Sometimes the culture in Ecuador is nostalgic and magical.
While driving down through the Andes, we came upon this old fashioned looking milk truck carrying metal milk cans. I certainly have never seen anything like this before, not even in rural Iowa over the past 30 plus years.
It reminded me of the days that represent the times preserved in the paintings by the Americana painter Norman Rockwell. I can remember flipping through his calendars which were favorites of my paternal grandmother, wondering what it was like to live in a time like that.
The metal milk cans were indeed full of farm fresh milk, and we delighted in the scene as we careened along behind the truck with a wood-crate-style bed. The vision was complete with a wrinkle faced old man, who tipped his worn cap in greeting as we gawked at his cargo.
An image such as this would have been disappearing in America about a hundred years ago, when concerns over tin emerged; along with the development of the tanker trucks and glass bottles. These cans very closely resemble the antique versions that are widely collected for decorative purposes in the USA. However, they are no longer made of tin, but instead they are usually composed of galvanized steel.
We recently had the opportunity to taste farm fresh milk during our stay in the rural Andes at El Quinto Ranch. Just after it was released from the udder, the liquid was poured into a empty and cleaned Coca Cola bottle, still warm to the touch. We carried it back to the ranch, simmered it on the stove, and then drank it lukewarm for breakfast the next day. You’d think maybe I would have had this experience at some time in my life, having grown up in the rural Midwest. But, I had not, and this first experience was memorable for all of us. We all agreed that the milk was the best we’d ever had.