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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Slice Non-Dairy Pizza

Yet another restaurant featuring specialty non-dairy food? Could it be a… revolution?

Nah. But compared to zero anything is still nice to have.

The latest entry into the pizza wars is Slice, in New York City. According to the article by Anita Malik in EastWest Magazine Slice is the brainchild of "Miki Agrawal, a former semi-professional soccer player who has been on a quest to eat her favorite foods despite being lactose intolerant."

The menu features Slice’s proven pizza combinations or patrons can opt to put together their own pie, choosing from three healthy crusts – honey whole wheat, spelt and unbleached herb. There are also several organic, homemade sauces, organic and/or dairy-free cheeses and creative toppings such as tofu, sautéed veggies — including broccoli and caramelized onions — and organic free-range chicken.

“It is pizza that tastes good and is good for you,” Agrawal says while noting that most of the pizza made in the market today contains bleached flour and ingredients she says are full of fat and sugar.

Organic and low fat is definitely not a novel concept. A chicken and organic mozzarella pizza, for example, seems likely to fly with today’s consumers. But what about Slice’s vegan options? Can the concept of pies made with dairy-free cheeses really catch on? Agrawal says yes, adding that the statistics reveal a great need for what Slice is cutting up.

Followed by the true but thoroughly misleading stat that one in five Americans has lactose intolerance. Sure, but how many of them will eat a soy cheese pizza? Remind me to check back in a year or so and see if Slice is still in business.

In the meantime, Agrawal has some tips at making dairy-free pizza at home:
• When using veggies, sauté first. Don’t put raw veggies on your pizza, cook them first before the pie hits the oven.

• If you are going to use soy or rice cheese, cook the pizza without the cheese first. Put the cheese on only at the end because soy and rice cheeses burn faster due to lower fat content.

• Always keep on eye on your crust when baking. Timing is the key to a great crust.

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