Where'd it go? All of a sudden, da ua, the Vietnamese yoghurt made by culturing condensed milk, has disappeared from OC shelves. Our network of spies in Little Saigon said there was a letter sent out from the Orange County Health Care Agency informing bakeries, cafés and markets that house-cultured dairy products may not be sold to the public.
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There was such a letter, admits the Orange County Health Care Agency, but it was sent out quite a while ago. OC HCA is not responsible for the rules; those are set by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which states that only products made in a duly licensed dairy processing facility are permitted to be sold.
While it's unlikely that a store would be shut down for selling illegal yoghurt (how stupid does that phrase even sound?)--both OC HCA and CDFA prefer remediation to fines--the fact remains that there are currently no commercial dairies making da ua. As a result, one of the finest desserts of the summer, melon and da ua, is unavailable to most people. (Stay tuned later this week for a recipe. You can make your own, you just can't sell it to anyone.)
Just another reminder that California needs a cottage foods law.