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Would you drink milk from a donkey? These lads sell it on the streets

For a quarter century or more, Ricardo Alegria and his brother Marco have led donkeys through the streets of Chile’s capital, milking them on the spot for customers.
Dec 26th 2014, 1:39 PM 12,867 23

Chile Donkey Milk Photo Essay Marco Alegria hands a customer a small cup of fresh donkey milk Source: AP

RICARDO ALEGRIA IS a different sort of milk man.

For a quarter century or more, he and his brother Marco have led donkeys through the streets of Chile’s capital, milking them on the spot for customers.

It’s a rare job, but a very old one. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates recommended donkey’s milk for some ailments and at least some claim that Cleopatra bathed in it for her skin.

The use of donkey’s milk has persisted in some parts of the world.

APTOPIX Chile Donkey Milk Photo Essay Ricardo Alegria holds his donkeys by a leash as he yells to sell their milk in the streets of Santiago, Chile Source: AP

 

Even Pope Francis has said he drank it as a boy in Argentina, prompting an Italian company that produces the milk to give him two donkeys recently.

The Alegrias sell shot-sized cups of the milk for about $2 (€1.64). A half-litre, the most they say a donkey produces in a day, goes for about $20.

Ricardo Alegria said the milk “is taken as a vitamin jolt for babies with gastric problems,”

Chile Donkey Milk Photo Essay Source: AP

Researchers at the University of Camerino in Italy have reported it can be a good substitute for children with allergies to cow’s milk. But adults often drink it too.

Fifty-four-year-old Carlos Aravena said he’s been raising burros on the outskirts of Santiago and selling their milk as long as he can remember. His father did as well.

Read: ‘Our nativity donkey was literally squashed by an overweight man’

Read: Maybe Labour should canvass with donkeys … it worked in the 1940s

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Associated Press

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