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Jul 11, 2012 04:07 PM

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


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

Please advise.



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  1. The original comment has been removed
    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. The original comment has been removed
                1. 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) 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!!!!

                          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 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.