In Search of Vegetarian Cheese

baby_cowOne of the things I’ve noticed since joining my daughter in being vegetarian is the complete lack of good, consistent information on ingredients in cheese. Some cheeses are vegetarian, but since it only lists “enzymes” in the ingredients, you can’t trust it. Better safe than kill a baby cow.

Enzymes, for those who don’t know, can come from the lining of calves and pigs stomachs or from non-animal sources. Non-animal sources have become popular of late, not because of vegetarians, but because they are cheaper to use. Enzymes are the catalyst for creating cheese. They are in your cheese regardless of type in some form or another. But cheese makers don’t bother to let us vegetarians know for sure, so every time you want something particular, you have to begin another search.

If that wasn’t confusing and difficult enough, what about eating out? When you go out for pizza, how do you know what’s in that cheese? Unfortunately, you have to research each pizza restaurant individually. You might find information on the web from others who have found out, but you have to check how old that information is. You can contact the headquarters of your favorite pizza delivery place, but sometimes even they don’t know.

kingmeRecently, my husband asked me to find out if the cheese at our local Pizza King is okay for vegetarians. We have always loved their pizza. Well, there is nothing on their website regarding this topic and when I contacted the headquarters, the person I talked to sheepishly admitted he didn’t know. I asked him for his supplier and if that supplier supplied all Pizza Kings. Then I began searching for information on their cheese supplier, Frigo. I found them on my list of vegetarian cheeses by brand name and will be enjoying a large cheese pizza on our next family dinner out at my local Pizza King. WooHoo!

FYI – Horizon is a great brand since all their cheeses are vegetarian and organic. You can find them at Kroger. I don’t usually shop at Kroger, but I go there specifically to get cheese. A great place to check whether your cheese is vegetarian or not is at Vegetarian Cheese List – where I found my Frigo cheese from Pizza King. You can look up your cheese by brand or type. You can even sign up for updates if anything changes in the cheese world.

Hope this helps anyone out there trying to get a slice of pizza without unknowingly eating cow parts.

BTW – marshmallows (of all things) are not vegetarian. Ahhhhhh! I could just scream. More on this later.