Close to Milo, a pretty village nestled among the volcanic rocks of Mount Etna, there is an interesting farm producing donkey’s milk. Thanks to its protein content – similar to that found in human milk – it is considered a very special milk, suitable for people intolerant to cow’s milk, and very tasty as it is rich in lactose. The farm, called Asilat, has a very special history. Its owner, Ketty Torrisi, is a veterinary.
“This farm, as Ketty tells us, was born in 1999 when I discovered that my son was intolerant to cow’s milk proteins. It was a great problem for a little child, so I decided to try the donkey’s milk and the results were surprising. I started breeding donkeys in my family’s lands milking them according to my child’s needs”.
Making it become a real business was a natural consequence, also because she realized that this was a very common problem among other moms. In 2001 Asilat obtained the authorization to produce donkey’s milk becoming the first farm of this kind in Sicily.
“Today our farm is raising 107 female donkeys (only-Sicilian breed) fed with non-GMOs products; our milk is now supplied to several families. Furthermore, the relationship with these animals is unique: donkeys are very sweet, intelligent, and sensitive. Often, I organize initiatives for schools or for people who want to spend some time immersed in nature and in close contact with the animals. Mine is also a teaching farm. Adults and children have a lot of fun in the farm; here they can have lunch and the opportunity to taste this pure white milk, low in fat and rich in calcium”.
Moreover, thanks to its properties, donkey’s milk is largely used in cosmetics. Asilat’s unsold milk is processed in a local company to obtain moisturizing and soothing products. Indeed, even Cleopatra and Poppea used to bath in donkey’s milk to preserve their skin’s beauty!