Cafe Society

Lactating camels of Arabia heading to the U.S. and Canada

The Arabian deserts have brought us riches like oil -- and, well, that's about it. But all that will change when Dubai starts exporting one of its most valued treasures: camel milk.

Camels are renowned for their nasty tempers and foul breath. Plus, they have a habit of spitting, just like that hooker you picked up on the 'Fax. Yet, it turns out that camels are also a source of nourishment for people who are lactose-intolerant, have protein allergies or diabetes. Camel's milk has triple the amount of vitamin C found in cow's milk.

"Camel milk is closer in composition to human milk, making it a healthier option than cow milk," says Ulrich Wernery, the scientific director of Dubai's Centre for Veterinary Research Laboratory. (Great, now we're going to have women in shawls offering a camel's teat versus their own.)

Wernery is hoping that the EU commission gives it approval to export the liquid lactate to its member countries, and if that goes well, it may open the doors to the U.S and Canadian markets, with later expansion into Asian markets.

Camel milk isn't cheap, since the breed hasn't been specifically developed to produce as much milk as a dairy cow, but the ambitious program has its followers -- and with further breeding stock, the milk flow could soon lead to camel ice cream, cheese and milk chocolate.

Milk 'em if you got 'em.