By Tricia D'Onofrio
Dairy farmers everywhere share a common dream: a wholesome lifestyle spent milking their cows each day, filling up buckets of milk and making enough to provide for their family. That bubble gum dream has been irrevocably punctured by none other than one spunky little tree nut: the almond. You may know them from their work in salads, marzipan, fruit-bedazzled salads, and embellishing a hunk of brie. This palm-sized snack has worked hard for this come-up and has a message for the dairy industry: “Get used to it.”
In a David and Goliath move, the almond has become a real, yet unwelcomed, player at the industry table.
“If you had told me 10 years ago that these nuts would wiggle their way into the milk market, I would have thought you were, well, nuts,” said Hezekiah Lapp, a 32-year-old dairy farmer from Ronks, Pennsylvania.
At present, there is a case being brought before judges to reserve the word "milk" for the dairy industry.
“Let’s just call this almond goop what it is: a juice, gunk, a tincture, a concoction. You cannot milk an almond. Case closed,” said Salvator Fronicci, representing Big Dairy.
However, there is pushback from Big Almond, whose president, Prunus Dulcis, released a statement along with his countersuit.
“My client wants what everyone wants, to have their full rights recognized. My client is a milk, whether you want to recognize that or not.” Mr. Dulcis went on to say, “I don’t know why people are acting stunned. People can’t get enough of almonds! We alone carry the Italian cookie market on our backs. Cows, hit the bench! The time of the almond is nigh.”
Claire Knowle, age 11, said, “My mom’s eczema started to spread up her arms, so her doctor recommended stopping the milk and her eczema went away, like poof! Now, we switched to almond milk. It’s pretty good actually.”
Her mother, Rosalind Knowle, works as a barista at the Starhop Cafe.
“At work, they started ordering all of these alternative kinds of milk for our dairy-free clientele. I mean, it’s Brooklyn, so that’s like half our customer base. It was a pretty easy switch.”
In the factory, our team was able to get an exclusive interview with one particular almond who wants to make his case.
“People just didn’t notice me right away. It’s like I’ve been friend-zoned all these years, always playing second fiddle to the cow,” said the almond.
He continued, “After a crazy night out, one thing led to another and now you can see just how much I bring to the breakfast table. I always knew I’d make a great milk. Heck, I’ll make a great anything: frosting, pizza dough, bagels, crackers, the works. I’d even like to take a crack at the milkshake, baby. I’m a lot more than just decorative pizazz atop a bear claw.”
Image: The Spruce Eats