While the exact origin of milk is unknown, evidence suggests that dairy was first consumed in central Europe and the central Balkans when farming started there in the 13th century, according to Science Daily. Milk was used in the production of yogurt and cheese before being consumed as a beverage.
Scientists believe that the early consumption of milk was linked to the advantages it offers. Milk contains vitamin D, which is difficult to find in other sources, particularly in less sunny areas of Europe. Additionally, cows produce milk year-round, offering a food source during the winter months when crops don't grow.