id you know that Kim Kardashian loves to drink a nice glass of camel milk when in Dubai? If you follow her on Instagram, you may have been aware of this. Whether she drank the glass of camel’s milk is up for debate. But if Kim K says it’s a thing, it usually is. In the case of camel milk, its rise in popularity suggests you too could be trying a nice glass of your own one day soon.
Is camel milk for real?
It absolutely is! Camel milk has been drunk by Bedouin tribes for thousands of years. It is particularly popular in Somalia and Kenya, where over 60% of the global production of camel milk originates. Interestingly, one of the places in the world with the largest wild camel populations is in Australia. And it is believed that this wealth of resources is going to be behind a significant surge in camel milk production and consumption in Australia in the next five years.
Does camel milk have any health benefits?
With 25% less fat than cow milk, camel milk producers are trying to position it as the next “superfood” alternative to the increasingly embattled traditional dairy industry.
Aside from having lower fat levels, camel milk also boasts higher amounts of several essential vitamins and minerals. As it contains less lactose than cow milk, camel milk is even better for those people who suffer from allergies to cow milk.
What does camel milk taste like?
Camel milk tastes similar to cow milk, but it is slightly saltier. The color and texture are very similar to cow milk, and so the most significant barrier to taking a sip is that you have to get over the strange idea of drinking the milk of a camel. The reality is, however, that we are only comfortable drinking cow milk in the first place because it is what we have always done. Times change and so do our tastes and trends. There is no reason why people couldn’t very quickly come to terms with drinking the slightly saltier taste of camel milk in the future.
With a saltier taste, camel milk could be used for specific foods that call for both milk and salt as ingredients. Mongolians have been enjoying Suutei tsai (literally "tea with milk") for thousands of years. Any food that calls for regular cows milk could technically have camel milk as a replacement -cheese, yogurt, waffles, lattes, etc.
Will camel take off in the States?
There is already a niche market in the US and abroad for camel milk, but some hurdles remain when it comes to camel milk going mainstream. One of the biggest of these is the lack of a natural population of camels in the United States. Camels can be found but in nowhere near comparable numbers to those of Australia or the Middle East. This fact makes fresh camel milk quite a rarity in North America. And this means that the price per gallon of camel milk is significantly higher than that of cow milk. One pint of fresh camel milk costs around $18 while a gallon of cow’s milk retails at around $6-7.
So it looks like camel milk is not going to blow up anytime soon in the States, but it’s out there already if you’re feeling curious enough to check it out for yourself.