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Jun 29, 2009 02:49 PM

ISO: Source for local milk - Cambridge or Boston

I'm on a cheese making kick and would like to find a nearby source for local milk (unpasteurized is NOT required).

For my first batch I hit the Dairy Bar outside Davis Square and got some delicious milk from Shaw Farm in Dracut, MA. Sadly their hours are inconvenient for after-work visits. Any other suggestions/options in Boston or Cambridge would be greatly appreciated!

-TIA, Heather

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  1. Shaw Farm was selling that fabulous milk (which I bought, too) at the Union Square farmer's market the last 2 weeks I went. It runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., so hopefully that is more convenient for you. I believe the new Sherman Market (opening within the next two weeks, I'm told) will also be carrying fresh, local milk, but I'm not sure if that will be any more convenient for you. Russo's also has some local milk options. Note that while all these milks are indeed pasteurized, they are not "ultrapasteurized", which makes them taste better (in my opinion) but reduces their shelf life. Not sure if regular MILK is ever labelled as ultrapasteurized, but I think the large-scale makers zap it harder than they do with the local stuff. Most commercial heavy creams now are ultra, and I find I much prefer heavy cream that is simply pasteurized but not ultra-p'd, and they definitely sell that at Russo's.

    1. Shaw Farm milk (minimally pasteurized) can be found at Wilson Farm in Lexington. I think I saw it in the dairy case in the produce area at Formaggio's on Huron Avenue in Cambridge. Having said that, I know of a couple of locations in Bedford, too, but that may well be outside your range.

      You might also consider High Lawn Farm milk. It is from western MA. It is pasteurized to a greater degree than Shaw Farm milk, but it has higher protein and fat content than standard milk due to the breed of cows. It works wonderfully well when I make yogurt so it probably would work as well for cheese. It is available at the Fresh Pond Whole Foods and probably just about every other Whole Foods in the area. I get mine at Russo's in Watertown, where the price is better.

      4 Replies
      1. re: PinchOfSalt

        HIgh Lawn Farms milk is FANTASTIC! It's made solely from the milk of Jersey cows...I think most of the Whole Foods have it now, but I'm sure Russo's would have it cheaper.

        1. re: galleygirl

          High Lawn makes the best cheese. I too make cheese fairly regularly, and have been very pleased with the results. For Shaw's milk, it turns out that KickAss Cupcakes has an exclusive contract for Somerville so the Sherman Market is searching for a different local source.

        2. re: PinchOfSalt

          We buy the Shaw Farm milk and cream from the Dairy Bar usually (and really love it), but last week our travels took us to Wilson Farm in Lexington so we bought it there. The light cream was spoiled from the moment I opened it. My thought was that perhaps there is less traffic there, at least with the milk, since I have not had a problem once with the many gallons I've bought from the Dairy Bar.

          1. re: camer

            Thanks for mentioning the Dairy Bar. Funny thing is, I had an email conversation with someone at Shaw Farm, asking where I can buy their creamline milk, and he did not mention the Dairy Bar (or Chip'N Farm., where I have been buying it). He said I had to go to the farm's retail store in Dracut! This afternoon I stopped by the Dairy Bar and procured my weekly fix of creamline. I am in your debt. The Dairy Bar is so much closer than the alternatives, plus it is an excuse for other shopping in and around Davis Square.

        3. If Davis Sq is convenient for you, I've seen a sign in Dave's Pasta's window advertising fresh milk in glass bottles (I've not had it since I stick with soy milk so I don't know from where they source it). They are open 'til 7:30pm on weeknights. Is that more convenient for you than Dairy Bar's hours?

          1 Reply
          1. re: digga

            Dave's carries Crescent Ridge in glass bottles. I'm pretty sure they also have High Lawn Farms milk, plus a brand from Maine (Oakhurst Dairy?).

          2. Personal favorite is Oakdale from Maine - great flavor, not ultrapasteurized as far as I know - we get it at D'Agostino's in Arlington Heights (assume they also carry it in the Winchester store) - $1.99 per half gallon $2.99 per gallon.

            4 Replies
            1. re: rlh

              That's Oakhurst, not Oakdale, and it is indeed good. You can also often find it in independent convenience stores - Barmy and I would buy it at D'Agostino's when we made runs out to Penzeys, until we discovered that the little bodega across the street from the Allston post office carries it, as does the Allston Liquor Mart on Cambridge Street at North Harvard, across from the Hess station.

              HOWEVER - it is ultrapasteurized. (We use it for making yogurt, where contrary to our expectations we have learned that we get a better result with ultrapasteurized milk.)

              1. re: Allstonian

                Oops - I take it back, after having examined the half-gallon of Oakhurst we currently have in the fridge. It is pasteurized, NOT ultra.

                1. re: Allstonian

                  I don't know the pasteurization process at Oakhurst, but would just caution that ultra-pasteurized milk doesn't have to be labeled as such. It may be heated past what is ideal for cheesemaking but still only say "pasteurized." But since the OP says it's OK if the milk is ultrapasteurized, I guess it doesn't matter either way. Agree, both Oakhurst and Shaw Farm are excellent.

              2. re: rlh

                That's a very decent price. Wish I lived closer!

              3. Wish I'd thought to make this thread before Saturday—I came home from Red Fire Farm w/ quarts of strawberries and then couldn't find any insanely expensive fancy local cream to eat them with!

                I know, tough life.