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Local Recipes: Curdled Milk Salad (?!)

July 28, 2010

I thought I’d start a little series on local specialties, recipes and foods. It all goes well with the real food movement since these are dishes made with local ingredients on hand in an isolated part of the country: Northeastern Quebec.

One of the first culinary surprises I had when I moved here was being offered curdled milk salad. Say what? Naturally, I declined, and turned up my nose to those eating it. But since, my eating habits have evolved. I had to try it. I started by go to the local supermarket to by the curdled milk:

Two of the local diaries provide it, and its right there among the other dairy products. Unfortunately, it has gone the way of the other dairy products with a lowering of the fat %.

Alone it tastes like plain yogurt, but less tart, and it’s texture is like a low fat yogurt that doesn’t have gelatin.

But, here,  it is used a salad dressing. On top of locally grown leaves with lots of salt and maybe some chives from the garden. Keeping in mind the locals are of French descent, they are hard-and-fast on the recipe (but not the quantities). This means no iceberg or Romain lettuce (too foreign) and no radishes, celery, cucumbers…

I got some information about the curdled milk from my mother in law (not always the best source). For her, as a farm girl, the curdled milk was not bought in the supermarket, but made by leaving out raw milk on the counter for a day or two. Then of coarse whole milk was used and the result was thicker curdled milk, and regular milk had to be added to make the salad dressing. Back then it was also used a desert, because of its thickness, mixed with brown sugar. Now no longer, because the stuff from the supermarket is low-fat. Now, my mother in law makes her curdled milk the same way we make yogurt, but adding some curdled milk to some milk and leaving it out, because the pasteurized milk (unfortunately, only milk legal in Canada) does not curdle.

This will be my first trial post for KellyTheKitchenKops’s Real Food Wednesdays

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