For many people, the most difficult transitional item to replace in a vegan diet is cheese. Thankfully, the market is chock full of many substitutes. However, perhaps one of the most noticeably absent, yet-to-be-artfully-replaced-as-a-vegan-version sweet food items is white chocolate! Oh where oh where can it be?
The on-line vegan merchants certainly have versions, like Pangea’s own Vegan Sweets brand of white chocolate chips (http://www.veganstore.com/809.html), an imported version from Vegan Essentials (http://www.veganessentials.com/catalog/dairy-free-white-chocolate-chips.htm), and Cosmo Vegan Shoppe’s kosher version (http://www.cosmosveganshoppe.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=OWCC). While it is comforting to know that alternatives to “white chocolate” are out there, there needs to be a greater variety! More variety will hopefully lead to higher standards. No doubt the use for these white chocolate chips can be successful when mixed into other items (i.e. to detract from the ersatz vegan version of white chocolate) or used as a coating (which is usually waxy anyhow), but the discernible palate will likely be left reminiscing of a happier mouth feel.
Yet our convictions keep us away from the dairy versions, even if it is to the detriment of our palate. Supply and demand for vegan white chocolate will surely follow the footsteps of vegan ice cream, milks and cheeses, but how long must we wait? Not to mention the fact that there has yet been a mainstream organic and/or fair labor version of these vegan white chocolate items. For this author, veg*ism isn’t just about the animals, it’s about a holistic world view where one person’s benefit that comes at a cost to another is not only far from being a “benefit,” it’s just plain unfair. Let’s hope there’s a happy, tasty vegan white chocolate chip alternative that will be on the market soon enough! In the meantime, I suppose we can all just make do with what’s out there.