Farmed deer numbers, including breeding hinds and fawns, increased in 2018, says Statistics New Zealand.
Scott, engaged by Pāmu to help launch its deer milk, says it’s rare for chefs to work with a new ingredient they have never seen before.
He says deer milk’s most noticeable feature is its “phenomenal” texture. And contrary to his expectations, the aroma was not as strong as goat or sheep milk.
“It’s got a lovely gentle slightly savoury nose and when you drink it you get this amazing sensation with the texture of the milk,” said Scott.
“That is down to its composition -- very high in fat and protein, almost double what you would find in regular cow milk. So as you’re drinking it, you get this beautiful silky finish.”
Chefs would normally have to add cream to the milk in recipes such as ice cream, rice pudding, panna cotta, creme brulee or creme caramel. With deer milk there is no need.
Scott is expert at creme brulee, having had the dish on the menu for 11 years at Vinnies Restaurant in Ponsonby.
He found he could make a deer milk creme brulee “just like heaven on a spoon” using no extra fat, but a little sugar and egg yolk.
Scott helped launch the product to a VIP function for 10 Auckland chefs, where they tasted a brulee, yoghurt, a sorbet “with a very light beautiful clean finish,” and a savoury dish of a Japanese handmade cheese, lightly marinated in miso.