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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

OatsCreme - Good Product, Bad Review

Much as we hate to admit it, most milk alternative products don't live up to the originals. That's the reason that ice cream is still always ice cream. People may say they want lactose-free ice cream, but when it comes time to dip in their spoon they go for regular ice creams in all their hundreds of flavors rather than vanilla lactose-free at twice the price.

Dairy-free alternatives have even more difficulty surviving in the marketplace because they taste even less like the real thing.

Example? How about OatsCreme? Using oat flour in place of milk or soy, OatsCreme is a high fiber, dairy-free ice cream alternative that comes in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

Roseanne Pereira, writing for the CityPages blog in Minneapolis, is lactose intolerant. She got tempted by the OatsCreme soft swirl at a local store, and felt she had to take the plunge. Here's what happened.

I gladly handed over the $1.40, and grasping my sugar cone, took my first bite. Mmmm, cool, I thought, ice cold, refreshing. Mildly sweet, I ascertained on my second bite. Upon my third bite, I realized, I wanted no more. Was I overwhelmed by the moment or was something already not quite right? Desperately, I tried to taste the flavors separately. The chocolate seemed to have slight bit of cocoa added to it, but otherwise the two tasted relatively the same.

Something about this "dairy-free indulgence" was wrong, terribly wrong. OatsCreme was cool, but not creamy; mildly sweet, but not deliciously so. In the end, it was edible, but (gasp!) not at all tasty. Strangely, an image of a childhood art class came to mind -- a workshop where we made our own paper. The result was multi-colored, fibrous and roughly rectangular in shape, okay for a gift to parents, but not actually something anyone would ever write on. So it is with OatsCreme; it has some pleasing, familiar elements -- it looks good and is good for you -- but it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to eat it.

I don't mean to pick on OatsCreme. This reaction is all too typical from people who are lactose intolerant. Those who are dairy allergic or vegan or diabetic - OatsCreme has no added sugar - may find the swirl a rare and refreshing treat. It must sell if Pereira had been walking by it for months.

But the next time you ask why more products aren't available that are free of lactose... Well, this is the reason. They don't sell very well. They don't taste quite the same. And you don't make habits of them.

It's you. And not them.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the stuff. The soft serve is amazing! Luckily I am not addicted to the artificial taste of chemicals/refined foods. Nothing can tempt me to consume cow's body fluids aka milk - Fortunately for me I've always hated milk since childhood. It always smelt strange to me - and my nose & gut were right - it IS strange (and very unnecessary) to consume other animals body fluids - whipping them up into ice-cream is no temptation to me AT ALL. Give me some delicious nondairy dessert ANYDAY! Oatscreme really is one the best tasting to me.