In the summer, my husband and I tend to eat more salads at home. I like to make salad dressing from scratch, but sometimes it’s just too much work, especially when it’s a dressing that traditionally contains dairy products.
Like Caesar salad. I love Caesar salad. In fact, the first time I ate a proper Caesar salad, drenched in freshly grated Parmesan cheese and whole anchovies laid atop it, I thought, “This is the only kind of salad I will ever eat again.” That turned out not to be true, but to this day, I would rank Caesar as my favorite salad.
Which is a real bummer, since I can’t eat it anymore. I’m lactose-intolerant, so cheese is off the menu for me, and a proper Caesar salad has not only Parmesan sprinkled on top of it but also blended into the dressing itself.
So I’ve been on the hunt for a dairy-free Caesar salad dressing that will at least kind of resemble a real Caesar. I decided to try Daiya’s Creamy Caesar Dressing, even though I’ve had mixed feelings about other Daiya products.
This dressing is so thick, it took some work to even get it out of the bottle. Once I did, it looked fairy decent:
But the taste was atrocious. It had a pungent flavor, almost like blue cheese. In fact, I wondered whether they accidentally put the dairy-free “blue cheeze” dressing (also available from Daiya) into the wrong bottle. But even if it were supposed to be blue cheese, it was not good. I couldn’t make it through more than a couple of bites.
Hello, compost bin.
But I can’t say I’m surprised. This is not the first time Daiya has let me down. I used to eat their dairy-free cheddar style shreds in omelets and on nachos, until I realized it was giving me gas. Horrible gas. (Just ask my husband.)
I also tried Daiya’s dairy-free cream cheese. It tasted nothing like cream cheese and was so nasty that I dumped it after the first bite, just like the salad dressing.
So far, the only Daiya product I’ve been able to tolerate is their dairy-free mozzarella cheese, which Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza uses for their vegan and lactose-intolerant customers. I’m a big fan of Blaze; it’s the only pizza I eat these days.
But even at Blaze, I have to make sure the person making my pizza goes easy on the Daiya or I will end up with… you guessed it, horrible gas.
In the meantime, I will continue my quest for an off-the-shelf dairy-free Caesar dressing and let you know if I find a good one, hopefully before summer salad season is over.