Saturday, August 23, 2008

On the vegan side

Yes, you read correctly - today I ate a vegan dessert. No, it wasn't the only one in the store, and yes *I* paid money for it - this wasn't a freebie, nor was I paid to review it. I haven't been yet - but if that ever happens, I'll make it blatantly obvious so everyone is well aware. Actually - I'll make it blatantly obvious because I will be in shock and disbelief if anyone pays me to test their product.

On to the pic of today's selection, Raspberry Tofutti Cheesecake from Healthy Living - a local alternative grocer in South Burlington, VT.

Today's picture quality - not so good. The harsh blue - I'm assuming it was Metal Halide - lighting didn't do much to make this look tasty - but it looked pretty as a picture in it's display case under the color corrected floursecent lights. I used the 'auto correct' feature of the only software available to me here - which is 'Microsoft Office Picture Manager' - not exactly Photoshop, but then I don't want you to think I'm tweaking photos. I just crop or rotate them and correct the colors as my phone's camera is just north of Suckville central.

For those not familiar, Tofutti is a maker of Tofu products that are reminiscent of dairy products - cream cheese, sour cream, sliced cheese and other things that have never had any sort of cheese or cream anywhere near them, not even next to them. Seriously. However, their best knockoff is the Sour Cream. Mix it with Vegetarian Chorizo Sausage, some various beans, salsa and avacado - and you will go through it with tortilal chips like Paris Hilton goes through boyfriends on videotape - and unlike Paris you won't even consider that what you're doing is healthy, which I'm sure is not the case in Miss Hilton's case.

Ok, on to the nitty gritty - which wasn't as gritty as I expected. However, the texture... wasn't... quite... cheesecake. It was a bit more moist than most cheesecake. In fact, there was a bit of moisture beading up on top of the concoction, which you can likely see it in the picture. I would believe that they tried to cool it down too quickly after baking and perhaps also closed it away into the little clamshell - sealing in the excess aqua. Still, knowing what it's made of - I didn't expect to get *exactly* cheesecake.

The crust was graham cracker - and it was almost as you would expect, except I don't believe they used butter - so it was missing a touch of salty nuttiness and savory flavor that butter can add. The raspberry top half was well flavored and tasted of real raspberries - sweet and tart at the same time, but free of those annoying seeds that find their way under my crowns. As I mentioned - I'm going to eventually lose all my teeth - whether it's from genetics or from habitual eating of sweets - you and my dentist be the judge.

I was actually quite pleased with the dessert. Not only did it seem to lack the 'funny flavor' I expected it to have, it wasn't as bland as all get out and was surprisingly filling (I should also mention I shared this tasty treat with a special lady - so I only had about half.) Still, it's not quite cheesecake. Were I to compare it to the now defunct 'Kathy's Cheesecakes' I used to partake of regularly (which was dang near a ten) I would have to give this a 6.5, maybe a 7 because I had to look at this on it's own, and not just compare it side by side with traditional cheesecake. The low score is because it's just missing something - mainly in the way of texture. The excess moisture was also a downer.

However, if you are a vegan, vegetarian, or needed to eat a dessert that's yummy and *not* loaded with saturated fat - this would definitely be high on the list. Heck, it's even full of protein, calcium and maybe even some vitamins.

To think of it as a traditional cheesecake, specifically thinking of Kathy's Cheesecake as Bo Derek - the 'Perfect 10', then this would be Tori Spelling of 90210 'fame'. Sure, it's fun, and looked well put together on the surface, and it's kind of a little tasty (even if that thought makes you feel guilty) there's just something not right about it, though the richness and pink fluff almost make up for it.

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