Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
Different cow varieties produce different tasting milk. Also, the food they eat affects the flavor. Cattle that have eaten a significant portion of alfalfa in their diet produce milk that has an "off" flavor reminiscent of vitamin pills. Cattle that eat primarily sweet hay have a sweeter flavored milk.
Depending on the time of year, and the food available, milk varies from one batch to another, depending on what the animals are eating.
I don't remember if I've mentioned this here before, so here goes.
Many, many, years ago, I used to work for an ice cream / dairy / burger chain here in OK called Braum's. Those members in OK, northern TX, western AR, southwestern MO, and southern KS will know the company I'm talking about.
Supposedly, as I was told many years ago, they have the largest private dairy herd in the country. Holstein cattle.
The milk produced by the cows gets used for ALL dairy products. Milk, butter, sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, frozen yogurt, etc. The cream that's skimmed from the whole milk gets used for butter, whipping cream, canned whipped cream, etc.
Many years ago, the small lake on the farm, the only water source for that herd, "turned over". That is, for some oddball reason, water from the bottom levels of the lake moved to the top. The rush of nutrients caused an algae bloom in the lake, which in turn, affected the taste of the water. The cows drank that water. The result: The resulting milk tasted like pond water. BLECK! I know, because I tasted some of the stuff. For over a month, customers were bringing back milk because it "tasted funny". I was all to happy to refund their money.
Eventually, the water purity was restored, and the milk quality returned to normal.