Dairy products are used in many different ways in cuisines around the world. Considered one of the staples of cooking, dairy products have been used in dishes as essential ingredients in many cultures. Common dairy products are milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, cream, and many others.
Milk and Creams
Milk is very nutritious, both for children and adults, and is a good source of both calcium and protein. A number of milks exist, suck as goat’s milk or soy milk, but most common is cow’s milk. There exists a variety of cow’s milk as well, such as whole, skimmed, reduced-fat, and full cream milk. Milk is used for sauces, dips, shakes, desserts, soups and other dishes.
Skimming the top off of milk results in cream, another dairy product readily available in the market. Cream comes in different forms as well. There is whipped cream, single and double cream, sour cream, sterilized, clotted and UHT cream available.
Yogurt can also be produced from milk, by introducing bacteria to warm milk and inoculating it. The result is a semi-solid substance that can be flavored in a variety of ways. Yogurt is used in soups, sauces, curries and marinades. Live-yogurt is yogurt that is not heat-treated, keeping the bacteria alive in the yogurt.
Cheese is another dairy product that is derived from milk, and there exists a wide array of cheeses around the world, all with their own distinct flavors and aroma. The difference in the flavors of cheeses depends on how much moisture is in the cheese, the type of milk used, the amount of salt and the actual differences in manufacturing the cheese.
Milk is first clotted, then the resulting curd is cut, stirred, heated, and is finally settled. The cheese is eventually molded and ripened, but the final texture and flavor of the cheese depends on the order and duration of each stage, which is defined by the cheese manufacturer.
Churning cream results in butter, used for sauces, vegetables, soups, breads, pastries and cakes. The flavor of the butter can be defined by how sour the cream is before it is churned into butter. Butter contains over 80% fat, and comes in salted and unsalted varieties. Clarified butter, on the other hand, is obtained by heating butter and allowing the fat to rise to the surface.