Milk To Go
On the way through town with Anna coming back from the post office (such paperwork just to mail some stuff!), we popped into the bakery to pick up some fresh bread. (Don’t know where I am? Read here.) We get out of the car and to our right is a little white stand that looks like a self-service something machine. I asked Anna about it and she replied with the craziest answer. At least it was crazy for me. It’s a milk vending machine – an unpasteurized milk vending machine. Can you get unpasteurized milk in North America? Maybe in some underground, members only unpasteurized milk club. But here in Reggio Emilia you can get it in the shops and if they’re closed or you just can’t be bothered to pop into a shop, you can get it from the vending machine. Night or day. You’ll never be without unpasteurized milk.
Cows and their milk are important in this region of Italy. This is where Parmigiano-Reggiano is made and unpasteurized cow’s milk is used for making that cheese. And apparently unpasteurized cow’s milk is readily available anytime you would like some for yourself, too. Neighborhood dairy farmers fill up the unpasteurized milk self-service stand. When dropping off the milk, they sign in, noting the date and the quantity of milk. You can see the sign-in sheet posted on the machine. So, how does it work? You pop in your one euro coin. Yep, one euro. That’s it. I can’t remember exactly but I think you have a choice of a plastic or glass litre bottle. So, open the glass cabinet and select your litre bottle and place it in the cubbyhole where the milk spout is. Hit the start button. The bottle is filled up and the milk stops right where it needs to. Grab a cap, seal the bottle and off you go.