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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cheese Is Always Dairy

A dairy-free dip that contains real-milk cheese as the first ingredient? That's an oxymoron. And a potentially deadly mistake.

Unfortunately, I found it in a recipe published in the Everett Washington Herald titled Jazzed-up wings can be started in advance.

The original Anchor Bar Buffalo wings used a hot sauce to dip them in. Hot sauce isn't for everybody and so the most common alternative I've seen is a bleu cheese dipping sauce, although Roquefort or Gorgonzola is also used.

All those cheeses are real cheeses. I've never even seen a true milk lactose-free cheese in those flavors and for sure there can never be any dairy-free Roquefort cheese.

And yet, the sauce recipe given in the article calls for Roquefort cheese, traditionally a sheep's milk blue-style cheese like the other two I've mentioned. The recipe comes from Terry Traub, author of Food to Some, Poison to Others and the writer of the article, Judyrae Kruse, calls it both dairy-free and gluten-free.

I put the following comment on the article site. I hope it gets acted on.

I thought the idea of a wings dip being dairy-free and gluten-free was an interesting and exciting one. Until I read the recipe.

The first ingredient?
2 tablespoons Roquefort cheese, crumbled (sheep cheese)

Cheese is dairy. You cannot take the dairy out of cheese. You've made a dip advertised as dairy-free that could be deadly to those with serious milk protein allergies. No one with milk allergies should be eating a cheese-based dip.

Perhaps you meant lactose-free instead of dairy-free. Certainly cheese generally has lower lactose than liquid milks. But Roquefort cheese has an average of 2% lactose, about half that of liquid milk. (See this web page:

Or perhaps you're one of those under the all-too-common illusion that sheep's milk is somehow lactose-free to begin with. It is not. Sheep's milk has almost exactly the same lactose content as cow's milk and any cheese made with sheep's milk will have the same lactose content as one made with cow's milk. (See this web page:

I can guarantee the accuracy of those web pages because I wrote them myself. They are taken from information in my book Milk Is Not for Every Body: Living with Lactose Intolerance.

I don't know whether the misinformation in your article was taken from the Terry Traub book you mentioned or was mistakenly inserted. Either way, please correct your article. This is a significant error.

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