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Can You Smell The Dairy Air? Stereotypes, Statistics, and Milk


I recently had two French couchsurfers stay with me. I went downstairs to find the guy in the kitchen rummaging through my refrigerator. I asked him what he was looking for. He said milk. I said I don't have milk... well... just almond milk. He said to not have milk was un-American.

I don't even know what that means.

Amusements - Shows and Attractions - Aerial Acts and Airshows - Vess, Ginger - Drinking milk, Digital ID 1653504, New York Public LibraryAmusements - Shows and Attractions - Aerial Acts and Airshows - Vess, Ginger - Drinking milk, Digital ID 1653504, New York Public LibrarySo this exchange got me to thinking. Are there stereotypes of America that I am unaware of? I know from speaking to other couchsurfers that the general stereotype of an American is that of the loud, uncultured, poorly dressed tourist... but I was unaware of this whole 'milk in the fridge' stereotype.

The library carries a series of books called Culture Shock; each book explains the customs and etiquette of a certain country which could be quite helpful when you travel, as friendly gestures at home can have an opposite meaning when traveling. I looked for a book on the United States of America. I wanted to know if it's true, that I should have milk in my fridge. The library does have Culture Shock! USA but it is in Chinese and that proves problematic with my monolingual limitations.

I just couldn't let this milk in the fridge comment go, so I did a little more research. According to statistics compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Finland and Sweden are the two highest milk consuming countries per capita. For the record, France drinks more milk than the United States by a little over 6 kg a person.

That night, the two couchsurfers ate a grandma Sicilian pizza with my wife and me, and we watched the film 2 Days in Paris starring Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg.

They informed me that the film was rife with stereotypes about Parisians. I was unsympathetic.


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Really great blog post!

Really great blog post! Thanks for including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations citation, good resource. Also, I can only hope your guests brought you the obligatory baguette. ;)

Thanks...No baguettes. It's

Thanks...No baguettes. It's not mandatory but considered a nice gesture for couchsurfers to bring their host a small gift to show appreciation. A good number of French people that have stayed with my wife and I have actually given us a bottle of wine...but I don't drink :(


Well...the only thing I can think of is the whole"america apple pie" stereotype, I mean in common culture I think it's safe to assume that things like hot dogs and cheese burgers are"american stereotypes". Therefore with milk having a very wholesome connotation to it, like"moms apple pie" maybe that is where the stereotype comes from. Possibly they were big wrestling fans and hulk hogan, arguably the most "american"wrestler of his time constantly instructing children to"say thier prayers, drink thier milk and take thier vitamins" led them to this stereotype. All in all though lets not forget this, they were french...who cares what they think, they don't bathe are rude and have a weak track record when it comes to foreign policy. -FIN.

It's because Americans

It's because Americans supersize everything. You can't buy a gallon of milk in most European countries. You can, however, watch Americans do this on TV:

Opportunity...we need to go

Opportunity...we need to go to Sweden and introduce them to the gallon of milk...we can be Dairy Tycoons !!

Je pense que...

Milk is for babies. That may be the bitterness of a semi-lactose intolerant asian talking, but I digress. I personally never made a correlation between North Americans and milk consumption, however a quick search on Google of "milk americans" pops up this little gem: So while still annoying to find someone rummaging through your fridge (and expecting specific goods like you're some sort of convenience store), I don't believe his stereotype is unwarranted.

Hmmm why didn't I just google

Hmmm why didn't I just google "milk americans". Thank you for your little gem.
Your profile made me "jump," and this title made me ask, "How high?" Thanks for the laughs!

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