Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Acerphobia - The Fear of Sour Milk

At the risk of downplaying the trepidation with which some who have been diagnosed with acerphobia pour their milk, I would suggest that many Americans who have experienced the shocking zing of sour milk would admit that the next few times they see the milk out on the counter they exert a phobia-like reflex to get it back in the fridge ASAP.  At least I do.

Not so in Eastern Europe.  Here in Croatia, most milk cartons, like the ones below, have the words "trajno mlijeko" written somewhere on it.  The adjective "trajno" means "lasting" or "permanent".  Pretty revolutionary when it comes to describing milk huh?

So what does this mean? It means that when you go to the grocery store all of the milk is unrefrigerated.  It also means that once you buy the milk, it has a long shelf life. The stamp on the milk I opened this morning indicated that it would be just as good on October 12th as it is on June 1st. And that's still outside the fridge.

Thirdly, it means that even after you open it, the milk won't go sour for many hours, possibly even days - again, without being refrigerated. 

Don't ask me how or why this is.  I have no idea. 

But I do know that this phobia is directly related to the one Eastern Europeans have. People don't drink their drinks cold here.  Sodas, juices, water, etc. etc. generally remain outside of the refrigerator all the time.  Ice is not used.  Room temperature is the recommended warmth to drink your drinks by doctors and grandmas alike.  So it's no surprise that milk comes unrefrigerated and remains unrefrigerated - to accomodate this mindset. 

How do I drink my milk?  Cold.  Do I put it back in the fridge afterwards? Yes.  Will I continue?  Yes. 

I am an American with Acerphobia.


Tracy said...

My husband told me that on his military deployments they have unrefrigerated, warm milk as well, and it lasts a long time... I'd never heard of it lasting without refrigeration! Not sure I'd want to drink it either! What you say is true about sour milk being a phobia, but I'd never thought of it that way!

nathaniel said...

I hate the thought of sour milk, or curdled milk or like lemon tarts.
I don't know why i just hate it

Nathaniel, 12

Anonymous said...

It's sterilized, UHT milk.


Anonymous said...

Milk there is 4 kind. Fresh from the cow, not pasturized, can't be sold, very tasty, goes sour in a few days but it includes the cream and about 6% fat. Fresh milk, pasturized, good for 3 days max, not available in the US. Ultra pasturized milk at a higher temp, good for 2 weeks but less flavour and vitamins cause of the high temps. UHT milk, that's the one you were talking about. Pasturized on an even higher temperature. Milk tastes like plastic. Good for a year unopened...