Long before Nesquik Chocolate or Strawberry drink mixes made it to the tables of South Louisiana, Cajuns were drinking their own flavored milk drinks. Coffee milk is what we favored most. As children, we were not allowed to drink a cup of coffee. It was considered an adult drink. Instead, we were given coffee milk . Like everyone during my time, children drank milk at every meal and especially my family because we had a dairy farm. On occasion, certainly not everyday, my mother would fill my glass about one fourth full with dark roast coffee, then she added about 2 teaspoons of sugar, stirred it until it was dissolved and then topped off the rest of the glass with cold milk. It was such a treat.
On a recent trip to France, I stayed with a family near Dijon. For breakfast, our hostess made a wonderful pot of rich, dark coffee, almost as intense as an expresso. The coffee was served in a bowl and hot milk was added. I added sugar, stirred, lifted the bowl to my lips and had my first swallow. Except for the temperature of the milk, that café au lait served in a home in France was like being home again in Lafayette, Louisiana and drinking the coffee milk that my mother made for me. We Cajuns may have moved far from France, but the loving tradition of being served coffee, milk, and sugar by your mother or hostess has not been lost.
I urge you to give it a try. Before you go out and buy a pricey coffee drink from your favorite coffee shop or buy an already mixed and bottled coffee drink, consider just making a pot of coffee, pour some in a glass, add sugar, stir and top with hot or cold milk. This is a good way to use left over cold coffee. Now, enjoy.