Check out my cream line!
I visited the Mercantile at Dyer Dairy in Georgetown a couple of days ago. Dyer Dairy is one of the few dairies around Austin that is licensed to sell raw milk. Raw milk is unpasteurized. While this may sound scary, it's fantastic.
Raw milk contains beneficial enzymes and lactase-producing bacteria to facilitate the break-down of lactase. It is whole and contains all kinds of goodies such as fat-soluble vitamins you could live on indefinitely. The farmer is solely responsible for the safety of the product and typically sells it direct to the public. State agencies frequently test the milk and there is zero-tolerance for pathogens. Because the milk comes from healthy, clean, well-cared for cows from small dairies, the milk is healthy, too. It isn't all pumped into one enormous milk truck mixing the milk from hundreds of hormone-fed, possibly ill cows. Just think: if one cow is sick, that entire milk truck has contaminated milk. Of course that has to be pasteurized. With the small dairy's tight supervision and sterile equipment, this isn't a problem.
So when you buy raw milk, the cream rises to the top, creating a "cream line." Susan Dyer told me some customers stand in front of cooler staring trying to find the perfect amount of cream. I picked one with plenty, of course. "Just remember to shake it before you drink it," she called as I left the store.
In addition to delicious, creamy, sweet milk, the Dyers sell beef, raw milk cheeses, preserves and jams, spice mixes, locally-roasted Coyote Moon coffee, bulk beans and nuts, honey, and seasonal produce. I was dying to try the cheese and was disappointed to find there wasn't any ready. They apparently make over 50 varieties including Manchego, Gouda, Havarti, and Chipotle-Cheddar. Mmm. Next time.
I did pick up some reasonably-priced grass-fed beef for stir-fries and two t-bones. I also couldn't resist the apple butter pictured above. It's sweetened with juice instead of sugar and is really yummy on Yegua Creek Farm's Bread of the Seven Seeds.