India's Largest Dairy Brand Prepares To Market An Acquired Taste: Camel Milk

  • 2017-02-15
  • NPR

It's nighttime in a forest in the western Indian state of Gujarat. By the light of his cell phone, camel herder Jat Saleh Amir, 18, pumps milk from the teats of groaning camels. The milk smells strong, like gamey butter.­­­

Later, I join his family around a fire by grass reed huts. Everyone watches as I take my first sip of frothy camel milk from a steel bowl. I gag a little and smile apologetically – the milk is fatty, sour and salty. It's nothing like any milk I've had before. "Tell them I like it!" I elbow my local interpreter Liyakat Ali Notiyar. When nobody is looking, I slide Notiyar the warm bowl. Having grown up on camel milk, he slurps it clean in an instant.

Few Indians outside this district of Kutch and its community of camel herders drink camel milk. But that's about to change as one of India's largest dairy brands is set to mass market it.