Every time you go to the grocery store, it seems like there's a new type of milk. These milks come from animals, or vegetables or nuts. There's oat milk, macadamia milk, hemp milk and pea milk. There's goat milk, and there's even cockroach milk - not commercially available yet, which must be a relief for the squeamish.
But the newest soon-to-be trendy milk comes from camels.
Camel milk might sound strange - but one taste will get you over the hump. Demand in the United States is growing for this alternative milk because of its health benefits. Bloomberg News reports that camel milk has five times the vitamin C and 10 times the iron as cow's milk, according to the Australian Camel Industry Association, and it doesn't contain the whey proteins that contribute to dairy allergies.
The milk has long been popular in the Middle East and Africa, but its nutritional benefits are causing demand to surge in the United States and Asia. Australia may be poised to become a big producer of camel milk, but the U.S. farms are quite small. There are camel dairy farms in Ohio, Missouri and Indiana, among other states. That means there's less produced here, and it's quite expensive: We paid $60 for a six-pack of 8-ounce bottles from producer Desert Farms, not including shipping.
Camel milk comes in raw, pasteurized and powdered form, and it's also used to make products such as soap. In some states, such as California, camel milk is carried in specialty grocery stores.
So, what does it taste like? Mostly, just like regular milk. But there's a hint of something saltier, in a pleasant way. It definitely offsets the sweetness of any drinks or desserts you use it in; we liked dipping chocolate chip cookies in it for an ideal sweet-and-salty combination. Or you could put it in coffee. Anything to get through hump day, right?
Video: Camel milk is gaining popularity in the U.S. The Washington Post's Maura Judkis tries the alternative milk and sees if it can pass the cookie dunk taste test. (Grace Raver/The Washington Post)