Milk: a long history made of beliefs and traditions

The history of milk is a long interweaving of myths, beliefs and traditions. Humans have consumed dairy products from cows, sheep and goats for at least 10,000 years.

The first archaeological evidence is date back to the Neolithic age (8000 BC), which indicate that milk was consumed in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. But it was in the late 1800s that milk became widespread. Every morning the farmers milked the cows and the fresh milk was sold in bulk directly by the producer, who transported it around in large tins. In fact, date back to this time the memories of children who were “sent by mom to buy milk”. People were used to go to the town’s dairies, popular shops in Italy until the early 1970s, equipped with an aluminum case with an airtight cap and a handle long enough to be inserted into the bicycle handlebar.

The Loison Museum houses numerous milk churns, which belonged to the Loison family and they symbolize the dairy tradition typical of the Vicenza area.

Milk Churn

Milk Bottle – Latteria Cerri

From aluminum to glass: the first glass bottles

In the early decades of the 1900s, the aluminum milk churn has been replaced by the glass bottle. Dr. Harvey Thatcher, an American pharmacist from Potsdam (New York), who was looking for an efficient solution to bring pure milk to the consumer, as if freshly milked, avoiding contamination, invented the first glass milk bottle called “the Thatcher Milk Protector Jar”, in 1886. Arrived into the market in the early 1900s, the glass bottle was also widely used in Italy. This was usually 1 liter, and often carried the name of the producing dairy on the back.
At the Loison Museum there are also numerous bottles of milk coming from ancient dairies all over Italy. Among these there is a very well preserved one, dating back to the late 50s / early 60s of the Latteria Cerri, which since 1870 has been producing dairy products with the best fresh milk from the Vercelli area.

Curiosity! The Italian breakfast from the 60s until today.

Milk is perhaps one of the most important food on the Italian tables during breakfast, as well as various baked goods (ciambellone, sponge cake, tarts etc.) once homemade, but from the 1960s also packaged. It is in fact in those years that the food industry brings the first packaged bakery products to the homes of Italians, and it is in 1969 that the Loison family begins to produce the Filone. Born from an ancient family recipe, at the time it was called “Panfrutto” and it was a simple and soft leavened cake enriched with raisins and candied fruit covered with an almond glaze. Today, Dario Loison has recovered the historical recipes of his father Alessandro, revisiting them to give them new life and adapt the Loaf to contemporary tastes and palates.