Cheesy Memories

In the fall of 2001, I figured out that I'd had an allergy to milk for most of my life, and since then, I've made many changes to my lifestyle to avoid milk products. Because I haven't eaten cheese in a long time, I forget what it tastes like, for the most part, and even sometimes what it looks like. Seriously, one time I was brought an omelet in a restaurant and I had to ask the waitress to confirm that atop it was indeed the cheese I had asked be left off my omelet. (Yeah, I ate for free that night.)

But this most definitely does not come close to what most people consider cheese. And their cheerful insistence that it melts beautifully is a complete delusion. This stuff doesn't taste good by itself--as I found in a lousy quesadilla last night--but because I didn't want to be wasteful, I thought I'd try to make salsa con queso dip by melting it with some salsa I had in the fridge. It took forever in the microwave--I tried high and low temps--and it was not smooth at all.

It made those "tofutti" individually wrapped slices look good, and that's not an easy feat for sure. I have to wonder if it's because some people who have never eaten real cheese have no experience for comparison. I also wonder if there's pressure not to match it perfectly because true vegans should not want imitations of animal products. Now I'm scared that when I do finally put the money out for an expensive but milk-free tiramisu (one of the things I've missed most), it'll skew to the bad tasting side of non-dairy products formulated from those perspectives. Maybe one day I'll feel daring enough.


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