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Vegan "Cholov Yisroel" Cheese Available in U.S. Stores?

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Hello,

I am looking for Vegan "Cholov Yisroel" Cheese available for purchase in U.S. stores or possibly online.

Please advise.

Thanks!

GGH

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  1. Second thoughts. Maybe I was being too flippant.

    GreenGirl, perhaps you are under the impression that "Cholov Yisroel" means something like "very kosher"?

    10 Replies
    1. re: AdinaA

      Bottom line Chalav means Milk and Vegan foods are without any animal products and thus cannot be Chalav anything whether Yisrael or Stam.
      There are some that hold by Chalav Yisrael who will not even eat food that has been cooked using equipment that has been also been used for Chalav Stam. Such individuals would want Vegan Products that are certified as being pareve.
      I have purchased pareve and vegan "cheese" at Whole Foods but I can't recommend them as a viable substitute for actual cheese.

      Also what is the definition of "Very Kosher"?

      1. re: Altalena

        Thanks Altalena, what is "Stam"? Interesting re: those who won't eat one vs. the other. I understand it though...I appreciate the purity behind it-- :) Really interesting. Thanks!

        PS. I agree re: viable substitute, but it's as "they" say, "it's as good as it gets"..."for now"... ;):)

        1. re: GreenGirlHereGGH

          "Stam" means "plain, unspecified, generic". "Chalav stam" is a made-up term that means nothing. Some people use it, imagining that it's some sort of halachic term, but it's unknown in any halachic source. Chalav Yisrael is kosher; milk that is not chalav yisrael is not kosher. R Moshe Feinstein ruled that commercial milk in the USA is chalav yisrael, though of an inferior kind, and one ought to avoid it if it can be easily done, but in a pinch it is acceptable. Most of the major agencies accept that opinion, and give hashgacha to products containing commercial milk, but many don't accept it.

          1. re: zsero

            While it is true that Chalav Stam is a more modern term it is commonly used today to describe commercial milk so I wouldn't say it means nothing. I believe R Moshe Feinstein used the term chalov hakompanies or something similar.
            I know the CRC uses the term Chalav Stam it to describe products that contain commercial milk I am not sure about what other agencies use but it is a simple term with an obvious meaning, It's just milk.

            1. re: Altalena

              Yeah, but "just milk" is not kosher. Milk has to be chalav yisrael, and RMF's big innovation was to treat all commercially packaged milk as chalav yisrael. Milk that you buy direct from a farm is not included, and is not kosher unless you saw it milked, and checked that the container was empty beforehand.

            2. re: zsero

              Curious: If Rabbi Feinstein said that Cholov Yisroel in the US is only to be used in a pinch, which certifications are normally found on Kosher milk in the US?

              1. re: GreenGirlHereGGH

                He said that commercial milk counts as chalav yisrael, i.e. kosher, but that one ought not to rely on this leniency if one can easily avoid it. He said one should spend up to $100 a year extra for "classic" chalav yisrael, as opposed to ordinary commercial milk, but I don't know in what year's dollars; $100 in 1970 is a lot more than $100 in 1980.

                1. re: GreenGirlHereGGH

                  GGH you seem to have it backwards. R Feinstein said that Chalav Yisrael is best but that commercial milk may be used. Today most major kashrut agencies certify products that contain commercial milk. I know the CRC labels products containing commercial milk as Chalav Stam meaning "Just Milk". Products using chalav Yisrael are marked accordingly.

          2. re: AdinaA

            No worries, I didn't realize it at the time that I was asking. :)

            1. re: AdinaA

              AdinaA: Please see below Altalena's response for my reply--for some unknown reason, it posted one comment below-- thanks!

            2. if your looking for vegan kosher cheese your best bet is whole foods. ignore the other jokers here, if its pareve & kosher its probably up to the standard your looking for.
              .

              2 Replies
              1. re: Moishefrompardes

                I appreciate it Moishefrompardes, I'm learning that I think (?) that as far as Vegan and Kosher, I am looking for items that include the Kosher certification and Parve listing.

                PS. I learned from someone else that an item with OU D is not the same as OU re: trying to find something Kosher and Vegan. Interesting!

                1. re: GreenGirlHereGGH

                  The D stands for Dairy; in this case, the Orthodox Union, which provides the OU certification, is telling the consumer that the product either contains dairy, or has been produced on the same lines as other items that are dairy. The fact that they lump these two groups together is somewhat controversial.

              2. Hi Green Girl, please allow me to apologize for almost everyone on this board who jumped at the opportunity to throw in a hilarious Zing at your expense (AA's pas-yisroel chicken being my favorite)...you inadvertently made it just to easy and humorous with such an oxymoronic question. I am a chef and kosher caterer and occasionally have to use non-dairy cheese substitutes. The best product that I have come across on the market is by a brand called Daiyo. It is a real breakthrough in non-dairy, much less vegan cheese substitutes. It tastes great for whatever it is, and better yet has fantastically cheesey properties when it comes to melting. Check it out online.

