The flavor of fresh milk is balanced and subtle. It’s distinctly sweet from the lactose, slightly salty from its complement of minerals, and very slightly acid. Its mild, pleasant aroma is due in large measure to short-chain fatty acids (including butyric and capric acids), which help keep highly saturated milk fat fluid at body temperature, and which are small enough that they can evaporate into the air and reach our nose. Normally, free fatty acids give an undesirable, soapy flavor to foods. But in sparing quantities, the 4- to 12-carbon rumen fatty acids, branched versions of these, and acid-alcohol combinations called esters, provide milk with its fundamental blend of animal and fruity notes. The distinctive smells of goat and sheep milks are due to two particular branched 8-carbon fatty acids (4-ethyl-octanoic, 4-methyl-octanoic) that are absent in cow’s milk. Buffalo milk, from which traditional mozzarella cheese is made, has a characteristic blend of modified fatty acids reminiscent of mushrooms and freshly cut grass, together with a barnyardy nitrogen compound (indole).