Monday, March 23, 2009

I LOVE CHEESE! What is it about cheese!


Yesterday I was at a ra-sha-sha book-signing event for President of Friends of Animals Priscilla Feral's new cookbook, The Best of Vegan Cooking*, at the beautiful and glamorous vegan restaurant, Candle 79 on the Upper East Side. Now, a few things struck me as interesting right from the start: 
  • An elderly woman in attendance whose many plastic surgeries had created in her the appearance of an amphibious muppet - lips, eyes, cheekbones, carved beyond recognition. She took great glee in sharing with anyone who would sit by her the many trials and travails she had gone through to achieve this plasticine visage of "eternal youth" that looked more like silly putty stretched tight over a raw chicken than an actual human face. 
And,
  • A wonderful harpist who serenaded the room with classical renderings of such songs as "Angel of the Morning" by Ms. Juice Newton and "Something" by the Beatles. She was a marvel and we all applauded her spiritedly at the end of each song. She blushed and smiled embarrassedly, which made her even more endearing.
Now, after about 20 minutes of schmoozing and hobnobbing with Manhattan's vegan / animal rights / socialite set, we noticed that the waiters were starting to bring out trays of hors d'oeuvres. I hadn't eaten anything at all since the day before, and it was late afternoon at this point, so I would have grabbed fried dung and eaten it if it had been offered. But, anyone who knows of Candle 79's reputation is aware that the appetizers being passed around were anything BUT dung.  

Off. the. fucking. hook. Seitan skewers, chickpea cakes with almonds and plum sauce, seitan dumplings... each was better than the last. I mean, these things were fucking amazing. 

And then it happened - the thing almost every vegan has dreamed - no, PRAYED - would occur in this lifetime. We, the people at this event, were the first people in New York City (and almost in the world) to try out a new nondairy cheese. I didn't know this when I was grabbing greedily at the plate of quesadillas being passed around the space. All I knew was that I was hongry as balls and I wasn't stopping til I was full up. 

But when I bit into that triangle of bliss, topped decoratively with a dollop of guacamole, it was as if the Gates of Heaven had opened up and a shaft of Light had poured forth from God's fingers and landed on my tastebuds. 

This shit was AMAZING, y'all. And I mean, if I hadn't been informed ahead of time that this stuff was vegan, I would have screamed at the waiter for derailing my vegan diet with tainted teat-drippings. 

Let me detail to you the wonders of this cheese. It melts. It has no fucked up aftertaste. It TASTES, FEELS, LOOKS, SMELLS just like cheese. This cheese is NOT soy-based. We were told by someone who was representing the company at the event that the cheese made with tapioca flour, among other all natural vegetable-based ingredients. When we found out that this man was even ancillarily responsible for bringing to us this manna from Heaven, we all circled around him in an attempt to kiss the hem of his garment. 

The cheese is from a company called Daiya. You can read all about it here.

If you do not believe me that this shit was off the chain - and not just from the standpoint of a vegan who misses cheese and will say that anything orange and slime-like that is labeled as a "cheese alternative" is awesome and amazing - you can ask my 100% dairy-enthusiastic friend who attended the event with me and marveled along with me at how fucking awesome this shit was.

Sadly, this product is not yet available in your local comestibles kiosk. They are trying to work out distribution. Let me tell you, it will be worth the wait.

Vegans everywhere will rejoice when this product hits the mass market. Pizzas will again be in our grasp. No longer will we have to suffer through the noxious clots of damnation that make up VeganRella and the alluring but not completely satisfying Vegan Gourmet.

And that will be a happy day.

* Might I suggest that you purchase a copy of this book if you're able and help support a wonderful Animal Rights organization.

2 comments:

Sinsational Shasta! said...

I wanna try that new cheese!

Anonymous said...

A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.

Enjoy.