Some Dairy Updates

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Eating all the dairy: grilled cheese, rugelach, cider donut, cheddar chips.

I’ve been so busy eating cheese for the past month, I haven’t stopped to write about it. Here’s a run down of some of the journey so far.

After that first night of pizza I was very eager to try more. My goal was to strike a balance between trying a lot of things and waiting to try some of the really exciting stuff. I haven’t tried mozzarella sticks yet so I’m looking forward to that. I tried to hold out on grilled cheese but the opportunity for free grilled cheese presented itself at work one day. I’m not one to pass on free food.

Two days after pizza number one, I tried a fancy pizza. I had a few days for my new reality to settle, so I was in a more receptive headspace. I could appreciate what I was eating. We went to Emily, a pizza place in Brooklyn. I’ve been there and asked for cheeseless pizza before, and even that was delicious. I knew I needed to go back and try a cheesy one. The pizza I ordered was a white pizza with pistachios, honey, and truffle oil. It was so good. I love how creamy and mild mozzarella is. The texture of melty mozzarella is incredibly satisfying. I get the hype.

I’m still working my way through my dairy to-do list. Here are a few things I’ve tried so far with reactions:

Sour cream- yum! Tofu sour cream isn’t that far off but real is definitely better.

Saag paneer- paneer is like tofu but better. I was so into it, I kept repeating how much I was enjoying it. I haven’t explored Indian food that much yet but this is a good tip of the iceberg.

Hershey Kisses- not that special, sorry!

Ranch dressing- I know people hate on it but I am in. This stuff is good.

Latte- like a soy latte, but with a milder taste. Sometimes I forget how much of a taste soymilk has because I am so used to it.

Bagel with cream cheese- I’ve had this twice so far, but the second time was when I really noticed how creamy real cream cheese is. I never had a problem with tofu cream cheese, but I’ve got to admit, the real stuff is better. Plus there are so many more flavor options!

M&ms- chocolate but crunchy? Yes. Definitely yes.

Hot chocolate with whipped cream- I went on a mission with my friend Lindsey and my girlfriend Andrea for Lindsey’s “best hot chocolate in Brooklyn.” After a couple sips, she still wasn’t sure if it was the right place. I wasn’t fussed, it was a damn good hot chocolate. Whipped cream is way more decadent than any faux alternatives I’ve had. I had more the next week.

Rugelach- omg. This blew my mind. I grew up on these rolled cookies, but the nondairy version. Turns out using real cream cheese in your dough is a game changer. They melted in my mouth. I can’t even believe how good this cookie was, and it’s probably not the best one that exists in the world, it just came from a random cafe. I will eat exclusively rugelach from now on.

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Mac and cheese- a standout as one of the best things I’ve tried so far, you can’t beat the cheesy, melty, salty, carby deliciousness. I knew I would love it, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I need to try some more!

I’ve also encountered some moments where I felt like an alien in this new dairy world. I’m not sure how much cream you’re supposed to put in coffee, because it’s significantly less than soy/dairy milk, and that’s brand new to me. At a breakfast place, I accidentally double-buttered my toast because I didn’t realize they faced the two pieces into each other like a sandwich to keep the butter contained. I thought Milano cookies would be soft. They’re not! I’m discovering all these little weird assumptions I had about foods I always saw but never ate. I just keep saying “I’m new!” when people notice my strange reactions. Everything is so new.

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