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Dairy on a Worldwide Tour!

May 30, 2023

Dairy consumption dates back to about 6,000 years ago in Kenya and Sudan. In modern times, global consumption has shown continued growth worldwide. You may be surprised by this, but the top countries for global consumption of dairy products are: India, EU, United States, and China. Dairy is used all around the world not only for its affordability but its nutritional value. This month, we’re diving into the unique ways people around the globe use dairy and how you can make these staple recipes at home! 

Time to Jet Set…

First stop? India! Did you know that India has the world’s largest dairy herd? India is home to about 300 million dairy cows; about 85,000 metric tons of milk are consumed each year. Different regions of India use dairy products differently; northern India is known for its love of paneer, a soft cow’s cheese, while southern India reaches more for milk and yogurt products in their recipes. Now that it’s hot outside, we’re itching to enjoy a Mango Lassi at home. If you haven’t tried this recipe, it’s a traditional Indian sweet, fruity, and tangy yogurt blended beverage. It is the perfect beverage for cooling down during a hot day and is packed with protein, calcium, and carbohydrates. Get the recipe here.

Where to next? The EU! The EU’s annual milk consumption in 2022 was about 23,800 metric tons. The EU’s top dairy producers are: Germany, France, Poland, and The Netherlands. Different countries within The EU have other methods of using dairy products, but they’re all equally as delicious. We love kickstarting our day with a Dutch Baby Pancake! Though the name may be misleading, the Dutch Baby originates from Germany. With simple but great high-quality ingredients, this dish comes together beautifully, and the giant shared pancake never fails to impress people while hosting. Try our Dutch Baby recipe here

While in The EU, we’ll always take advantage of a fresh bowl of pasta for lunch or dinner, especially if it’s Pasta Carbonara. Pasta Carbonara is a simple but creamy and delicious dish incorporating cured meat, egg yolk, and parmesan cheese to create a luscious sauce. This dish originates from Italy but has many variations-one of our favorites is this riff from Executive Chef Colin Smith from Smith and River, find it here

For this trek of the trip, we won’t be traveling too far; we’re cruising through the United States! Did you know in the US, it typically takes less than 48 hours for a bottle of milk to reach the store from the farm? COWABUNGA. In 2022, there were approximately 39,442 dairy farms in the US; of that, 38,286 farms were family-owned. Moreover, the annual milk consumption in the US reached 20,975 metric tons in 2022. Though we can’t name all of our favorite American dishes made up of dairy, one dish we’ll take for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is grits! Mixed with butter, parmesan cheese, and milk, creamy grits are hard to pass up, especially when they’re topped with more cheese. These creamy grits, topped with homemade pimento cheese, are one of our all-time favorite dishes; get the recipe here.

Can you guess what our last stop is? China! China hasn’t always consumed dairy at a high rate; however, in recent years, dairy has become increasingly popular for its high percentage of protein and calcium. In 2022, the annual milk consumption in China was 16,250 metric tons, and the China Dietary Guidelines recommend individuals consume 300 to 500 grams daily. Fermented yogurt-based beverages, like Nailao, are consumed daily and are packed with probiotics which are incredibly beneficial for gut health. Learn more about why fermented dairy products like Nailao should be implemented into our diets and what other dairy products contain probiotics here.

Until our next adventure, let the cheese wheels rest…

Dairy is a high commodity globally and plays a significant role in people’s diets. Accessibility, affordability, and nutrient-dense foods allow individuals access to a healthier diet everywhere. To find more dairy-inclusive recipes from around the world, click here.

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