Why soy cheese isn't cheese, retouching is cheesy, and other lessons from WATC.

Look at all this incredible cheese that I didn't even get to try!
I've been told by a number of cheesemongers and experts that soy cheese ISN'T cheese. Just this weekend, sitting in on a mozzarella making class, I heard the instructor explain that dairy is a NECESSARY ingredient in cheese, and that if it's missing then the food might as well be labeled as something else entirely. Until a few weeks ago I had never tasted soy cheese, and based on these descriptions I had no desire to do so. 

Then a very unfortunate turn of stomach events led me to the sad conclusion that I should try cutting out cheese for a while. It may have been the greatest challenge I've ever attempted (harder than eating maggot cheese) and I must admit that I failed at the challenge after a very short amount of time. I love cheese too much to abandon it, even for a very temporary period.

More cheese! So hard to resist!
While on this No Cheese Diet, I decided to taste the much-scorned soy cheese. I know they can do a lot with soy nowadays and make some pretty scrumptious food replacers, so I tried to keep an open mind as I walked into my local Westside Market and waded through all the beautiful cheeses to find the non-dairy imposters. I had to employ the help of a friendly Westside Market cheesemonger who has been working in cheese for 20 years, and he claimed the soy cheese "wasn't that bad."

Soy cheese. Look how boring it is.
He had me taste some soy gouda and soy cheddar. They tasted exactly the same to me: like soy. The flavor is similar to a Kraft single, only worse. Any semblance of cheesiness gives way almost instantly to an overwhelming taste of bean, which is not surprising given the main ingredient but still incredibly disappointing. My helpful cheesemonger advised that the cheese melts well, which I don't doubt given its consistency. Melting wouldn't change the flavor though, so I'm not sure how much it could help this food.

As I expected, I completely agree with all the cheesers who claim that soy cheese is not truly cheese. It's an acceptable food, and if I hadn't eaten cheese in years I could see myself enjoying it. However, I do eat cheese daily and savor every morsel I pop in my mouth. So I cannot say that I like soy cheese in the least.

Oh non-descript "Cheddar" Soy Cheese, I hereby crown ye... Cheese (Replacement) of the Week. *Clap*Clap*Clap*Clap*Clap*Clap*Clap*Clap*Clap*Clap*

Here's a week filled with a new breed of cheese and stories that are beanyfake and daunting.

New Breed: Although most of these dog breeds have been around for hundreds of years, this year marks the first time that they will be represented in the Westminster Dog Show. Similarly, even though soy has been around for a long time, it has only recently begun to be included as a variety of cheese.
6 new breeds debut at Westminster dog show, but history shows rookies face long odds to win (washingtonpost.com)

Beany: This man was crowned "Captain Beany" when he took a bath in baked beans 25 years ago. Based on his name, I think he might be one of the only people who would prefer soy cheese over its dairy-filled parent. For his next fundraiser he'll be bathing in a large bath of tomato soup, but maybe he could be convinced to bathe in soy cheese in the future.
Captain Beany turns soup-a-hero for day (thisissouthwales.co.uk)

Fake: Sanna Dullaway's attempt to reinvigorate history with color has sparked quite a controversy. While some people may enjoy the new look of these classic black & white photographs, most think that these famous photographs should never be modified with fake colors. I must agree that these photos should remain true to their hues, much like cheese should stay in its true dairy form.
Sanna Dullaway's Colorized Series Of Historical Photos Creates Controversy (huffingtonpost.com)

Daunting: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stands at the whopping height of 7'2", daunting even to Hillary Clinton. He is the NBA's all-time scoring leader, and was recently appointed global cultural ambassador. Soy cheese might seem like a small challenge compared to all that Kareem has accomplished, but I bet even he would think twice before consuming this food.

Now go out and eat some REAL cheese.