Alisa Fleming ~ A couple of years ago I wrote an article that has become quite a popular page on this site, 5 Reasons to Choose Cheese-Less Pizza.
Since that was written, I have turned dozens of people in my everyday life onto cheese-free pizza, and hopefully many more through Go Dairy Free. I know that some of you may have a hard time believing it, but cheese-less pizza really can be just as amazing as (if not better than!) the mozzarella-drenched stuff. Just read the following stories and reviews from myself and contributed by AllergyEats (a user-friendly guide to allergy-friendly restaurants across the United States); I can almost guarantee that they will convince you to give cheese-free a chance …
I finally mustered up the courage to have the kids try take-out pizza a couple of weeks ago. Talk about anxiety! Certain places we just don’t take our son into (ice cream parlors and pizzerias chief among them). I called Homeslice Pizza, my favorite neighborhood pizza joint, and informed them of my son’s food allergies [dairy and nuts] and asked if they could make a pizza that was safe for him and they said yes! I quizzed them about cross-contamination and they assured me that they would flag the order with a food allergy alert and definitely use a clean pizza cutter. I even arrived early to pick up the pizza so that I could have another opportunity to remind them to take great care not to cross contaminate. Everyone at Homeslice was very South Austin friendly and the cashier even gave me a hi-five to celebrate my children’s first pizza ...
When I arrived home, the kids were so excited to peer in the box and admire their sausage, mushroom and black olive pizza pie. The verdict? We all loved it! In fact, for those of us who can and love to eat cheese, we preferred this dairy-free pizza. The spices and flavors of all of the ingredients were amazing. Most importantly my son did not have an allergic reaction. Hooray for Homeslice Pizza!
My husband and I were trapped in a small airport when our flight was delayed for several hours. Since there really weren’t any amenities, the airline ordered in a pizza party for everyone on the flight. Famished, I snuck over and requested that they order just one pizza without cheese, and they politely said no problem. When the pizzas arrived, the passengers rushed in and formed a line that wound around the gate, but the flight attendant went out of her way to hand me the biggest pizza I had ever seen! She kindly said to take it for ourselves, assuming that no one else would want to eat it …
Back at our chairs my husband and I sat staring in awe at this massive pizza that we could barely put a dent in. We offered slices to other nearby passengers, who hesitated at first, but then noticed the huge pizza line-up and decided to trial our cheese-free pizza. They all exclaimed how amazing it was! One man was currently working toward significant weight loss, and was excited to realize that he didn’t need the added cheese to enjoy pizza – In fact he liked it better without! Curious ears overheard, and within seconds the entire jumbo pizza was devoured, down to the last olive slice.
When my wife first suggested that we order a cheeseless pizza from our favorite take-out pizza place (Cosmos Caffe in Scituate, MA), I almost gasped! Cheeseless pizza? Hey, I’m a purist. I practically grew up on pizza (it shows). A cheeseless pizza just isn’t right. However… as always… my wife won the argument.
And how thrilled I am that she did! Not only does my dairy-allergic son love cheeseless, hamburger pizza, but my oldest son actually prefers this over “regular” pizza as well! Now, every time we order pizza, one is always a large cheeseless… and no one feels like they’re being treated differently. Pizza has been a weekly ritual in our house for years and we’ve never had an allergic incident.
I threw a holiday party about two years ago, and since our house is dairy-free, so was all of the food I served. One of the menu items was a simple, made-from-scratch, cheese-free pepperoni pizza. It was devoured faster than we could pull it out of the oven, and to this day my (cheese-loving) friends talk about how great that pizza was and swear that it had cheese on it! Two of them have since gone mostly dairy-free (they were practically cheese connoisseurs before) and are feeling amazing benefits from it.
Do you have your own cheese-free story? Is there a tasty pizza joint that you would like to recommend for catering to your dairy-free, lactose-free, or vegan requests? Send us an email!Article by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.