What Actually Is Potato Milk?

If someone said they were having potato milk with their breakfast, you might think they had an unhealthy relationship with vodka. But in some countries, potato milk, an actual plant-based milk substitute, is the newest option in the ever-expanding menu of vegan and lactose-intolerant friendly drinks.

Originally developed by scientists at Lund University in Sweden, DUG is "a patented emulsion of potatoes and rapeseed oil," which is high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. It's also gluten-free, soy-free, and nut free and contains little to no sugar, depending on the variety.

According to DUG, potatoes (and their milk) are as high in antioxidants as blueberries and blackberries, lower in sugar than carbs like pasta or rice, and contain one third of a person's recommended daily intake of vitamin C in only 100 grams of food. Pair that with their ability to be grown pretty much anywhere and their lack of common allergens, and the developers at DUG have created a recipe for an incredibly versatile, healthy milk alternative. 

A more efficient milk

Though it was first developed in 2017, DUG is currently only available in Sweden, China, and the U.K., where it is already gaining fans (via Food & Wine). Multiple coffee shops in England had already adopted the drink, at a time when the product was only available online. However, the brand recently expanded its presence to sell its three varieties — Original, Barista, and Unsweetened — in supermarket chains across the U.K., according to The Guardian

Part of the drink's appeal is its purported sustainability. Potatoes grow readily around the world and require far less resources than other common milk-substitute crops. DUG's website notes that in addition to creating 75% less carbon emissions than dairy milk, potatoes require only half the land acreage that oats do to grow, and 56 times less water than almond trees for a similar-sized plot of land, making the product significantly more efficient than its biggest competitors in the market.

Waiting for potato

While all this might have you thinking that potato milk might be worth a try, DUG is not yet available in most countries. Food & Wine reported in July 2021 that the brand had plans to expand across Europe and other countries around the globe; however, according to Thrillist, they seem focused on its U.K. supermarket rollout for the moment and there has been no announcement of a U.S. debut date.

If you are an American who just can't wait to find out what potato milk tastes like, and aren't planning a trip across the pond any time soon, some replicated recipes have surfaced online. However, concocting the drink at home may not produce the same "deliciously creamy" taste DUG boasts of.

For now, it may be best to wait for the professionals to bring this latest experiment in plant-based milk to us. If the U.K. rollout continues to go smoothly, hopefully our time to try sipping a hot cap-potato-ccino will come sooner rather than later.