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Old 12-06-2010, 03:31 PM   #1
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Question Need a definite explanation of "top milk"

I've done a Google search and I am seeing different answers. While all agree on what it actually is, that being "the upper layer of milk in a container enriched by whatever cream has risen" and that it occurs in non-pasteurized milk.

What everyone disagrees on is today's equivalent. The following summarizes the answers, which pretty much leaves it wide open.
  1. It is heavy cream.
  2. It is light cream.
  3. It is half and half.
  4. It is evaporated milk, undiluted.
  5. It is evaporated milk, slightly diluted.
You can see my problem here.

I cannot figure out what is really the equivalent of today. If I had to make my own best guess, I'd go with #1. In fact, I listed them precisely in the order which I would imagine it goes from most likely to least likely. Clearly evaporated milk is NOT top milk. It may be passable as a sub, but is not the actual thing.

So! Does anyone have a definitive answer?


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Old 12-06-2010, 03:49 PM   #2
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In unhomogenized milk, heavy cream rises to the top. However, if it's the "upper layer of milk enriched by any cream that has risen..." then it is less than heavy cream. Perhaps light cream. It all depends on how much milk is taken with the cream.

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Old 12-06-2010, 04:40 PM   #3
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Heavy cream (80 years ago). More to do with homogenized than pasturized.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:11 PM   #4
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growing up we got milk from a farm and it was pasteurized but not homogenized and the cream floated to the top unless you shook the jug. Pretty much what justplainbill said.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:25 PM   #5
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I would be interested to know in what context you saw the use of the term..."Top Milk"
Not that it would change it's meaning....Just curious.

Based on my experience of milking as a youngster...I would say it means Heavy Cream with maybe some portion of the milk just below it.
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