AWAM Reviews... Simply Better Foods Omega 3 Soy Cheese

Before I share with you the abject horror that was my first ever taste of a non-dairy cheese product, let me just say that I really, really wanted to like Simply Better Foods Omega 3 Soy Cheese. I would love to make the switch to a vegan diet, really I would, not least of all because I've always been a little lactose intolerant... but I have frequently sacrificed my digestive comfort for a three cheese gnocchi. Cheese and I, we go way back, and I'm yet to convince myself that my life would be OK without cheese in it.

Perhaps the first clue that Simply Better Foods Omega 3 Soy Cheese was not going to fulfil my fantasies of vegan cheese bliss was in the black shroud style packaging that precluded me from examining the product before I had actually purchased it. Word to the wise: if your cheese manufacturer is trying to stop you from actually seeing your cheese, maybe rethink your selection.

Once out of the packaging my soy cheese really didn't look too bad. It was yellow, just as a tasty cheese should be, but oddly perfect. More like a pale yellow door stop than a foodstuff. But shit got weird pretty damn quickly when the autofocus on my SLR refused to focus on the cheese. This stuff is so consistent a shade of yellow that my camera mistook it for a white balance card and just hands down refused to focus on it. I was forced to photograph my chopping board rather than the product itself, so please excuse the slightly blurry photography.

At this point, I was understandably feeling some trepidation about placing this cheese imitation in my mouth. The confusion that was trying to photograph it had left me feeling as though I was about to eat a piece of soy-based antimatter, but upon reflection I think eating black hole may have been a better experience than what actually ensued. Simply Better Foods Omega 3 Soy Cheese tasted at first like a kraft single, then an overwhelming vegetable oil flavour broke through. This was followed by a lingering bitter aftertaste, and a sense of crushing, crushing disappointment.

Soy milk doesn't exactly taste like cow's milk, but you know what? One thing it doesn't do is make me want to spit it into the sink. The only way I was actually able to consume my cheese was to roll it in a generous amount of moroccan seasoning, and even then the revolting, mouth-full-of-oil flavour still managed to prevail. I am sincerely hoping that my first foray into soy cheese was a sad accident, that I chose the worst of the worst of the fake cheeses, and that perhaps some day I will be able to eat tiger toast without worrying about the happiness of the cows from whence it came, but seriously - I have nothing positive to say about this product. Truly revolting.

No Stars. Count em'. None.

Macarons of my Dreams

About a month ago I travelled to Sydney with a freind of mine (of Troubadour Cottage fame) to see the lovely Grizzly Bear play at the Enmore. Because I get confused by simple tasks like booking busses, we arrived in Sydney with about 8 hours to kill before the show.

Happily, we got ourselves thoroughly distracted by the Aroma Festival in The Rocks. Food and street performers, markets, and a lot of people. It looked something like this:

After battling the crowds for a while, we took refuge in a shmick looking cafe called Baroque, which appealed to us mostly because it had chairs. Little did we know we would find the JOY and LIGHT that is the perfect macaron inside its rather shiny walls. I know that I'm inclined to hyperbole...but trust me when I say all other macarons are but a shadow of these.

These macarons convince non-believers. These macarons bring the sun back. These macarons would probably clean your room and call your mother if you asked nicely. We've since been back to Sydney, and instead of buying two macarons each, we bought...eight. Clearly the next time I head SYdney-side, I'm going to have to make space in my luggage.

Passionfruit and chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, and salted caramel.

If you're ever in the area - and by area, I mean the same city - hunt these babies down. And bring me some back, please.