Food lovers interested in trying something new can now buy pasteurized camel milk in several Qatar supermarkets.
The products, which are being sold by Dubai-based Camelicious, arrived in Qatar just before the New Year, a company official told Doha News.
Major supermarkets including Carrefour, Al Meera and Safari are carrying the camel milk products, alongside smaller grocery stores such as Monoprix and Food Palace.
Many people seem curious to try it, though some said it’s a bit of an acquired taste. Monoprix sold out of their limited stock today, but a representative said they expected to have more on the shelves tomorrow.
While residents have been able to get raw camel milk in Qatar before, this is the first time that pasteurized milk has been made widely available.
Two years ago, camel milk chocolate, made by another UAE firm Al Nassma, began distributing in Qatar.
The camel milk is currently being sold in several flavors. Plain comes in 1 liter and 500ml bottles, while the smaller 250ml bottles include options such as strawberry, date and chocolate, as well as laban.
Prices start at QR9.75 for the small bottles, rising to a rather pricey QR39 for the 1L size.
Mohamed Ibrahim, sales and marketing manager for Camelicious in Qatar, told Doha News the first products made their way to Qatar shelves late last month.
“It’s been quite popular, although we are only two weeks in. We can’t judge the success for another month or so. Lots of people won’t have tasted it before and might be nervous to try it. So we are doing sampling sessions in the outlets and the feedback has been very positive,” he said.
However, some who have tasted the plain flavor said it had a strong smell and flavor, as well as a watery consistency compared to cow’s milk.
Still, a spokesman for Carrefour supermarkets in Qatar said they decided to stock it after receiving multiple customer’s requests for it.
“We started looking into it about two or three months ago, as customers were demanding it. It’s quite a niche product, but there is enough interest in it to make it worth our while selling it,” Carrefour’s Benoit Vaillant told Doha News.
The Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products (EICMP), which owns the Camelicious brand, started selling camel milk in the UAE in 2006.
It has more than 4,200 camels at a dairy in Dubai and has been expanding in the last three years, now exporting to countries including Kuwait, Jordan, the UK, Austria, Russia, India and Malaysia, according to its website.
In addition to milk and laban, the company also makes camel-milk cheese, labneh and ghee, although these are not yet available in Qatar.
Why drink it?
Though camel’s milk is not as creamy as cow’s milk, it has numerous reported health benefits, including:
- Being up to 50 percent lower in fat than full-fat cow’s milk;
- Having 3-5 times higher Vitamin C levels;
- Containing nearly 10 times more iron;
- Having more calcium; and
- Being lower in calories.
Camel milk also has different proteins than cow’s milk, which sometimes makes it easier to digest for those who are lactose-intolerant or who have gastrointestinal complaints.
It also does not contain lactoglobulin, which is the main cause of cow’s milk allergies.
Would you give it a go? Thoughts?