Say, (vegan) cheese!

“I can’t give up cheese!” A phrase said by more aspiring vegans than any other. In fact, I am sure a very high percentage of vegetarians would take the next obvious step toward veganism if it weren’t for cheese.

What is it about cheese that is so addictive? As it turns out, it’s addictive. Cheese, dairy products, contain an ingredient that actually provides pleasure to humans, which is why a baby calf is so drawn to its mother. A certain sweetness, flavor, mouthfeel, drug like substance … called Casomorphine.

In the vegan community there are a number of faux cheese products on the market, most of which have traditionally tasted awful (although there are some today that are quite delicious), that most vegans have tried. Seeking a way to introduce the sensation and taste we all still are addicted to. But, what other options exist that taste better and are better for you? Make your own.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting, and learning from Miyoko Schinner, the leading authority on artisan cheese making without the use of dairy products. With a few simple, and readily available ingredients, you can actually make every texture and flavor of cheese … without using animal milk.

Miyoko explained how a starting point of soy milk or cashew cream and the introduction of a fermented liquid, gets you going toward the creation of some incredible provolones, parmesans, mozzarellas, cheddars, and more. In her new book, “Vegan Artisan Cheeses,” she shares all her best recipes and proves that, with the right ingredients (and a lot of patience), vegans can bring back to the dinner party that elusive offering: delectable artisan cheese.

Omnivores might actually invite us over again.

Also yesterday during Summerfest, I got to meet and attend a session by the dynamic Dr. Milton Mills and learn why humans are primarily herbivores. The physical evidence outline by Dr. Mills is very compelling and further convinces me that we are meant to forage and eat plant-based foods. Google Milton Mills and read some of his findings.

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