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Meet The World’s First Milk Sommelier

Here at Friends of Glass, we can never resist a nice glass of milk poured from a cool glass milk bottle (of course)! It might surprise those of you who think that the doorstep delivery went out with black and white TV that every day, the UK’s 5 000 milkmen and women deliver to around 2.5 million homes. After all, who doesn’t like their milk delivered straight to their home or workplace?

If you are as big a milk enthusiast as we are, you probably already know that glass helps keeps milk fresher for longer and ensures that it retains all its taste and goodness. That’s why when we came across Bas de Groot ,the world’s first milk sommelier, we were keen to learn more about his work.

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What does being a milk sommelier entail?

As far as I know, I am the first so-called Milk Sommelier. It started with a blog post for the Milk Story. As a milk addict (I drank 4 litres a day) I was asked to write something for them because I am a trained organic grower and passionate about soil. I wrote an article on the possibility that milk, just like wine can be a terroir product, which means a product that is connected to the soil. When Sietske Klooster, an artist who was working on the Melksalon read the article, she called me and referred to me as the Milk Sommelier, and the name just stuck.

A milk sommelier can be a person who tells you what milk to consume or use based on what sort of palate a person has, or what plate of food it is to be paired with. This can be quite complex, so I try to get my hands on as much milk as I can and discover information about the milk, such as like the soil type, feed, age of the cattle, type of cow, etc.


What is your favourite milk and why?

I have several favourites, but the type of milk I like the most is raw milk. This milk has the complete flavor with all its layers. It can be great or very bad, but you cannot say it is boring. The raw milk I prefer most is from grass-fed cattle. Their milk is more layered and most of the time with a fruity (almost raspberry-like) taste.


Do milk taste preferences vary across Europe?

On every farm, milk tastes different. Therefore people grow up being used to a variety of different tastes. That is what intrigues me most, and yes tastes do vary across Europe. What I really want to experience is milk from homogeneous cattle, fed by bio-diverse grazing on a very specific type of soil, such as the cows in the Alps or Icelandic cows.


What is the best way to preserve the taste of milk?

If you want to taste milk like a sommelier you definitely need to use glass as it keeps taste intact. The best way to preserve the taste of milk is to drink it as purely as possible. So it has to be raw and direct from the tank. The best temperature is 8 degrees Celsius. However, you need to be sensible when drinking raw milk, as there can be a health risk from bacteria. So ensure you always get this milk by a clean working farmer and use your senses!


What are the biggest misconceptions about milk?

The biggest misconception about milk is that it is white. If you look too closely at different sourced milk, you can see white, yellow, greenish or even blue hints. Milk isn’t just for the young either. Just like beer, cola, wine and juice, adults drink it because they like it!

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Fore more information visit Bas’s website