Sunday, November 23, 2008
I thought I was a hard core vegetarian. I gave up jello and twizzlers, and try to be conscious about buying leather. I was living in happy ignorance about dairy products, when someone opened their mouth about rennet, and now cheese is ruined for me. Rennet is an enzyme derived from calve stomach that curdles the cheese. Granted the amount of rennet in cheese is very small ( 1 kg of rennet extract there are about 0.7 grams of active enzymes) but I can't forget that it is still there. The good news is there are vegetarian cheeses, made without animal rennet, mostly organic and kosher cheeses, but those are expensive. I don't know any restaurant that uses vegetarian cheese. I can also pretty much say good-bye to all pizza chains as well. Giving up cheese will be a gradual process, one of withdrawals and relapses. Cheese and I have known each other for a long long time. We all know how hard it is to say good-bye to an old friend, even if that friend is made from slaughtered calf stomach.