T1m3ZxRUvZOtNngeA4NQD9HOA2083