Most milk in Chinese supermarkets is stored at room temperature and sold in boxes or pouches. The boxes come in different sizes such as 250 ml, 500 ml, and 1 L. The pouches are most often 240 – 250 ml. The milk is Ultra High Temperature (UHT) pasteurized. In stores like Walmart and Carrefour, you can find UHT, room temperature milk from other countries such as France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.
I try to avoid any and all Chinese brands of food or drink. However, that isn’t always possible, especially when living in a third-tier city like Anyang.
If a Chinese person wants fresh milk, he or she will usually buy it from a street vendor. The milk sold by street vendors is unpasteurized and measured out into containers or plastic bags brought by the customers. I bought this kind of milk once. I boiled it for five minutes and then gave it a try. I found the taste to be horrible, like the dairy cow had been feed its own excrement.
It is possible to find fresh milk in supermarkets of some second- and third-tier Chinese cities. For example, Wondermilk is a brand of fresh milk sold in Beijing. Wondermilk is owned by the Hua Xia Dairy company. The company was started by Charles Shao, a Taiwanese-American who became rich in California.
In America, milk is sold fresh and refrigerated. I miss fresh milk. At my local Walmart here in China, I can buy a 1-liter box of UHT pasteurized milk from California. But it’s not the same. There is something about the aseptic packaging that makes the milk taste artificial. While visiting Qingdao, I did get a taste of fresh, locally produced Chinese milk sold in bags at a grocery store. Not bad. But again, I try to avoid consuming products produced in China.
This post is part of a series of posts concerning the differences between China and America.