10 January 2011


One of my very favorite grocery items in France was the shelf-stabilized creamer. We require half-n-half in our coffee; the real stuff, not fat-free. Sometimes we run out at home... 2% milk does not fill the bill. We actually digress to powdered creamer rather than milk. Yep. No comparison to the real stuff, but not as thinning as milk.

That being said, we didn't really need shelf-stabilized creamer in France because we were in the grocery store most days, but we love the idea of an endless supply of creamer just waiting for us on our pantry shelves. We briefly considered bringing a supply home. LFW was tempted, too. But, luggage weight restrictions nixed the idea.

Since being home I've not lost my interest in the product, but hadn't researched its availability until this morning. There seems to be limited availability, and some processors such as Organic Valley have suspended production for a time--I think Americans just haven't wrapped their minds around shelf-stable milk products.

I'm guessing it's conditioning--we've grown up believing milk products spoil quickly if not refrigerated, even with the huge advances in sterilized packaging. Our grandchildren in Central Europe have grown up believing that's the only way milk comes--it's stacked high in the grocery stores and in cartons of 12 or 18 in their pantry.

Milk distributors have not marketed shelf-stable milk products in the U.S., at least not in Illinois or Wisconsin. A simple search of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board site reveals not one hit for shelf-stable milk. Nor do I get a hit on the Real California Milk site. Obviously, the powers-that-be in the world of milk have a bias toward not promoting shelf-stable milk products. Follow the money...

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