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.
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.