Unpasteurised Milk Making a Comeback in Top Restaurants

If you love using cheffy ingredients in your kitchen, be warned – unpasteurised milk is on the culinary radar.

Once something many of us had as kids, it became virtually extinct because of health regulations. But it is permitted, provided it’s very strictly produced.

Hook & Son (www.hookandson.co.uk) is pioneering its revival. Based at Longleys Farm in East Sussex, the family sell it online, as well as at London’s Borough Market. The website says: ‘One of our customers has a child who had a lump caused by bad bacteria that antibiotics wouldn’t clear up. Their consultant suggested raw milk and within three months the infection had gone.’

Restaurants also love it. Pioneering chef Nuno Mendes has a raw milk ice cream at his restaurant Viajante (www.viajante.co.uk) in London’s Bethnal Green.

‘The milk dish at Viajante is centred on the intense taste of milk,’ says Mendes. ‘We want the flavour to be as true as possible. We use it because pasteurisation destroys a lot of the milk’s natural flavours and many of the aromas are lost.’

DuckSoup chef Brett Barnes (www.ducksoupsoho.co.uk) is also a fan and is making a milk and honey junket, which is popular among Soho denizens. He heats 500ml raw milk, 2tbsp runny honey, 1tsp finely grated lemon zest, stirring frequently until 37C (blood temperature), before whisking in 1tbsp rennet and quickly pours into bowls or glasses before it sets. The pièce de résistance is a honeycomb topping.