I just want some milk, regular milk!

When I started this blog I had no idea what I would write about or the direction it would take however I did know that I didn’t want it to become a place where I bitched non-stop about little annoyance in my new country as I often find these differences amusing.

One of the differences I am failing to find the humour in is the milk situation.  It’s freaking confusing.   I just want milk, milk I can add to my cup of tea or the 8 year old can have with cereal.  I want full fat, full flavoured milk.  It can’t be that hard, it comes from a cow, ends up in a plastic milk bottle or if you are old school in a cardboard container with a push spout but NO not here in Canada.

Instead of having a label with full cream milk, low-fat milk, skim milk, permeate free milk etc the labels here have a number and are called 1%, 2%, 3.25%, then those numbers again but partly skimmed or skimmed.

I just don’t understand what they mean?!? 1% of what? 2% of what?  Just tell me is it full fat or low fat!!!!

Don’t even get me started on half and half, it is supposed to be some kind of half cream, half milk concoction but I have yet to buy cream in this country that isn’t thin and the cream has the same consistency as milk.  I thought whipping cream would be like thickened cream back home but no, it’s only a little thicker than milk.

This is where it starts getting really strange, we couldn’t work out why all the stores are full of these humungous bladder bags with milk.  How on earth do you get the milk out of the bladder and into your cup of tea????  We have avoided them like the plague and been purchasing the modern version in the cardboard containers.

milk in canada


Finally, someone at the Canadians work explained to him what they are and how they work.

First of all, you need one of these, it’s a special plastic milk pitcher you can buy in the supermarket and sometimes they come with a key-shaped bag opener with a clip and magnet.

milk pitcher

Within the giant bladder bag are 3 mini bladder bags.

milk bladder bags

You then put one of the mini bladders in the pitcher, it sits upright and you snip the corner and use the corner for pouring the milk.  Simple!  Well, not so simple for the accident prone 8-year old that is still traumatised after the unfortunate milk spilling incident known in our family as milo-gate.  Rather than leave the milk in the fridge in its bladder bag sitting in the jug you can then use the jug to pour it into another jug, just like this lady has done.

I don’t know her, I found her on Google Images, thanks google images!

milk jugs

It appears that an entire industry has grown around the strange phenonium that is milk in bags.

Like these

milk dispensers

I was kind of surprised that The Canadian grew up in Canada and was so clueless about the milk in bags, but it turns out it’s an East Coast thing (he is from Manitoba.)

At first, I was all like “who has time for going through that crap just for a glass of milk,” and then I remembered I do, I have all the time in the world not having a job and all.   As my current mission is to try and avoid looking for a job for as long as I possibly can and this is the cheapest method of buying milk, then it looks like it’s how I will be filling my day.






  • Emma and Stewart

    Hahaha I am so with you on this!! Most importantly the cream issue, what happened to proper cream? We looked so hard last Christmas to find something remotely like our beloved double cream and eventually gave up!

  • Maple Bacon Please!

    The cream thing has me so perplexed and with Christmas coming up it is freaking me out a little bit, I love double cream. I was wondering if you could find double cream in a gourmet food store/deli?? Perhaps not! Makes me wonder what they actually do with all the cream at the milk factory?? Being a lover of all things dairy, I’m surprised at the lack of spreadable butter on the market as well. It seems to be all Margarine.

  • pw19

    Milk has been one of my bugbears too, but more the lack of long life milk. Now I just buy milk whenever I’m grocery shopping. Bring on the TPP I say.

  • RuthsArc

    Oh my. Your milk dilemma sounds crazy. Basic shopping in a new English speaking country really should not be so difficult. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was just to choose toilet rolls.

    • Maple Bacon Please!

      I agree Ruth, the first few initial shops stocking up my kitchen with pantry items was the worst. They took forever because I didn’t recognise the brands or labels of the products on my list and the supermarket layout was nothing like I am used to. Shopping would take double the amount of time it would normally take me.

      I hate to think what it must be like if you move to a country with a different language. In Canada, all the labels and packaging are in English and French mostly English on one side of the box for example and French on the other, this can also throw me if the French side is displayed on the shelves not being able to speak or read French.

      • RuthsArc

        I’ve enjoyed browsing in supermarkets when travelling in Europe but that was for fun not for necessity. I too would struggle moving to a non English speaking country.

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