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It seems like every day there is a new alternative to cow's milk. A variety of plant-based milks have conquered a corner of the market. Many grocers also stock goat's milk and even sheep's milk but there is a new product seeking a place on the dairy shelf: deer milk.
Is deer milk really a thing?
Yes, deer milk is being produced and sold in New Zealand by a company called Pāmu.
The milk is being sold powdered and comes from 70 grass-fed red deer which roam freely in the country's South Island, according to the company website.
Pamu recently won the prestigious Fieldays Grassroots Established Award for their deer milk innovation.
What does deer milk taste like?
Pamu describes the deer milk as having "a perfectly smooth texture that is astonishingly light, yet full of flavour."
Nutrition in Deer Milk
Deer milk has "the highest total fat, protein, and casein protein content of all the animal species whose milk has been used for human nutrition," according to Science Direct.
This variety of milk also contains more calcium, phosphorus, and zinc than cow's milk.
What can you make with deer milk?
Pamu has been supplying local restaurants with deer milk and chefs have been busy coming up with recipes for yogurt, cheese, and desserts like panna cotta and creme brulee.
“It is rare for chefs to work with a completely new product, which has never been used before. For most of us tasting Pāmu deer milk, a world first, was an opportunity we don’t often get in our careers,” says Auckland chef Geoff Scott (pictured up top holding a tray of deer milk ice cream).
Restaurants Selling Deer Milk Products
Deer milk is available at select restaurants in Auckland and Wellington. Here are some of the restaurants where you can taste deer milk dishes:
- The Hunting Lodge
- The Grounds/Baduzzi
- Cibo Parnell