As I've blogged before, this becomes a problem for us in Europe where milk is not commonly drank as a daily - or in our family's case - obsessive beverage. In some countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, the milk situation has improved and one can generally find good-tasting (read: American milk-like tasting) cold milk in the supermarkets. In other countries, one may find milk, but only what my family calls shelf milk: unrefrigerated milk that has been highly pasteurized and tastes somewhat, well, "cheesy" as my kids like to say. My daughter, in her desperation, can acclimatize herself to this milk, but my son will not.
|Shelf milk in Spain.|
|One liter cartons of cold milk at Supermercado in Tarifa.|
As in most European countries, getting a glass of tap water at a restaurant in Spain or Portugal is challenging, if not impossible. First, you must try to explain that you don't want sparkling water. This concept is extremely difficult for most Europeans, especially Germans, to understand. If that has been successfully conveyed you must now attempt to convince them that you don't want bottled still water. You want it from the tap - der Leitungshahn, de grifo, le robinet. It rarely works, no matter how hard you try. You'll almost always receive, and have to pay for, bottled water. In a restaurant in Malaga the waiter tried to tell us the water in Spain is not drinkable, yet we'd been drinking it for weeks. My advice is to bring your own bottle of tap water - no restaurant in Europe that I've been to has ever objected to that.