I think that one of the most difficult hurdles to becoming a vegan for me is cheese. Or lack there of. As a vegetarian, I would avoid cheese that used rennet as the coagulant (essentially ground up cow stomach lining), but now it’s no dairy products at all. Some so-called veggie cheeses are non dairy, mostly soy-milk based, but ah-hah there is that one little ingredient… casein. Casein is a milk protein that causes dairy cheese to melt, a characteristic that we want cheese to be able to do… think PIZZA! So non dairy “veggie” cheeses are not vegan.
What do we have left? Vegan cheeses. Yay!
Well not so fast… one can make a non dairy cheese that might have the taste and sort of texture of “real” cheese but how to make it melt? It takes a thickener that will go back to it’s liquid state when heated, i.e, on a PIZZA, (can you tell, I like PIZZA). Problem is dairy cheese never really melts to a liquid, a result of all kinds of science with protein molecules and such.
Anyhoo… the whole point of this rambling post is that I am on a search for a vegan cheese that will taste sort of like dairy cheese and melt for PIZZA (have I said that I like PIZZA?). In upcoming posts I’ll review the different vegan cheeses that I can get here on Kauai. Sometimes being 2500 miles from anywhere else limits what one can get at the local store.
I will start with one that can be ordered on-line and is shelf stable until opened, “teese” Next time…