Yes, Canucks Really Do Drink Bagged Milk!

Breigh February 8, 2010 37


A while back I went out for dinner with a friend and we somehow got on the topic of milk.  They couldn’t believe me when I told them that we get our milk in bags back in Canada.

They also couldn’t believe that we actually had a milk man who would come in the morning and leave our milk between our screen and wooden back doors!  It’s true, we’d leave a little note with what we want and he’d leave it there for us.  I remember many times coming home from school at lunch and open the screen door to have the milk fall out at my feet.

Also, in primary school we used to get milk for our little break treat.  It was a mini bag with a little straw you’d punch it with to drink it, but some of us just ripped the corner off with our teeth and sucked it out, cuz we were hardcore.

A friend of mine shared this video on Facebook yesterday and I laughed because it’s so normal to me, even after 10 years living out of the country.  I think some of my Euro friends might find this interesting though!  My friend on Facebook is American and he didn’t know about it until a friend showed this to him… and he’s right next door to Canada!

So yes, in Canada we drink milk from bags.  No, I have never bothered closing that little corner and I swear, milk never went off as quickly there as it appears to here.  I drank a lot more milk in Canada than I do here, so that may be why.  I also just liked the milk better there for some reason.  I guess we just have better cows!


  1. Sonya February 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Wow thats seriously odd! LOL I have never ever EVER seen milk come in that form learn something new Can you imagine trying to do that over here with their dang beer fridges? I have a normal sized fridge now..well normal in dutch terms and still can’t put milk anywhere else but the side of the door because thats the only place it can stand upright. Im so glad you posted about this..I never would of known otherwise!
    .-= Sonya´s last blog ..Golden Lemon Bread =-.

    • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Until I saw my friend post that video on FB saying he had no idea, I never thought it was anything out of the ordinary. I knew they didn’t have bags here but I thought it was another silly Dutch thing. I really had no idea that the bags were only in Canada. I thought Americans had them too! :P

  2. Candee February 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    I brought my in-laws to Ontario with me a few years back. They thought bagged milk was CRAZY!! They really did not GET it!
    I miss it! it’s just one of those things I was brought up with.

    Milk does taste different back home!
    .-= Candee´s last blog ..What I miss most =-.

    • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Ok so I’m not imagining that it tastes different here? I used to LOVE milk back in Canada, but here I hardly ever touch it.

  3. Theresa February 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    I had completely forgotten about bagged milk (my Mom switched over to the jugs years ago) until I was helping my Mom pack some stuff this summer and saw our old milk jug… not actually sure what the official name is, but the thing that holds the bagged milk.

    I have to agree. Milk does taste better in Canada.

    • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      We always called it the milk jug too. Not sure what else you’d call it.

  4. Alison February 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Lol. Things you take for granted eh? We didn’t have a milkman but there was one in the neighbourhood. We always had bagged Baxter’s milk though. My mom used to take extra when we travelled to the States because she hates the taste of American milk. She would really hate the UHT crap here :P
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..InterNations – The Community for Expats, by Expats =-.

    • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm - Reply

      We’ve had Baxter’s as well but I think we used to drink something called Scotian? I forget… but it was a NS brand. What is UHT?

      • Alison February 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm - Reply

        I think it stands for Ultra-high temperature… It’s what they do to European milk so that it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I’m not a big milk drinker anyway but we always try to get the organic stuff because, at least in Belgium, it’s the only milk that isn’t UHT.
        .-= Alison´s last blog ..InterNations – The Community for Expats, by Expats =-.

        • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm - Reply

          We have 2 diff kinds of milk here. The usual kind that needs to be refrigerated and the ‘houdbaar’ type which can be just on the shelf. Then once you put that in the fridge and open it, it’s usually good for a few days.

          I find they both taste the same but different than in Canada. I’ll try some organic stuff and see if I like it better. Thanks for the tip!

          • Gail at Large February 9, 2010 at 9:45 am -

            Yeah, the ‘houdbaar’ type is UHT milk. It’s all over the UK as well, and many places that don’t have humongous refrigerators like in North America.

  5. Melissa February 8, 2010 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I miss my bagged milk!! Less garbage, less space taken up in the fridge, easier to freeze if you have too, much easier to carry 4 litres then jugs, aaaaahhhhhhhh…milk! I wish they’d catch on to the idea here!

    Would you like me to bring you back an empty bag when I go home in March? LOL
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..This just might end up … =-.

    • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      I have the same problem as Sonya said. My milk doesn’t fit anywhere other than on the door of the fridge. Bags of milk would definitely be more friendly in regards to the smaller fridges here!
      Yes I’d love you to bring me back a bag, if it’s full of Reese’s Pieces! :P

  6. Ash February 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    We had bagged milk in Africa too.

    • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      Hey so it’s not just Canada after all!! Did you mind it in the bags? Which do you prefer?

  7. Hilly February 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Okay, crazy American here! I’ve heard of bagged milk before and still could never do it. Well, not NEVER per se but still, the idea creeps me out. I know, I know…I am so gauche right now. ;)
    .-= Hilly´s last blog ..2710 =-.

    • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      You probably wouldn’t notice the difference if someone gave it to you, but I can see now why it’d be weird for people who have never had it.

