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Advice on Dairy-Free dining?

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Long-time, first-time here...

I'm a lover of cheese, especially in terms of pizza and Italian cuisine (not to mention ice cream and other dairy goodies) who is having to come to terms with the fact that dairy is something I need to give up, at least 99% of the time, to improve my quality of life.

Is there anyone in a similar situation who can recommend some advice, especially when it comes to particular cuisines or restaurants (especially in Brooklyn)?

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  1. I am a long time Lastose suffer. In places like Finland even fast food menus have an icon list, among them are 2 icons. One for lactose free, another for low lactose. That said Chinese is the way to go, Indian is scary, (hidden dairy). Northern Italian isn't bad, Japanese is good, real Kosher is good as the restaurants are always seperated (meat from dairy). I always have my lactaid pills but they didnt help too much in Normandy. Thai is good, Viet is good.

    Some things to watch out for, sausages,& hot dogs. Many mfg's use milk by products as filer, so many a non kosher (or cheap) dog wil get you sick,. It took many me many games at Yankees Stadium to learn. One day I looked at a package of Yankee franks in the D'ag market and saw the culprit. Milk by products!

    1. Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai are all good and relatively safe cuisines for those who want to refrain from dairy. MANY people of the aforementioned cultures are lactose intolerant. Have a look sometime in any Asian supermarket and you'll see they stock shelves FULL of Lactaid milk like you wouldn't believe. Needless to say, dairy isn't particularly prominent in their cuisine for obvious reasons. Choose wisely and you'll be fine.

      1. Agree with the other poster as to most asian foods being lactose free. In terms of the lactase pills, I have found that the absolute best solution is lactase gel caps from vitamin shop. When I switched from the brand/s available in most drug stores, my symptoms pretty much went away.

        4 Replies
        1. re: StheJ

          Unfortunately it isn't an allergy for me, it's skin problems. I can't eat dairy because I suffer from some pretty serious acne. Kind of sucks for me, since my favorite places to eat are pretty much all italian, starting with Di Fara's. But I'm at a point in my life where I need to get rid of the problem, even if it means giving up the good I love the most. I'm just hoping I can still go to an Italian restaurant and have a good time avoiding butter and cheese. It won't be easy.

          1. re: LostDiner

            Can your skin tolerate sheep's milk product? If so Sicilian food is a good choice as is Greek food. They mostly use sheep's milk or goat milk cheese. I don't like Italian food mostly because I don't like melted cheese (except Gorgonzola). My husband is Italian so I've had to find alternative.
            Pizza with cheese is done but there are still a lot of other options are still available in Italian cuisines. You can have Marsala, Puttanesca, Cacciatore, Primavera, Pesto, Oreganata, a few off the top of my head. There is still hope in Italian food.

            1. re: PaMa

              I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing I can't take any milk related product. I'm looking to eliminate milk, cheese, butter, even bread made with whey.

              And even if the Italian dishes don't revolve around cheese, they still tend to use butter. I'm going to to have to make a habit of asking for no butter, either, I suppose.

              1. re: LostDiner

                Wow, no butter either. That's almost all western cuisine! They slap butter in everything. You really do have to stick with Asian food then. I mean, how much pesto can one person eat anyway. Lots of Asian don't do dairy and still have great food but I feel for you.