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First, there was soya. Then, oat, almond and coconut hit the mainstream. Now, there’s a new dairy-free milk alternative – but we’re really not sure how we feel about it.
Potato milk will be one of 2022′s biggest food trends, according to Waitrose’s annual food and drink report. Low in sugar and saturated fat, it is set to dominate coffee shop menus in the coming months, according to the supermarket’s foody forecasters.
It’s a convenient prediction, considering the retailer is launching the product in stores in February 2022. Nevertheless, we were intrigued to give potato milk a try, especially after our deputy editor-in-chief pointed out that most vodka is made from potatoes, too.
Waitrose will be stocking three varieties of Dug potato milk from the Swedish brand Veg of Lund: Original, Unsweetened and Barista. And if you can’t wait till February, Dug is already available from vegan speciality stores and Amazon –
where you can get taster pack of all three varieties for £11 or a six pack of Original for £13.99 – ahead of its big supermarket debut.
According to the makers of Dug, potato milk is “the most sustainable alternative on the market”. Three members of the HuffPost UK Life team tried it – and it generated some very different opinions.
‘It’s got a salty aftertaste – and smell’
Nancy Groves, head of Life: ⭐️⭐️
“If I’m the carb queen, the humble potato is my crown jewel. Crisps, chips, mash, roasties, I love them all, and so you’d think potato ‘milk’ was made for me. How come even the thought of it makes me queasy, then?
“When I pour Dug Original on to my morning Shreddies, it has a noticeable whiff in a way regular milk doesn’t and comes out looking browny-beige in the bowl, no surprise, I guess, given its prime ingredient (alongside pea protein and chicory fibre). Both the colour and consistency is closer to soy than dairy milk, though the carton says it’s free from lactose, milk, soy, gluten and nuts.
“Here’s where I’d make a joke about it being free from flavour, too, except sadly it isn’t. Dug Original is lightly sweetened (the least you need for cereal – the Unsweetened is actively salty, bleugh), but even the Original has a saline aftertaste and smell that’s hard to place and even harder to like. Potato milk might be a good option for those with food intolerances or allergies, but I prefer to keep my sweet and savoury separate, even (/especially) at breakfast.”
‘I would buy this over regular milk’
Faima Bakar, Life reporter: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Before I tried potato milk, I am quite sceptical. I love potatoes, but in my coffee? I’m apprehensive. I’m not much of a milk drinker anyway. The only time I actively drink it is in my coffee (I don’t eat cereal, I’m not into milkshakes).
“When I’m at home, I’m more likely to use lactose-free creamer such as Coffee Mate. But when I try the Dug’s Barista potato milk in my mug, I’m pleasantly surprised. It doesn’t taste any different to my normal coffee and, at least for me, there’s no weird aftertaste, which I find with certain plant-based alternatives.
“The Unsweetened variety is also surprisingly subtle. I take my coffee without sugar so this is a natural choice for me. It has a tiny bit of an oaky taste (I think), which I like. I’m excited to try it in other forms, such as a roux, and if they don’t have Coffee Mate in store, I would be more likely to buy this over regular milk.”
‘A crime against potatoes’
Rachel Moss, Life editor: ⭐️
“Potato milk, it must be said, is a crime against potatoes. I was genuinely left speechless by Faima’s positive review, because each of the Dug varieties made me gag.
“Unsweetened is by far the worst, and tastes like flour mixed with water and salt. A tentative sip leaves me searching for something – anything! – to take the taste away. The Original and Barista versions are marginally better, but fail to blend fully into my tea.
“In a desperate attempt to use up my cartons, I try cooking with the unsweetened version. It works in a roux – helped by generous garlic to mask the taste – and could make a handy alternative for vegans who aren’t a fan of soya in their béchamel. Just remember to adjust your seasoning to account for the saltiness.
“But overall, I’m hoping the world leaders at COP26 come up with some other planet-saving solutions, so we don’t have to resort to drinking this garbage.”