Today, I had a mostly vegan lunch. Mostly because it turned out my granola bar contained milk products. So I had a vegetarian lunch. It contained a strange new product: vegan cheese.
It was suggested to me (thanks, Kate!) that I try more vegan foods, as they would continue me on my journey to food enlightenment without packing on the pounds. Sound advice. With that in mind, I went to the teeny tiny vegan section in my local grocery store and looked for something I had not had before. I'd tried vegan hot dogs (and found them surprisingly enjoyable), so those were out. I picked up a mango peach tofu dessert, which I'll try another day, and something that has always frightened and fascinated me: vegan cheese.
I suppose it shouldn't surprise me, since processed cheese product (otherwise known as American cheese) is far from resembling pure cheese, that vegan cheese should taste just like it. And feel just like it. And I'm not sure yet, since I haven't tried it, but I might guess it would melt just like it. And, bonus: It has almost half the calories. I had mine stuffed in a pita pocket with some tomato slices, and though it could have used mustard, it was a darn good sandwich.
But here's the thing: other than when dieting or dining with vegans, I can't imagine ever using vegan cheese. When I was younger I was the processed cheese queen, I mean, I could eat huge chunks of Velveeta without blinking, and yet as an adult, I've lost the taste for it. Not that I dislike it, it's just not top of my list anymore. Same goes for French fries, if you can believe it. They now have to be incredible to impress me. Which doesn't mean I haven't mindlessly consumed them when they came with my meal, but I have started ordering more side salads without even thinking of my weight. Funny how junk food can pale in comparison to real food. Funnier still how many vegan foods are imitations of junk foods--perhaps the processed flavors and textures are just easier to imprint on soy and vegetable proteins.