Thursday, May 20, 2010

Human breast milk worth trying again in your lifetime

Someone commented on my last post that jackfruit wasn't weird enough to write about on this blog, so I decided to step it up a bit: I tried human breast milk!

I've been meaning to try some ever since I read about 2(!) restaurants that served food made out of human breast milk: Storchen in Winterthur, Switzerland and Klee Brasserie in New York.

Storchen was banned from serving breast milk dishes in 2008, and Klee chef Daniel Angerer didn't even attempt to serve it to the public, he merely documented his attempts at making cheese on his blog.

In hopes of trying his amazing maple caramelized pumpkin encrusted "mommy's milk" cheese with texturized concord grapes, I emailed Angerer about a month ago to have a private tasting. Alas I did not receive a response. So I gave up on the idea until this weekend, when a friend of mine who recently had a baby offered a taste of her breast milk, which turned into a spontaneous tasting party.

Neither the other tasters nor I had any problem with tasting our friend's milk, and the parents were cool with it. The baby seemed fine with it too (she's already been fed and was happily sleeping beside us).

The milk tasted like 1% cow milk but a little sweeter. Interestingly, the consistency (i.e. fat content) of breast milk can vary depending on the length of time since last feeding. Unlike sheep's milk or horse milk, it was quite pleasant and mild. If you've ever tried baby formula, it tastes a lot like the real deal.

While I can't recommend a source of human breast milk in New York other than your own network of recent moms, I do want to mention that if you do try this out on your own, be aware that certain infections can be passed with breast milk.

If you know anyone with excess breast milk, (which tends to happen, unless you have twins, triplets or octuplets!) you can encourage them to:
1. experiment with making spectacular dishes out of it
2. donate it to a milk bank.

Yes, I agree that I've reached a new level of depravity, however the benefits are undeniable:
1. satisfying curiosity
2. supporting local and sustainable eating.

Something else to chew on: Since no animals were harmed, would PETA approve?

Answer: yes! In fact, in 2008 PETA sent a letter to Ben & Jerry urging them to use human breast milk. Unfortunately, B&J did not see this as a viable business opportunity, even though 17% of consumers (including me) voted that they'd like that. So... who wants to start a new ice cream company with me? ;-)

EDIT: a new ice cream parlor called "Baby Gaga" in London serves breast milk ice cream! If you've tried it, comment!


  1. Instead of sorbet, you would have "sore breast". Ouch.

  2. Very interesting. And courageous.