As the newest brand ambassador for the California Milk Advisory Board (woohoo!) I wanted to share with you some fun facts about California Dairy, how important it is, and how much I LOVE the stuff. Seriously — don’t even try to take away my cheese and yogurt. It won’t end well.
First things first: I am a born and raised Californian. If you’ve never been to California, you’re missing out. Not only are we known for our touristy hot spots (Disneyland, the beaches, Wine Country, Hollywood & the Golden Gate), but we’re also known for our agriculture and farming. Most of central California is farmland where some of your favorite foods come from: avocados, almonds, pistachios, artichokes, walnuts, peaches, olives, and of course, dairy. While those other ingredients certainly rock, California Dairy is so important because it’s the backbone to all of your other favorites, like California cheese, California butter, California milk, California ice cream, and more. Bad pun alert: California cows sure know how to moooove. (I promise to never, EVER say that again).
My family eats dairy like fiends. We go through gallons of milk on a weekly basis — from splashing some in our coffee or iced chais, to using it to make buttercream icing to drinking it plain or spiked with some chocolate sauce, we love our milk! And cheese. Since taco night is a weekly staple in our home, there is always a selection of California cheese in the fridge — our favorites are California Cheddar and California Monterey Jack to shred on top of each spicy taco. But there’s one more thing we eat more than the others, and that is ice cream!
Since I can remember, my family has been that family that regularly has a variety of ice cream in their freezer. As a kid when I stayed with my grandpa and grandma, my grandpa would always serve us bowls of ice cream made from a local, family-owned California dairy company. I remember being so excited to have a generous, frosty scoop of their fresh, delicious ice cream. As my siblings and I grew up, we continued our ice cream-eating traditions at home by making homemade sundaes or milkshakes with California ice cream.
And of course, as a blogger I am always using California dairy in my kitchen. How could buttercream frosting be possible without California butter? Or homemade ice cream without California cream? If only you could see my fridge at any given time — sometimes, I think I’m the only one keeping California family-farms in business!
Did you know that California is the number 1 dairy state in the America? California produces more milk, butter, and ice cream than any other state. We’re also the 2nd largest producer of cheese and yogurt. (For a complete list of California Dairy products, visit HERE. For a complete list of California cheeses, visit HERE).
In our entire state, we have over 60 cheesemakers producing over 250 types of cheese.
California is the country’s leading producer of Hispanic dairy, making more than 25 varieties and styles of Hispanic-style cheeses, as well as cremas and drinkable yogurts.
Many California dairy products are sold nationally, meaning more than likely, you can find fresh California dairy products in your local market! You can find California dairy at retailers such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Target, 7-Eleven, Vons, Albertson’s, Ralph’s, Slater Bros., Food 4 Less, Superior Grocers, Lucky, Longs Drugs, Nugget, and O’Briens. For a more comprehensive list of retailers, visit here.
99% of California dairies are family-owned. When you look for and purchase dairy products with the Real California Milk and cheese seals, you know that your dairy products are made from 100% real California Milk from California’s over 1500 dairy families.
And hey, BlogHer Food ’14 Attendees! To celebrate May (the unofficial Hispanic dairy month) and all things Hispanic dairy, The California Milk Advisory Board has partnered with Giorgio Rapicavoli, a renowned Miami chef and co-owner of the wildly successful Eating House Restaurant in Coral Gables, FL and Taperia Raca, a Spanish tapas bar. Chef Giorgio will host a lively and tasty interactive demo on May 16 from 3:15pm-4pm. Learn the tips and techniques for cooking with California Hispanic dairy products from a professional. If you’re attending the conference, be sure to stop by the demo for food and fun!!
Want to connect with California Dairy? Be sure to visit them for news, recipes, tips and more on their website. You can also connect with them via Facebook, Twitter (@RealCalifMilk), Pinterest and Instagram (@RealCalifMilk).
In the meantime, doesn’t a tall, frosty glass of chocolate milk sound good? Or a bowl of freshly churned ice cream?
Have a fantastical day!!