Yesterday, a couple of friends and I visited Lawson's, a soup, salad, sandwich, and sushi joint in Dupont Circle. (If the latter offering seems somewhat out of place, that's because it kind of is.)
Most Americans are a reflection of or a reaction to their parents in three key respects: in religious belief, in political orientation, and in milk-fat-content preference.
I am a skim milk guy, having been raised on it. The weight and density of whole milk, in my opinion, make it suitable only for making sugar cereal decadent or for perfecting coffee. 2% is an acceptable compromise, particularly for coffee, but I'd still rather be drinking skim milk.
I know the complaints - skim milk is too watery, too thin, too whatever. I suppose that really just amounts to one complaint. It's not that I don't concede the point, it's more that I don't care, and lower density milk is probably ideal for a guy who drinks at least a gallon a week.
At least, I used to concede the point, but then I tried Real Skim Milk. Fresh skim milk, milk from cows that only ate grass and hay (NOT corn), from cows situated just a few miles away. Milk milked that very day. Now, I wasn't seeking this milk out; I was semi-desperate coming home from work - the three convenience stores on my walk were out of skim. So I tried this bodega on the corner of my street, a little store which only sells things no one ever needs. Except, apparently, milk.
They sell this local milk, skim included, in big, half-gallon glass jugs with plastic covers. It was expensive - more on that - but I eat oatmeal made with milk every morning, snack on milk and cereal, and drink a glass of milk or more pretty much every time I sit down at my table. So ain't no mountain high enough.
And wow. This skim milk was identifiably not as creamy as whole, but it had such flavor! Such character! as to differentiate it quite entirely from the rest of the skim family. Frothier, smoother, deeper, and much more complex than supermarket milk, I'm actually not even using it for oatmeal and use it only stingily for cereal. It's that good to drink. This skim milk is to that other skim as FDR was to Grover Cleveland, as a Cadillac is to a Daewoo, as the Sun is to other stars: clearly the same elemental stuff, but so, so much better.
A final note: including a two dollar deposit for the bottle, this half-gallon cost $6.75. Damn - I'm not made of money, and at nearly 3 times the rate of the crappy stuff, this milk will have to be an infrequent treat. Good thing I can return the bottle...