Today, I had so much fun out in Song Jiang district visiting Daniel Smith, the dairymeister behind Ambrosia Dairy, a local company using fresh, safe local milk to make amazing dairy products including everything from yogurt and skim milk to feta, cottage cheese, paneer, sour cream, sichuan pepper cheese, brie and others. Daniel originially hales from one of my favorite places on the planet. No, not Brooklyn, but New Zealand, in dairy country near Rotorua. After winning a scholarship from a major dairy company and getting a masters degree in cheese in New Zealand, Daniel found himself working in China for a Kiwi dairy. After seeing an ad for “cheese maker” in the Shanghai press, he jumped on it and helped open Ambrosia about two years ago.
This is the milk – it comes from a local dairy only about an hour outside of Shanghai. Daniel and the owner of Ambrosia have a good relationship with the dairy and are confident on their safety record. And they use the morning milk, which he says has the higher milk fat (thus tastier) and is easier to put into dairy products.
And dairy is such a hot issue. Just last week at the BioFach China convention, I was intensely questioned by someone who felt strongly that dairy should not be part of the human diet. And working for the US National Dairy Council for several years, I have gotten many questions on it. But two things I know: 1) I like dairy and the science behind it works for me -low-fat dairy a few times a day is a great source of nine essential nutrients, including calcium, protein, magnesium and potassium and many scientific studies show it helps with bone development, hypertension and weight managment; 2) if you don’t agree, that is AOK. I won’t argue with you. But I will recommend it. Especially Ambrosia because it is really tasty. And I didn’t just wear that hair net for nothing, ‘kay?
So, Ambrosia can be found at a whole bunch of big fancy hotels and on cruise ships, but if you are not playing tourist, find it at Metro, City Shop or Feidan or through Fieldschina.com or Smartdirect.cn. Or harass Daniel at one of the local farmers market and steal all his cheese samples. Tell him I (and my cheese-loving daughter) sent you.