  8. Nobody™ February 8, 2010 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    It’s available in bags here, but I’ve never bought it that way, I stick to jugs. Bagged milk seems to be popular in Wisconsin and nearby areas, there’s a large chain of stores in this area that sells it that way. Outside of that chain, I’ve never seen milk in bags, and it was not available in bags when I worked in the grocery biz.
    .-= Nobody™´s last blog ..Spring is nearly here =-.

    • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm - Reply

      So it is available in the US after all. I guess it’s just not very popular so most don’t know about it. Don’t know what ya’s are missing!

  9. Kara February 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Okay, I had never seen bagged milk until I took my first trip to Nova Scotia in 2001. I have never seen it in the NWT, Nunavut, Yukon, Alberta or BC. Perhaps it is more of an east coast thing?? You east coasters are a wee bit odd! ahahaha

    Although we do use UHT milk in the tetrapacks when we run out of fresh milk!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..My New Favorite Picture =-.

    • Breigh February 8, 2010 at 11:58 pm - Reply

      Ok I know what UHT is now but what is a tetrapack?

      Yes, us east coasters are a bit odd, but you all can’t help but love us anyway! :P

      • Alison February 9, 2010 at 10:57 am - Reply

        Tetrapacks are the cartons like they make juice boxes out of. I have seen milk in those here in Belgium too but I’ve never tried it. I’ve also seen wine in tetrapacks which just seems so wrong.
        .-= Alison´s last blog ..InterNations – The Community for Expats, by Expats =-.

        • Breigh February 10, 2010 at 3:09 pm - Reply

          Ok I googled the tetrapacks and a lot of milk comes in those here, especially the houdbaar (don’t need refridgeration) types. They are pretty common, never knew what they were called though.

    • Gail at Large February 9, 2010 at 9:52 am - Reply

      I do think it’s more of a central and eastern Canadian thing. I don’t remember seeing it in Saskatchewan, but I grew up with it as a child in Manitoba and didn’t see a single bag of milk until I moved to Toronto four years ago. Didn’t see it in BC or Alberta at all and nobody knew what the hell I was talking about when I mentioned it.

      I remember the first time I saw it in Toronto almost 20 years after leaving Winnipeg (and bagged milk) — it was like I was a kid again!
      .-= Gail at Large´s last blog ..Erotika Dinner =-.

      • Breigh February 9, 2010 at 10:13 am - Reply

        Hrmm… I’ve never been further west than Toronto so until I came to NL I’ve never known anywhere without it. It’s so funny because until I realized the other day that Americans didn’t know about the bagged milk, I thought it was only NL that didn’t have it!

      • Theresa February 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm - Reply

        born in Saskatchewan and raised in Vancouver with bagged milk.. so not just the east :)

  10. Melissa D February 9, 2010 at 1:33 am - Reply

    I remember when we had bags of milk here in NL, but you can’t buy it anymore, I remember the little plastic container that you had to buy to be ablt to pour the milk out. We never did have a milkman though, well not since I was born at least lol.

    • Breigh February 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      When I first read you say ‘here in NL’ I was like omg did she come back?! haha took me a minute to realize you were talking about Newfoundland.

  11. Nat February 9, 2010 at 2:38 am - Reply

    I did know it was odd, we had friends from NYC come one day. In our house we have a debate, I believe in one triangle (the way she cut it.) The Man (aka paraspouse) says you need to cut both ends of the bag in order to keep it from falling over.

    I’ve never seen/heard of people worrying about fridge smell or using clothes pegs. (Also isn’t the taste of the milk dependent on what they feed the cows?)

    Strange cultural things.

    (Tetrapack = drink boxes like for juice.)
    .-= Nat´s last blog ..Bananas =-.

    • Breigh February 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm - Reply

      I’m with you. We always just cut the one corner, although I have experienced what she said when you cut it too big and it buckles over. That can be messy. I’ve never seen someone cut both corners before.

  12. Alison February 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    I’d never heard of bagged milk either, until a couple of years ago through some online Canadian friends. Totally new concept to me!

    I’m not a milk drinker, so I actually appreciate the small half-liter cartons of milk here. Just enough for our coffee and occasional recipe without going bad.

    I do miss the chicken/veggie/beef broths in tetrapaks, though. Those were so handy for recipes where you need just a bit of broth, rather than having to deal with dissolving the cubes and ending up with more than you need.
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..Saints Almighty! =-.

    • Breigh February 10, 2010 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      We aren’t big milk drinkers here either. I think every carton of milk we get ends up going sour before we drink it all. Hubby is slightly lactose intolerant and I lost my love of milk since moving here. So we often open it to make something and then it sits and goes off. We need to start buying the smaller cartons too.

      I’ve never seen the beef / chicken broth in tetrapacks, I don’t think so anyway!

  13. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah February 10, 2010 at 3:35 am - Reply

    I am an American and I have never heard of milk in a bag until just now.
    .-= Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah´s last blog ..The Forecast Calls for 10 More Inches of Snow =-.

    • Breigh February 10, 2010 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      Well, I’m always happy to give the Americans something more to make fun of us Canadians for :P

  14. Caroline February 14, 2010 at 11:43 am - Reply

    I think I only saw bagged milk once here in Alberta and that was years ago.

  15. Shiro August 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    I’m Canadian (born in Alberta, grew up in BC), and I’ve never seen bagged milk. Must be from out East.

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