In 2006 a report from the United Nations was produced promoting the value of camel’s milk and even suggesting that this could become a $10 billion worldwide market.
There are estimated to be over 20 million camels across over one hundred countries where drinking a glass of camel’s milk is just an ordinary everyday experience. It is low in fat and has forty per cent less cholesterol than cow’s milk; it can also be drunk by the lactose intolerant. Although, it is said to have an ‘acquired taste’ by some others think it tastes similar to cow’s milk but slightly saltier.
Camel’s milk is reputed to have great health promoting properties and even curative potential. Hospitals in Kazakhstan to India prescribe drinking camels milk in the treatment against diabetes, tuberculosis and Crohn’s disease. This is believed to be down to the milk protein – lactoferrin which occurs in large quantities in camel’s milk, ten times more than in cow’s. In fact the composition of camel’s milk is much more akin to human milk.
Amongst the windmills and tulip fields in the Netherlands is Europe’s only camel farm. Here forty camels are regularly milked and the milk is packaged up and sent to Islamic and health food stores across the country. More is sent to neighboring Belgium and Germany and sent across the sea to the UK. Cheese is also made on the farm and sold for $40 pound. Immigrants from North Africa are willing to pay $15 quart of camel milk for a taste of home. Another cheese is available from Mauritania named Caravane, it is a brie type cheese with an off white creamy centre and a soft rind which was quickly dubbed – camelbert.
The latest camel milk product is chocolate which is being exported by Al Nassma from Dubai across the world. With Harrods department store in the UK and Chocolate Covered in San Francisco the first to take delivery of this creamy camel creation.
The FDA have now agreed to put camel’s milk through rigorous testing here now so perhaps those amongst us who are allergic to cow’s milk will soon be able to enjoy the milky way.
Photos courtesy of flickr - aprilinafrica, yoghurt, diggerdiggerdogstar and Tanker265