                15 Replies
                1. re: gotcholent

                  I think you mean Daiya - correcting for easier searching.

                  1. re: GilaB

                    Thanks Gila, you are totally correct. Every time one of those bags gets pulled out of the walk-in fridge here, one of my sous chefs, a very talented young Jamaican goes into his rendition of Dayo, Dayo... "Shabbat comes and me wanna go home" But, yes, Daiya is the product line. Recently we made "Parmesan chips" with them by melting them on a french silk baking mat. It is a very cool product and great for anything from beef enchiladas to cheese burgers.

                    1. re: gotcholent

                      I've used it to make chicken parmigiana (or is it spelled "parmesan"?), as well as put it in an enchilada casserole. I'm not a cheese lover, but it's nice to have something that approximates the chicken parmigiana of my youth.

                      1. re: queenscook

                        Are we talking about Veganized items, by chance? (again, lol... maybe there should be a Chow Group for Kosher Vegans, lol;):))

                        1. re: GreenGirlHereGGH

                          I've done it both ways . . . real chicken with Daiya cheese, as well as Lightlife ground "beef" (Mexican flavor) for the enchilada casserole. The latter was vegan (not that I am generally, but I wanted to do a parve meal for various reasons), and it was very tasty. For the casserole, I used the "PepperJack" flavor of Daiya; for the chicken I use the mozzarella.

                          1. re: queenscook

                            Interesting, queenscook! I've never thought of using Vegan items on non-Vegan foods, very "cool"...the worlds merge, great!!

                            Thanks again-- :)

                      2. re: gotcholent

                        gotcholent, that's SO FUNNY!! Totally made my day. Thanks again!!

                        Curious, are the parmesan chips Vegan? (or the Beef enchiladas or cheese burgers (ha, ha, re: dairy without dairy... just kidding... but just curious)

                        Which mat do you like? (brand)

                        1. re: GreenGirlHereGGH

                          Hey Green, we actually used the "cheddar" flavor to make those chips, and yes totally vegan! Like Queeny up above, generally I only use 1 fake product at time. Daiya vegan cheese with real beef, or Smart -Gimme Lean fake beef with real cheese. suppose that vegan's could use both together...but that's a horse of another color. Shabbat Shalom l'Kulam!!!!

                          1. re: gotcholent

                            :)

                            Thanks again-- :)

                      3. re: GilaB

                        Thanks GilaB too! Want to hear (I mean, "read") something: When I was at Whole Foods, I was told that those not familiar with Daiya, sometimes think the person is saying "Diet" Cheese [I made the reference that I don't know whether it's pronounced, "Day-ya" or "Dye-ya"].... Also funny aside, same for Veganaise, I thought it was Vegan-naise (like mayonnaise) but aparrently representatives for the company say it's pronounced with a soft "g", who knew? lol) Personally, I think it's easier and makes more sense to call it simiiar to mayonnaise but substitute the word "Vee-gan" (re: pronounciation).

                      4. re: gotcholent

                        Thanks gotcholent :) I'm okay. :) Please explain the AA joke--it sounds funny but I don't get it-- ;):)

                        Thanks again!

                        1. re: GreenGirlHereGGH

                          Pas yisroel refers to wheat/grain products that have been handled by observant Jews. Obviously chickens wouldn't be covered by such a requirement.

                          1. re: DeisCane

                            DeisCane, thanks! I appreciate the clarification, but need a further "clarification"--what is "Pas Yisroel" in terms of chicken...it is referencing the feed given to the chickens? [I've been known to "overanalyze" but please humor me, if the question makes sense--;):)] [I feel like such a "Vegan" in this subject matter;):):)] Seriously, thanks again. :)

                            1. re: GreenGirlHereGGH

                              It's nonsensical in terms of chickens. It means nothing.

                              1. re: DeisCane

                                :)

                                Thanks-- :)

                      5. I would like to add that I see this is your first post. Welcome to Chowhound, GGH! Would you like any general help with finding kosher food, or is it just the one item you need?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: almond tree

                          Thanks almond tree (great name by the way, seems so visual to me:)) -- was just checking out re: my initial question but look forward to returning!)

                        2. There is a conpany in Chicago under the CRC that has all kinds of dairy-free vegan products. They are called Chicago Vegan Foods and their web address is http://www.chicagoveganfoods.com/

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: chicago maven

                            OMG!! This is GENIUS! They have vegan marshmallows! This IS AWESOME!

