The dust is swirling as the competitors strut up and down defiantly. Brightly coloured masks litter both the arena and the fevered dreams of the baying spectators. Flashes of garish colour sear across blazing eyes and flaring nostrils. Tattered capes fly in the wind flickering in and out of this vision like the ticket stubs and betting sheets that blow through the crowd. The horns start up and it can only mean one thing…
Leche de Loco!
In the blue corner – Goat Milk – stamping his hooves and circling his horns through the hot air, a great milk substitute when cooking as has familiar consistency. My attempts to make a white sauce with Soya Milk got nowhere, but Goat Milk worked a treat. Also straight out the gate this stuff is pretty goaty (which is cool but unavoidable) but when it is cooked in something does not betray its origins. Inescapable in tea and cereal, not necessarily a bad thing but the thick taste is hardly refreshing.
In the red corner – Rice Milk – an ethereal figure standing perfectly still, only his long cape moves, billowing ominously around him, the subtlest of the milks. If Goat is the thickest then Rice is the thinnest. Great in cereal as it doesn’t draw attention to itself. It’s got more to it than water but its taste really serves as little more than an unobtrusive base for something else. Sadly it falls apart when added to hot drinks. A kind of grainy thinness is apparent and the milk almost seems to separate. However if the alternative is Goat Milk and all you want is a dash of something Rice might be a better bet as it won’t overwhelm the drink like Goat. Seems to have limited cooking application.
In the orange corner – Soya Milk – a firm favourite and a big crowd pleaser doing cartwheels and somersaults, a great all rounder. Soya milk (sweetened or unsweetened depending on preference) holds up well in cereal and tea. It has a distinct taste, you won’t forget it’s there like you would the Rice Milk Ninja but it is not overpowering like Got Milk. It is thick enough to handle itself in a cup of tea with an unobtrusive flavour. A tea with Soya is refreshing, a tea with Goat is not. I’m yet to venture too far with Soya in the cooking stakes but its cousin Soya Cream is incredible. Has the same consistency and properties as cream, tastes like cream and is way healthier.
In the green corner – Coconut Milk – now this guy is a specialist, he’s not strutting around like the others, he’s found a high vantage point from which to sit this thing out. He crouches down. He’s playing the long game. Coconut Milk is a different type of contender – he comes in a tin and isn’t really playing the cereal/tea contest. Coconut Milk is all about the cooking. Coconut makes a fantastic base for a curry especially if you are wanting to go for a Thai vibe. Is a great alternative to a tomato/garlic style dish. Rich, tasty, goes further than Dairy could even dream of.
In the yellow corner – Almond Milk – you heard, Almond, the hipster contender with oversized thick rimmed glasses worked into his colourful mask. Almond Milk is way pretentious. Soya is becoming evermore ubiquitous, Goat is a bit hippy and Rice is just weird, but Almond Milk I mean is there a more middle class nut than an almond? (I’m willing to be challenged on this, the gauntlet is down). Getting on with business, the nuttiness of Almond Milk unsurprisingly goes well in hot drinks, it was purchased with the plan of using to make hot chocolate but was used up in a rush of cereal before the chance presented itself. It has a thicker more distinct taste on the way to Goat but not nearly as heavy or leaving as much of an aftertaste. More refreshing than Goat in cereal but much richer and therefore not as light as Soya or Rice.
In the purple corner – Oat Milk – looking a bit stunned and confused, this is his first contest and the crowd don’t know what to make of him. Oat Milk – milk from oats! Milk just got real. If you can make milk from oats what can’t you make milk from? Oat Milk is the Meta Milk. Imagine porridge, often served or cooked with Cow Milk being served with Oat Milk, oat + water with oat + water, we’re through the looking glass, through the wardrobe and definitely not in Kansas any more. I am new to Oat Milk and yet to pair it with porridge but my initial findings are that it resembles most closely Rice Milk, although a tooled up version. It is thin but not as thin as Rice. Bland but not as bland as Rice – there is something unmistakably… oaty about its taste. It performs very well in cereal, passably in tea and is an unknown quantity when it comes to cooking. My suspicion is that its thinness would let it down when cooking, but oatyness might lend itself to baking.
Stats run down
Goat Milk: Aggression 5 Stamina 4 Agility 2 Stealth 0
Rice Milk: Aggression 1 Stamina 2 Agility 3 Stealth 5
Soya Milk: Aggression 3 Stamina 3 Agility 3 Stealth 2
Coconut Milk: Aggression 4 Stamina 5 Agility 0 Stealth 2
Almond Milk: Aggression 4 Stamina 3 Agility 3 Stealth 1
Oat Milk: Aggression 2 Stamina 2 Agility 2 Stealth 4