I covered this a long time ago, but maybe we have some new people with us, so today's post is about how I am allergic to dairy products, and mostly about how most dairy substitutes make it seem like being allergic to dairy is some kind of joke, where not only do you not get to eat delicious cheese, but then you also have to PRETEND like substitute cheese is good, which is decidedly is not.
First, in case you are going to suggest I try Lactaid products, I am not lactose intolerant, so I can't just eat the dairy with the lactose removed or take the Lactaid pills. I have the kind of dairy allergy that happens in your blood, and ends up in painful hives. There actually is some form of dairy in many things you eat (like whey protein, for instance), and I can eat those in moderation. I only run into problems when I lose my mind and decide I must have cheese or ice cream (or both). I then break out in painful red welts that can last for more than a week. I took a picture once, but then I was like "Who would want to look at that?" so I erased it. Just use your imagination. In that post I referenced above, I mentioned that someone actually asked me once "How did you get bug bites during winter?"
Here are some substitutes I have found, in order of non-preference (meaning I put the grossest ones first).
Trader Joe's Vegan Cheese. You guys. I have eaten alot of cheese substitutes in my day, and this is by far the stinkiest and worst tasting. Stephan says: "It's almost like Trader Joe's is mad at you for not being able to eat dairy." That's how bad it smells. The taste is not good either, a little nutty, a little pasty, a few more adjectives that you should not be using to describe cheese. This one made me want to eat cheese and deal with the hives, frankly. Stephan said he thought it just tasted like chemicals.
Soy Sensations (pictured to the right of the Vegan Mozarella Style Shreds in this photo). I actually was going to put this one higher on the list because it tastes pretty good (if a little gritty), but then I noticed it CONTAINS MILK so I had to stop eating it as well. Isn't the whole point of soy cheese to act as a substitute for milk? If I'm getting hives, it's not going to be over this product. I also resent the use of their slogan "It's soy sational!"
Also, does anyone else find it a little strange that Trader Joe's doesn't have more vegan dairy substitutes? I feel like they should be more into it, but instead they just go back to how much they love that blueberry camombert or whatever they're featuring that week, and frankly, it's kind of rude.
Veggie Shreds. This one is my current favorite, though I would recommend the "mozarella" over the "cheddar," because with the cheddar I think they are overreaching. If you want to make a dairy-free pizza or you're just tired of not having some melty cheese in an omelet or on pasta, this is the one I would recommend. It melts like cheese and takes enough like cheese to get you through dinner without being in a bad mood. For me that's a win.
Also, in case you're curious, Veggie Shreds is also a soy-based product, and I'm aware of the fact that soy is now supposed to be bad for you (in like a larger, hormonal sense), but for real, soy-based badness cannot be worse than the scary red hives.
For milk substitutes, I go with vanilla soy milk or vanilla almond milk from Trader Joe's, which I also have pictures of, but I don't think I'm going to upload them because you know what those look like.
For ice cream, I have totally given up on trying to find substitutes. Rice Dream is way too gritty for me, soy-based ice cream has a weird aftertaste that makes me kind of sad, and frozen fruit bars will only get you so far, am I right?
Every once in awhile (like tonight, for instance) when I need cheering up, I will break down and eat pizza, and after I do that, I drink lemons squeezed into water for a few days after and say silent prayers to the God of Hives, because I don't think it's possible to consider a life completely devoid of pizza.