                            Thanks Maven!

                            1. re: lenchik

                              Lenchik, I agree! Haven't found large (s'mores size) vegan marshmallows, yet-- :) Maybe one day soon! :)

                            2. re: chicago maven

                              Thanks chicago maven (another great name, lineage from Chicago...and home of the Deep Dish pizza, no?). I really want to visit Chicago -for many reasons- but have heard about this place called Chicago Diner...I don't believe that it's Kosher...We need more Kosher Vegan dining options out there! :):)

                              Great site Chicago Vegan Foods, actually, they're the one who makes "Teese Cheese"-- :) Just realized that I wrote to them a few months ago regarding enlarging the certification on their packaging and would be great as well if specifically-included on their website. :) Thanks again-- :)

                            3. Hi Everyone,

                              Thank you for your assistance. It's SO appreciated. I am not Kosher, however have been Vegan for many years. I asked the question because I am in the process of planning a Kosher (Observant) event and respect those here who "know" and equally, as those who are familiar with Kosher Vegan food--just because something is "Vegan"...doesn't necessarily mean that it is Kosher/ has a specific Kosher certification. Personally, it's interesting to me the idea of merging Kosher with Vegan...what's confusing -to me- are all the different types/styles of certification. I just wish it was a little easier, i.e., went out of my way to a Vegan restaurant who sells originally-packaged Teese Cheese but the certification is not that easy to see or identify. [This is probably similar to wishing everyone went to the same Shul, or wanted/"liked" to go to the same Shul, just to keep things "simple"--lol, proabably the last thing from "simple"].

                              I also asked [original question] because Vegans "veganize" non-originally Vegan foods: substitute Vegan alternatives for non-Vegan foods, and thought this would be the same. [I laughed as well in terms of my understanding it-- asking if there is a "dairy item" with "no dairy"]

                              I know that there used to be many Vegan non-dairy "dairy" items available in the UK, and now they are available here in the US, but not readily available in stores in my area at this time. I went to Whole Foods (I normally try to find alternatives re: cost, but sometimes they are the only one to carry items) and they were so kind.

                              Ultimately, the best Kosher Vegan cheese in my opinion for pizza (that's why I needed the "cheese") is, what I believe was generally said is, DAIYA SHREDDED CHEDDAR. Trick though: Not much is needed. Daiya spreads very quickly and easily. Place TOPPINGS FIRST, then LIGHTLY distribute cheese. If one puts amount to "cover" board, it will be too much and sticks to teeth (has "sticky-peanut-butter-stuck-to-your-teeth" feeling); if just a cheese pizza, lightly sprinkle, do not "cover board".

                              It is my first time posting on Chowhound. I have been to the site and the replies are always so knowledgeable that I really appreciate everyone's feedback.

                              I think Kosher and Vegan is an interesting subject (warning, another subject for discussion) esp. since I have heard/read (lightly) about some believing that we are Observantly commanded to eat meat. Not meant to go off-subject, as the saying goes, "just sayin"...

                              Thanks again.

                              In advance Good Shabbos/as, Shabbat Shalom,

                              GGH

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: GreenGirlHereGGH

                                Your original question GGH was a valid one because there are kosher vegan products that may have been processed on non chalov yisroel dairy equipment. These products would have the kosher symbol with a D (for dairy) designation. Someone, who adheres to eating chalov
                                yisroel, might not find the eating of any products that were produced on non chalov yisroel dairy equipment to be acceptable.

                                1. re: moonlightgraham

                                  I appreciate that "moonlightgraham"--I could see a Kosher Vegan subscribing to that practice. I just wish that there was a hierarchy of Kosher certifications, and there was one(s) that are universally-accepted (but I guess that's the same as wanting/wishing everyone went to the same Shul, lol). It would make it a lot easier for those of us trying to learn, lol. ;):)

                                  GGH

                                  1. re: moonlightgraham

                                    Additionally, then OU would be acceptable but OU D would not, right? We probably need a moskiach on this don't we? lol

                                    GGH

                                    1. re: moonlightgraham

                                      An Orthodox Vegan Moskiach, j/k but VERY interesting--!! Thanks again. :)

                                      GGH

                                      1. re: moonlightgraham

                                        and also, in truth, I am trying to practicing a Higher Observancy so I want to learn as well-- :)

                                        GGH

                                    2. Being new to posting on Chow, any suggestions regarding receiving an email with a new post (link) and when clicked on...it takes me to original post (my question) and I can't find the post that was recently entered?

                                      Thanks--

                                      GGH

                                      1. I know that the original post was looking for vegan cheese, but I also happen to know that the CRC certifies a vegan "meat" company that is available in both retail and on the internet. They are called Upton Naturals. http://www.uptonsnaturals.com/