From medicine to a much-loved treat: the unusual journey of flavoured milks
Flavoured milk: it’s one of the tastiest ways to consume
your dairy. But where did this delicious delicacy come from you ask? To pay
homage to flavoured milk, this blog is dedicated to what you’ll find is an
often unusual journey – from debates on whether Irish physician, Hans Sloane,
truly was the first to stumble upon chocolate milk during his 15-month voyage
to Jamaica in the early 18th century, to the first homegrown
cultivations of strawberries in Middle Aged France.
Chocolate milk has been around for a while but there is much
debate among historians over who gets credit for its invention or ‘discovery’.
The Natural History Museum lists Irish physician, naturalist and collector, Sir
Hans Sloane, as the inventor of chocolate milk. During his time in early 18th
century Jamaica, the local people gave him cocoa to drink which, according to
the museum, he found “nauseous”, making it more “palatable” “by mixing it with
Upon Sloane’s return, he brought the milk and cocoa mix with
him. A far cry from its enjoyment as a treat now, it was sold as medicine for
many years in the 18th century! Historian James Delbougo disputes Sloane’s
accreditation for chocolate milk’s invention, evidencing how Jamaicans were
brewing “a hot beverage brewed from shavings of freshly harvested cocoa, boiled
with milk and cinnamon” as far back as 1494. What’s more, ancient Mesoamerican
civilisations were mixing cacao beans with other ingredients thousands of years
back – albeit with the absence of milk, instead creating a frothy chocolate
drink with water, vanilla, chili peppers and other spices.
With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine that Sir Hans Sloane
was the first to sample the delicious flavour of chocolate milk – and the same
goes must go for strawberry milk, right?
It’s not so straightforward, with the origins of strawberry
milk unfortunately (and mysteriously!) unclear, and it is still thought to be a
recent development in the world of dairy. Although the first mass-produced
strawberry milk can be traced back to Nestle’s launch of Strawberry Nestle Quik
in the USA in 1968, there’s little record of its first personal consumption.
Interestingly, the strawberry has a much shorter history
than chocolate: historians place its initial discovery in ancient Rome in 234BC.
Yet, like chocolate, its first uses were in the medicinal arena. The story then
halts for over a thousand years before mentions of strawberries crop up
again with the French first taking the wild strawberry from the forest to their
gardens – it appears that French King Charles V was a big strawberry fan, with
evidence of him having over 1200 strawberry plants in his royal garden. It was
only from the 1600s that references to cultivating the strawberry became more
commonplace in Europe and, again, it tended to be for medicinal purposes. So,
when do you think strawberry milk was first drank?
Fast forward hundreds more years and you can now enjoy the
pleasure of strawberries – and the delicious concoction that is strawberry milk
– easily. However, our greengrocer partner supplies certainly attest that not every
strawberry is created equally. The care of local farmers makes a big difference
with the quality and freshness of your strawberries . After all, berries are
naturally the quickest fruit to spoil and should always be stored in the
refrigerator for maximum freshness. The same goes for our scrumptious strawberry
milk. Straight from your doorstep, make sure to pop it in the fridge to
keep this sweet creamy milk fresh and chilled.
Now you know a little more about the origins of flavoured
milk, why not explore our tempting range that includes strawberry,
and more? Simply click here to add
Creamline-produced flavoured milk to your next order and enjoy the taste of
fresh cows’ milk from local farms combined with your favourite fruits.