When I was young I consumed massive quantities of dairy. The shape or form didn’t seem to matter. Downing bowls of ice creams, quarts of cottage cheese, pints of yogurt, or chocolate milk mixed with heavy cream were daily experiences. My mom used to buy a product called “big moo” — it was five gallons of milk in a huge container with a spigot. I could easily get through that within the week. Heck, a friend once paid me to eat a stick of butter, and I enjoyed it (mostly). This infatuation with dairy got more refined as I aged, but not any less intense. Instead of gallons of ice cream, it was piles of cheeses. Living above a gourmet shop, the manager provided me with the pick of the cheeses as they arrived, the bluer the better.

But some time in my early 20s stomach issues started developing, and eventually it became clear that I was… lactose intolerant. About this there is only one thing I can say: it sucks! For a while lactaid pills helped. But as my tolerance decreased, so did the benefit of the pills. Soy milks and other lactose-free products all seemed to taste terrible.

Over a year ago, we discovered Odwalla’s Soy Milk products. They taste wonderful, but are extremely difficult to find, no longer sold by Whole Foods or any of our local markets. Lately I settle on Westsoy, even though it’s mediocre at best.

As a surprise Jessica bought me a relatively new product, Breyer’s Lactose-Free Vanilla Ice Cream. There is plenty of information on Breyer’s incredibly cheesy-looking (no pun intended) web site. Basically, this is real ice cream consisting primarily of milk, sugar, and cream, that has had the lactose removed and lactase enzyme added, reducing the lactose levels to about 1% or less.

Even though my lactose intolerance has gotten worse, I am still able to handle a bit of lactose. I have a feeling that those who are extremely sensitive couldn’t handle this product. For the rest, definitely give it a shot. It tastes wonderful, just like normal ice cream.

It’s only available in vanilla, but that’s fine, since you can add other flavors to it. For fun, I piled on some crunchy peanut butter and some homemade caramel sauce (left over from the banana cream pie). I’m so glad to see large companies helping out those of us who love dairy and suffer for it. Go Unilever / Breyers!

Here’s a list of some other lactose-free products.

posted by Lon at 09:55 PM Filed under Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.