The Magic in A Milk Truck

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.

October 2016, We  followed a milk truck carrying MILK CANS, which are still in use in Ecuador.

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.


29 Replies to “The Magic in A Milk Truck”

  1. I LOVE this post. I too have fond memories of Norman Rockwell paintings from my childhood, and your whole post took me back to the years I lived in Thailand (though without the milk–you don’t get much dairy in Asia).

    1. Thank you so much, we have many old fashioned experiences here and I only wish that I could have shown a few of them to my grandmother. I’m sure should would beamed! I had no idea that dairy was uncommon in Thailand, how interesting!

    1. I’m so happy this post is being enjoyed by those other than myself. We have all really enjoyed finding sentiments in the unexpected. It’s fun to get a peek at a life we’ve previously only imagine.

    1. I really stopped drinking milk in Ecuador as well, after being a lifetime lover the drink.The truth is that I was accustomed to the altered, unnatural versions that are processed in America, that I couldn’t handle the whole, closer to nature variations that are common here. I still don’t drink much of it, but when I get the chance for the fresh stuff, I can’t get enough!

  2. Interesting! I never thought about the fact that milk might taste different than if it comes in the plain ol’ jugs we’re used to. Sounds like a great trip. Would love to see the Andes.

    1. It is stunning about much different milk can taste with variations in processing, preservatives, and alterations of the fat content. I’ve also learned that the diet and activity of the cows makes a wonder of a difference.I do still miss American milk, but I know that these version are much better for all of us!

    1. Absolutely. Stepping outside of the USA, has only sparked a sense of Wanderlust for me. Ecuador has shown us such great diversity that I now I can only imagine what the rest of the world has to offer. Our curiosity has peaked!

  3. What a special experience. I love the way you presented this story. I have had raw milk before and it is truly refreshing. Although my milk did not come with a great story like yours. 😀

    1. Oh thank you so much for the compliments! It’s seems to me that lately, all of our experiences have been easily translated into great stories. Sometimes the best lines are found in the interpretation, in an understanding that simple things are what the makes the world so beautiful. 😀

    1. It’s a little crazy to think that our rural experiences from the Midwest vary so greatly from other countries. To imagine that we have never seen or tasted fresh places that are famous for livestock and quite eye opening!

  4. Long long ago when I used to go to India for vacation my grandma had a cow at home. Fresh milk really tastes pretty good. Reading this reminded me of those memories.

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