Deciding to eat vegan was relatively easy for me: I was already a vegetarian, and I never liked cheese; I was the kid at pizza parties in a corner with a plastic fork peeling off the layer of mozzarella to reveal a bounty of sauce beneath. But it seems like whenever I talk to someone about my diet, the one thing they’re always hung up on—more than omelettes or steaks or Thanksgiving dinner—is cheese: that they could never live without… well, I’m not really sure, because I’ve always lived without it. (Unwrapping individual slices of American cheese? Biting into blocks of cheddar? Smearing gouda all over their faces?) Fake meat has made great strides toward more closely resembling its inspiration and thus satisfying the occasional craving, but phony cheese has long disappointed fans of the genuine article.
Now, though, New Yorkers serious about trying to give up the consumption of animal products without forgoing decent cheeses—or, I guess, those who just can’t or won’t eat dairy for physiological or religious reasons—have a new hyperlocal option: Dr. Cow Tree Nut Cheese last month opened its first brick-and-mortar storefront on S. 6th Street in Williamsburg, Inhabitat reports, down the block from its headquarters, to complement its popular online shop. In addition to its soy-free, nut-based, kosher, organic, raw vegan cheeses, the store also offers juices, granola, crackers and a variety of baked goods (including—wait for it—cheesecake!), thus appealing to both fromophiles and fromophobes who never even tried to mess with daiya because why would you eat an approximation of something that was already gross?
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