Mouse took care of border control. I've often seen soya milk in the chiller cabinet, and I've never been tempted to buy it. My normal milk is organic unhomogenised full milk, delivered twice a week, so I wasn't sure whether to treat So Good as a milk substitute or an entirely new food substance. In the end, I decided to try to do both. So this is the first of several reports.
One of the recipes Emma sent was for goat's cheese and courgette cannelloni, so I decided to follow the cheese route as I'd had a beautiful Romenesco in my veg box. I stopped off at the International Cheese Centre at Liverpool Street Station and bought a hunk of hard sheep's cheese so that I could create a dish for those averse to cow's milk.
The Romensco cooked in boiling water for five minutes - it's a wonderful substitute for cauliflower as it stays a bit crisper. As with cauliflower cheese, I made a bechemel sauce using some of the veg cooking water as liquid. Then it was time to add some soya milk to the sauce...and as soon as I did, I could smell sweetness. It wasn't the sweetness of cow's milk but a much deeper, almost condensed milk caramel aroma. I was worried. And a quick taste of the sauce deepened my concern: the sugaryness was almost cloying. Ploughing on, I added a teaspoon of grain mustard and the cheese. The sweetness remained. I know that ewe's cheese has a sweetness of its own, but the soya was drowning that out.
After a quick blast in the oven, the dish was ready to eat. Oh dear. That sweetness was still very strong, and remained as a lingering after-taste. The Romanesco beneath was lovely, so I ended up forking out the florets and scraping off the sauce.
Hmmmm. Back to check the side of the pack. Sugar is the third listed ingredient (2.8g sugar per 100ml), followed by maltodextrin which is a starch sugar. Maltodextrin (if I understand right) can vary in sugaryness, so maybe the So Good folks have gone for a high sugar version?
My final verdict is that this milk is not usable in a savoury dish. The sweetness is really overwhelming and hangs along around long enough to drown out any other flavour.
I'll press on this week with some sweet things, but so far, I'm not loving it.