Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Take the Dairy out of Shavuot

The Jewish festival of Shavuot (or Shavuos in the older Ashkenazi tradition) occurs exactly fifty days after the second day of Passover. It marks the anniversary of the day that the Jews accepted the Torah.

This year it starts at sunset on Sunday, June 8, and runs through sundown on Tuesday, June 10.

Apparently, at least according to Phyllis Glazer of the Jerusalem Post, modern-day Jews celebrate by eating dairy products. In fact, in Israel the sale of dairy products hit their annual high around Shavuot. Who knew?

So Glazer tries to offers some non-dairy alternatives for those who have lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.

But if you or someone close to you is lactose-intolerant or allergic to milk protein, as many adults and children are, celebrating Shavuot is often harder to bear than dealing with the restriction all year-round. For drinking and in many recipes, soy milk is one alternative to regular milk, and there are various brands available (though I confess to using only Alpro calcium-enriched soy milk because it tastes best and is made with whole soybeans rather than some "fresh" types made with soy protein isolate). Other possibilities are coconut milk, rice milk, oatmeal milk and quinoa milk (though after tasting I personally wouldn't buy any of the last three).

For coffee and baking, many people are happy to use parve cream (happy because they either aren't aware of all the chemicals in it, or don't care), or products like "Better than Cream Cheese" (which considering all the fat and stabilizers it contains, doesn't seem any better to me). There are also several types of virtual cheese, individually wrapped slices sold primarily in health food stores. And for dessert, it's easy to find non-dairy ice creams in every supermarket (non-dairy, but chemical rich). Ichh.

Not the highest recommendations, but those of us who have left dairy behind years ago aren't comparing them directly to milk products.

Glazer also offers a recipe for "Feta" cheese in 7-ingredient olive oil marinade, with tofu substituting for the feta.

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