October 15, 2004

It doesn't matter if it's fresh or canned

Recently I've been cutting down on the amount of milk I drink. Not for any particular reason; I especially don't buy into the sky-is-falling hype about bovine milk being bad for people, any more than I believe similar alarmist tripe about aluminum cookware, microwave ovens (and other non-ionizing radiation), or canola oil. I just figure that as much as I like a tall, cold glass of milk, I get enough dairy in my diet as it is, so I'm cutting down.

The other day I decided to try something I've never had before: soy milk. Like I said, I don't have anything against boring old regular milk. I was just looking for a change of pace, not an alternative to milk. ("Vegetarians" who try to dress up their diet to make it look like meat just annoy me; veggie "hot dogs," for example, are just wretched. If you are going to be a vegetarian, flaunt it. Salads are wonderful things. The same holds true for milk and soy milk, as far as I am concerned.)

Expecting to be somewhat turned off, I was rather pleasantly surprised. Ordinary soy milk has a sweetness and creaminess you don't expect from puréed soybeans - although there is a peculiar chalky texture and odd vegetable aftertaste that reminds you that you are drinking exactly that. (Also, for a product labeled "organic," I thought there was an unusually high number of ingredients with names I couldn't pronounce without a degree in chemistry.)

I've been told that the flavoured varieties are superior to the ordinary; it wouldn't surprise me if vanilla-flavoured soy milk kicked in café au lait. Bottom line: Take it or leave it, but if you're offered a glass by a veggie friend, there's no reason to turn it down.