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Big Moo-la

July 14, 1994|JONATHAN GOLD

Maybe it began with olive oil, Tuscan oils and Provencal oils and Napa Valley oils, each a lot more expensive than the little conical bottles of Pompeiian we'd grown up with, but also (we persuaded ourselves) worth the cost. Then came the $12 cruets of vinegar, the baby lettuces at $9 a pound, the $6 loaves of bread--old-fashioned, earthy food for the kind of urban peasants who drove to work in BMWs instead of oxcarts.

Now in Southland health-food stores comes upscale, rustic, 100% organic milk , from cows grazing the expensive hillsides of Marin County, no less. I am dismayed to report that though the milk from Straus' Family Creamery has a richer, grassier intensity than any milk you've ever had, and the milk, though pasteurized, is unhomogenized so that the cream literally rises to the top, a quart of the stuff costs a good three times what you'll pay for Knudsen or Lady Lee . . . and that's without the buck deposit on the bottle. Then again, anything else is just milk.

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