Milk: The Great Enhancer

Milk: The Great Enhancer. My dad has referred to this dairy delight (bovine beverage?) as such for so long that for a while I thought that was actually its subtitle, like Beans: The Total Flatulent, or Beef: The Universal Meat. I’ve already posted about my dad, but he’s a complex man, one full of platitudes and witticisms, like “That’s a loaded gun,” “Control the legs, you control the man,” and “Be safe and be productive.” He requested the chance to write a post about this topic, so I thought I would oblige.  Here’s what he has to say: 

There are a lot of things that don’t get the credit they deserve in life. One of them is milk. I’m not talking about the benefits that the ads “…it does a body good” are touting. Milk is, indeed, good for you, but so are a lot of things. And we all know people avoid milk for various reasons and yet do fine health-wise. So in what sense is milk being overlooked or taken for granted?

Before I answer that question, picture in your mind all of the wonderful sweet things that you love to eat. You know what I’m talking about…that just-baked apple pie, still warm from the oven…or a batch of chewy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies…perhaps your favorite piece of moist and generously frosted cake…or a cut-from-the-middle Rice Krispie treat.* If you’re like me, you still have other treats in mind, but I don’t want to overdo it (some of you are thinking, Too late). So where am I going with this?

Before you take a bite of any of the aforementioned treats, stop and think, What will make this even better and more delicious? That’s right: milk. Some of you might even argue that having a tall, cold glass of milk ready and waiting to swallow with or immediately follow that bite is not merely desirable, it’s essential! Think about it: how often do you drink a glass of milk all by itself? Its main function is to make food taste better. Yes, it does supply calcium and other essential vitamins, and it does help us keep hydrated. But there are lots of ways to accomplish those things. Nothing can compete with milk as a complement to something sweet to eat.

For those of you who still aren’t sure you agree with this, I offer the standard taste test: Pick one of your favorite desserts. Don’t choose one that is largely milk already–ice cream or a cream pie, for instance. Pour glasses of all the beverages that you drink on regular basis–water, juices, sodas, beer, wine, coffee**, tea, and milk (your normal “octane” level–skim, 1%, etc.). Take a bite (not merely a nibble) of your dessert of choice and wash it down or immediately follow it up with a drink of one of the beverages. Wait a minute or two, then repeat the process until you have tried all of the beverages, having milk be the last one.

Even though trying milk last puts it at a disadvantage because of the “law of diminishing returns,” I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of you will find that none of the others even come close to milk in terms of accentuating or focusing the pleasure you experienced. Simply put, milk is “The Great Enhancer.”

Not too long ago, Kraft*** had an advertising slogan that “a sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without the tangy zip of Miracle Whip.” If you’ve read all of Sarah’s previous blogs, you know that she would vehemently disagree with that. But, I am confident that she would whole-heartedly support my reference to milk as The Great Enhancer. So from now on, do yourself a favor. Any time you know a dessert is on your menu, make sure that plenty of fresh, cold milk is on hand.

And, American Dairy Council–do you need a great idea for a new ad campaign?

*I’m fairly certain my dad is not sponsored by Kellogg’s.***

**That’s saying something from a man who told me I wasn’t an adult because I don’t drink coffee.

***Or Kraft. And he’s right, I would vehemently disagree with that. In case you didn’t read the comments from my May-no-naise post (from which my friend Greg dubbed me a Mayonaysayer–I have hilarious friends), my friend Evan wrote that when someone drops a jar of mayonnaise in the grocery store where he works, the jar will shatter but the mayo remains in the shape of the jar for a second before it sthwocks to the floor in a gelatinous glob. GROSS!


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3 responses to “Milk: The Great Enhancer”

  1. thatgirlwhoreadsbooks says :

    I must show this to Matthew, who still insists that he doesn’t drink a gallon of milk a day. (But he does!)

  2. Michael Turner says :

    law of diminishing returns – nice (lol). then why is best-tasting food – dessert – eaten last? Answer – because then you have the taste of dessert still in your mouth for a while afterward vs. some other food.

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