Visit a restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand and you run the chance of being offered what’s being called an exciting culinary development: Cheese, yogurt, and crème brulee made from deer milk.

The Pamu company in New Zealand is behind this unconventional sourcing. Southland-area deer are being hand-reared for this purpose, which is intended to drive alternative uses for agricultural resources in the country. Pamu uses red deer and a milking machine to extract the liquid, which is said to be lower in sugar and higher in protein than its cow counterpart. It’s offered in powdered form for later reconstitution.

Why hasn’t deer milk been trialed stateside? One reason might be that deer don’t produce much of it: Pamu gets just a few hundred liters of milk per deer per season, while a dairy cow might generate 8700 liters in the same amount of time. Another is that countries that don’t eat much venison have no need to domesticate deer in large numbers, reducing the available milking population. Our ancestors may have also had trouble getting deer to cooperate. Cows seem much more amenable to the process.

Public reaction to these deer-based menu items will help determine whether deer milk catches on in Auckland. The taste? According to samplers, it’s being described as savory.

[h/t The Herald Scotland]