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Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-12-25 17:17:56 | Cuauhtemoc, The Federal District, Mexico
Keywords: grocery, milk
I'm a milk drinker. That's it! I'm out of the closet now! :-) I don't drink coffee or tea, I rarely drink soft drinks or juices. I run only on water and milk for liquids. I find milk to be a perfect mix between water and food, since it's rich in proteins. During all my trips, I always looked for milk... white or chocolate. I've been drinking skim milk for about 25 years now so when I'm going to a restaurant and getting a glass of 2% milk, it tastes VERY sweet to me. When I was in Europe a few years ago, I often had problems getting milk... because it's not in their habits anymore, except for Germany. One thing is sure though, I wouldn't have this problem here in Mexico.

Yes, fresh milk is available at the Oxxo convenience store you'll find every two streets. But the real shock for me was when I first entered a grocery store. In the USA, I had bought some powder milk to easily get a litre of cold milk out of icy water. I was hoping to find something similar in Mexico to repeat the process. Yes, I had used all my American milk powder before entering Mexico, since I don't think it's a good idea to cross a country border with any kind of white powder on us. :-)

When I entered my first Mexican grocery store in Nuevo Casas Grandes, I was looking for powdered milk at the bottom of some obscur alleys like I was used to in Canada and USA... where you really have to look for the ONE brand available, sometimes a store brand is also placed on its side. I looked in a few alleys, didn't find anything... then I raised my head... and I saw a HUGE island of milk powder bags in the centre of an island. I had never seen anything like that in the past. I knew then I was safe... and I could find milk powder easily! Back then, I hadn't realize yet the problem in Mexico is to find the icy cold water! :-)

A few metres farther in the grocery, I was stunned once more. I saw a large variety of ultra-pasteurized (UHT) milk cartons. In Canada, it's almost impossible to find the ONE brand available. In the USA... I never saw any regular cow milk in UHT cartons, only other milk-like beverages like soy, almonds or rice. Here, in Mexico, there was not only a variety of brands, but also a variety of types of milk (whole, 2%, skim, etc), even if it was just a small grocery store. I was stunned.

When you visit very large grocery stores, you'll not find only a metre or two of shelves of UHT milk... but a whole alley! You'll also find the 10 or 15 different brands listed in a series of varieties, going WAY beyond the natural varieties found in the fresh milk fridges. Here's just a sample of the UHT milk varieties you can find (not all brands offer the full range of course):

  • Whole (homo)

  • Semi-light(roughly 2%)

  • Light (skim)

  • Baby formula (for development)

  • Women formula (with acid folic and vitamins)

  • Extra-calcium

  • Enriched in iron, zinc and acid folic

  • Without lactose, regular

  • Without lactose, light

  • Fibre

  • Kids (with extra vitamins)

  • Omega 3

But that's not limited to white milk... you can also find UHT milk in flavours like vanilla, chocolate, choco-vanilla and strawberries. All varieties are available in one litre containers and the most popular ones are also available in the lunchbox format of 200 ml. You can also buy them by the crate.

But one thing you have to pay attention... these are not all 100% milk beverages. Many brands mix pure cow milk with vegetable fat. That strangely reduces the calorie count but also drastically the proteins. Normally a glass of milk gives you about 7 or 8 grams of proteins while those mixes with fat drop to about 3 grams. In UHT containers, they usually don't indicate what proportion of the contents comes from real milk, but in their powdered version they say it range from 45% to 65% depending on the brand.

There are about 6 brands of powdered milk (in addition sometimes to the store private brand), most of them being whole and skim milks. About half of the choices are mixed with vegetable fat. You can also find powdered soy milk with chocolate or strawberries flavour.

So, as you can see, there are LOTS of choices, just have to be careful on the product you take... better take a close look at the nutritional info before.


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