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Cook's Corner: Lactose-free ice cream tastes just like the real thing

Thursday, June 26, 2003

By Marlene Parrish, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

The advertising slogan, "Got Milk," is the best thing ever to happen to those of us who are lactose intolerant. Why? Because the savvy people who make Lactaid products whipped into overdrive and expanded their line of lactose-reduced and lactose-free foods.

The latest is Lactaid's Scoopfuls, an ice cream that is 100 percent lactose free even though the ingredients are milk, cream, skim milk, stabilizers and flavorings.

Besides vanilla, which makes a fabulous Root Beer Float, Scoopfuls is available by the quart in Cappuccino Swirl, Double Chocolate Chip, Creamy Butter Pecan and Mint Chocolate Chip. Supermarkets with ample freezer space, such as the larger Giant Eagles, carry the ice cream for $2.99 per quart.

Cross your fingers that the Lactaid researchers will come up with lactose-free heavy cream, cottage cheese and sour cream.

We make up a huge market, because lactose intolerance affects between 30 million and 50 million Americans. Certain ethnic and racial populations are more widely affected than others. As many as 75 percent of all African Americans and American Indians and 90 percent of Asian Americans are lactose intolerant.

The condition is least common among persons of northern European descent. Even though a guy named Jay Schulberg is the director of the team that created the "Got Milk" slogan, one of the most successful advertising campaigns ever, I prefer to imagine that the words were first blurted out by a 23-year-old Swede.

Chocolate Chai Float

Chai, a spiced milk-and-tea blend that hails from India, is popping up in a variety of versions, both hot and cold, in coffeehouses all over America. Here's a chocolate-y-rich version for a "float."

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 2 tea bags containing black tea, such as orange pekoe, Darjeeling, English break- fast, or Lapsang souchong
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 4 cups lactose-free milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Lactose-free ice cream

Pour the boiling water over tea bags in a large saucepan. Cover and let stand 3 to 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Stir in sugar and cocoa powder. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture just comes to boiling. Stir in milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom; heat through, but do not boil further.

Cool or chill in refrigerator. When ready to serve, pour into glasses and top each with a scoop of lactose-free ice cream. Makes 5 to 6 servings, about 1 cup each.

Marlene Parrish can be reached at mparrish@post-gazette.com or 412-481-1620.

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