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Got (good) milk?

Snowville's milk is minimally pasteurized and unhomogenized which gives it an old-fashioned taste. (Michael diBari Jr. / The Washington Post)

Snowville Creamery's slogan is "Milk, the way it used to be." It's an idea that resonated with readers of my piece "Milk's New Wave". This week, many wrote, called or logged into our chat to share their memories of delicious milk.

Some readers missed the "cream-line" milk most. Others talked about the thick, rich flavor of milk they drank when they were young. But my favorite memory came from Les Hubbard of Prince Frederick, Md., who recalled the days when the Sealtest milkmen would deliver bottles of milk to his door in Arlington.

The cream on top would be poured off to serve in my parents’ morning coffee or my grandmother and caregiver occasionally would purloin some to make butter. That would be a part-time task assigned to I believe a Maytag washer with wringer atop. The agitator with bottle of cream attached soon produced butter which was a scarce commodity during rationing of those days. We couldn’t do that later when upgrading to a Bendix front loader.

By the 1960s, the quality of milk had already begun to falter, Hubbard wrote. But

in August 1964 My Lovely Wife and I spent a few days with a family at their home in Interlaken, Switzerland, perhaps a forerunner of today’s bed and breakfasts. Our host mistress of the house asked on our first night asked that, if we woke before the family, would I go to the front porch and collect the morning’s milk delivery. As the sun just arose, I retrieved a stainless steel pail, with a few flies present, containing raw milk with cream floating atop. That made the best darn café au lait we drank during our European visit.

Such a lovely picture will only further encourage the other set of readers that wrote in to me this week with a burning question: So, where can I get this milk? Snowville Creamery is available at eight Whole Foods Markets in the Washington Metro area including Annapolis, Arlington, Bethesda, Georgetown, Old Town, P Street, Rockville and Tenley Town. (On April 20, that list will expand to include Fair Lakes, Gaithersburg, the Inner Harbor, Mount Washington, Silver Spring and Tysons Corner.)

Trickling Springs is available at a long list of retailers: Balducci's in Bethesda; Aroma on U Street; Cork Market on 14th Street; Cowgirl Creamery in Penn Quarter; Maple Avenue Market in Vienna; Heyser Farms in Silver Spring plus several Whole Foods, Yes Organic Markets and all the Washington locations of Mom's Organic Market.

For an (almost) complete list, the Trickling Springs Web site allows you to search for retailer by town. (The site is not entirely up to date, but the creamery is working to fix that.)

If none of those are convenient, there's always South Mountain Creamery, which does things the old-fashioned way and delivers milk right to your door. The delivery area includes most of the Washington metro area, including Frederick, Baltimore, northern Virginia plus Virginia Beach and Norfolk. There is also another business, Holy Cow Delivery, which delivers South Mountain's milk to Annandale, Berryville, Burke, Centerville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Front Royal, Manassas and Winchester.

-- Jane Black

By Jane Black  |  April 9, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
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Whole Foods P Street also has Homestead milk in glass bottles. It is very flavorful....I like Snowville a lot but I have found it tends to go off a few days before I expect it to.

Posted by: robinshuster | April 9, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

When I grew-up in the San Fernando Valley, in southern California, we had a number of dairy farms. Thanks to Mayor Tom Bradley and others, urging urban sprawl, the dairy and citrus industry in the area was decimated. Up until around 1970, one could go to a dairy in the afternoon, in North Hollywood, and get milk straight out of a bottle, that was milked and processed that very morning.

When I moved to northern Colorado, in the early 90's, Longmont Dairy, just outside of Boulder, was my sole source for dairy products, becuase it weas fresh and tasted great. Milk and cream arrived in glass bottles and a half-gallon in my fridge, never spoiled and I didn't mind paying an extra 40 or 60 cents for great milk.

I regret to say that here, in Northern Virginia, I've been relgated to "carton milk," since the daries of Manassas are long gone and there is a belief that drive towards paper-based cartons is done for a number of reason.

The include transportation issues regarding:
weight, packaging and gas consumption.

All I know is that if milk is kept well chilled, it lasts a lot longer at 35 degrees than at 45 degrees. I also believe that paper is more permeable to odors than glass.

Please support and bring back glass bottles and "stop & go" type dairy retailers, to Northern Virginia!!!

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | April 10, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

The raw milk you grew up with is illegal now. It's unhealthy. You have to buy the corporate milk.

Posted by: chase-truth | April 10, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I used to get the milk from South Mountain Creamery, and it was great! Unfortunatley, my small children cannot pour from the glass bottles, since they are too heavy, which is one of the reasons we ended up letting them go. Another was that my mother has very arthritic hands, and could not pour from the glass bottles when she visited. I think if the bottles at least had a handle it might have been do-able.

I loved the idea of the glass bottles, and I do think they kept the milk fresher longer. I just wish someone would design a bottle with a handle- as an average-sized woman, I could barely get my hand around the bottle to pour from it.

Posted by: floof | April 10, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

We love South Mountain and our delivery man! Every year we take our daughter to their open house to see where our milk comes from.

Posted by: Marimom | April 10, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I'll have to check this Maple Avenue Market out.

Posted by: LittleRed1 | April 10, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Homogenized milk is a major cause of atheroscleroris and heart disease. Whole milk is not. It is not the fat, it's the xanthine oxidase - xo. Homogenization - the vigorous agitation, releases the xo to be absorbed into the bloodstream, where it starts the process of damage and plaque buildup.

Kurt Oster, MD, wrote about this in his book "Homogenized Milk May Cause Your Heart Attack - The XO Factor." He based his theory on science and confirmed it with powerful epidemiological data.

I have very high cholesterol, yet my blood pressure is excellent. I do not drink homogenized milk.

Why do reporters not write about this?

One reason is the enormous power of the dairy industry in the United States. They got two reporters fired for questioning the safety of the hormones they were using to increase milk production. They are more powerful than the Catholic Church now.

Posted by: zabarss | April 10, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I am having a hard time justifying the cost of almost 4 times what I pay for 2% at Wegman's at $2.49 a gallon.

Yes I have tried non homengized local small farm milk and love the taste but is it worth almost four times the cost.

I prefer the taste of raw milk from a reputable dairy farm.

Hey Chase truth I bet you cook pork to a 170 degrees right? When was the last last case of trichnosis in the US? And in commericial pork? Pork should be cooked to 137 degrees. Pink is good. And so is veal kept in small cages on a milk diet. Way better than pasteur raised veal. You can taste and feel the difference in your mouth.

Posted by: sheepherder | April 12, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

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