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The new superfood from North Africa

From the caravans of the Middle Eastern deserts and the Berber populations of North Africa comes the new superfood, which combines food and dietary benefits, environmental sustainability and an undoubted exotic charm. Here's to you camel milk. We are already accustomed to milk and to milk drinks based on oats, almonds and soya. We are also used to announcements and denials about their beneficial properties.

Camel milk, a trendy return to the origins

In mythology and western history, a place of honour has been obtained for goats and donkeys, but there is a new, very ancient milk in circulation and promises to leave the geographical and market niche in which it has remained for the last two millennia: camel and dromedary milk. Those who have tasted it find it very similar to cow's milk, with a pleasant salty note that softens even the sweetest of drinks.
Always used by nomadic populations of the deserts in both Africa and Asia, for the discerning, hungry for novelties and wealthy consumers of the Arab Emirates, camel milk is a very trendy return to the origins and the camel leather is a must for any foodie traveller to Dubai. In addition to the price which is much higher - and the production capacity which is much lower , what makes the difference are the nutritional properties, the environmental impact and the ability to adapt to the new climate caused by global warming.

With less calories, less fat and cholesterol and more calcium and vitamin C than its cattle counterpart, camel milk already has the right characteristics to be noticed by consumers who are more attentive to well-being, but it is another key to accessing the exclusive (more or less) superfood club. Free of lactoalbumin and casein, the proteins responsible for milk allergy, and with a low percentage of lactose, camel milk seems like the unexpected answer to the growing number of adults with difficulty digesting cows milk. The only problem in this case is the difficulty in cheese-making with a product that has few fats and caseins. Also the fact that there seems to be no demand for camel cheese right now.

Between subsistence and luxury

Global interest is not just about finding a new way to impress bored consumers. In desert regions, camels and dromedaries, thanks to their proverbial thrift in water and food consumption, are the main resource for farmers who are forced to abandon cows, goats and sheep. In Kenya, the camel population has more than tripled in the last decade and it is estimated that by 2050 up to 35 million people living in arid areas will benefit from the rearing of these animals.
In western countries, the increase in demand comes up against the price more in line with that of a good wine than a daily food: about $ 20 per litre. One of the main limits to lowering the price is, it is easy to say, to milk a camel, which we remember is a large animal, humoral and with the peculiarity that the milk comes out only for 90 seconds at a time.

The exclusivity due to the low production (five litres a day against the twenty-eight of cattle in intensive farming), the ancient origin, the food benefits and reduced environmental impact make camel milk the perfect luxury of 2018 and one of the most iconic products of conscious multiculturalism. And it tastes like pretzel milk, what more could you ask for?

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