Elly and I just got back from an adventure… we set out searching for cheese. Not any old cheese… since we are now Vegans there are no dairy products allowed and our weekly purchase of local cheddar at the Shepherdstown Farmers Market is something we have seriously missed.
No… we set off for Rockville, MD, to find Pangea, a distribution center that wholesales to Vegetarian and Vegan companies (they also sell by e-mail to about 11 states — go to http://www.veganstore.com for Pangea’s listing), but opens a small storefront to retail customers on Saturday and Sunday.
On our way there we made two other stops… the first was at Elly’s friend Lori Jenkins’ jewelry exhibit in Gaithersberg. The second was in Rockville at a Vegan restaurant that we had wanted to try, The Vegetable Garden, which was just spectacular, and not far from Pangea where we went after lunch.
Pangea is the closest store to us that sells two kinds of Vegan (ie:non-dairy) cheeses, The first was Daiya, which we had heard the most about, that came in a shredded cheddar-like form and a shredded mozzarella-like product, both of which are noted both for their flavors and because they melt and stretch. We bought five pounds which have to be kept frozen in storage… we broke up the packages into smaller, refrigerated batches.
The other product we wanted to try was a Vegan cheese brand called Dr. Cow, which is made from soy and nuts, but mixed and aged like cheese by a couple in Brooklyn, NY. The kind we got was a cashew cheese which tasted like sharp cheddar… however, we didn’t buy a lot… one 2 1/2 oz disk of cheese costs over $6.00 and is no bigger than a stack of two or three checkers (when you go to the Dr. Cow website it shows photos of their cheeses with absolutely nothing to compare size to visually, so it’s a huge surprise how tiny these are!) Small or not, the Dr. Cow cheeses have received terrific reviews (like THIS ONE) which refer to the product as “the Best Cheese on Earth.” They may indeed be right.
A warning, however, since I have been adhering lately to the McDougall diet. which avoids oils due to fat content, be aware that these cheeses are loaded with oil. The Daiya cheese is 90 calories for 28 grams, a very small amount.
Anyway, we got our cheeses and returned home in time to walk the dogs and go to a movie (the Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man”… great flick) making this a wonderful Saturday.
And the Senate, without one Republican vote, got the 60 they needed to bring the Health Care Bill to the floor for debate around 8 PM. Now we get into the big conflict. More later.