CAPSULE REPORT: Soymilk is not just for the vegan or the lactose intolerant. It is a delicious drink in its own right. The flavored soymilks from Pearl prove that if one’s palate is open to anything, one is bound to discover new delights. All of the flavors are equally fine, and at 150 calories a cup (90 calories unsweetened), makes one feel like one is having a higher-calorie smoothie or shake. Others must must love it, too: Sales of soymilk in 2006 were an estimated $575 million, according to Mintel, a market research firm.
We are not lactose intolerant, so only occasionally sip a glass of soy milk—generally as we walk through food shows tasting products. They are generally nice products, but “grocery products”—nothing to turn our heads.
All the more reason we were delighted by Pearl Organic Soymilk a product of Kikkoman, a company that certainly knows its soybeans (thanks to three centuries of experience making soy sauce, among other products). With other delicacies beckoning at other booths, we could hardly tear ourselves away from the self-serve drink dispensing machine, almost certainly making the polite booth representative wish we would leave some product for the other attendees. (We did, but we came back later for more).
It’s healthy, too. In addition to being organic, a cup of soymilk has eight grams of soy protein, is cholesterol- and lactose-free, and has fewer calories and fat than whole or 2% dairy milk (comparison per serving: whole milk 72 fat calories, 2% milk 45 fat calories, Pearl Original 30 fat calories). Pearl also ha more vitamin A, D, calcium, iron, folic acid, less sodium, the same carbohydrate, almost the same protein (7g vs. 8g) and, for the unsweetened soymilk, fewer sugars.
The line is a “pearl” of six fruit flavors. We didn’t taste the unsweetened, but enjoyed the others and thought that Chocolate and Green Tea were exceptional, with a close second for Tropical Delight.
Chocolate has rich cocoa flavor from quality organic cocoa. It’s so easy to make a disappointing chocolate drink: this one was satisfying enough to stay us from digging into the Häagen-Dazs.
Coffee will thrill any coffee drinker. The newest of the flavors, no doubt inspired by the national mania for lattes. Made with real brewed coffee, it hits the spot.
Green Tea is made from imported Japanese green tea, rich in antioxidants. One eight-ounce glass provides as much calcium and more vitamins A and D than whole milk. (It also provides you with 7 grams of cholesterol-free soy protein.)
Tropical Delight has top notes of apple, pineapple, peach and orange.
Rich and sophisticated, we would serve these creamy, refreshing drinks to guests—they’re as enjoyable as a shake. At 140 calories per cup, 35 of them from fat, it’s a quite a healthy indulgence. We felt as if we were having our cake, and eating it too.
We haven’t yet played with making iced desserts for that cake—but we can’t wait! Tonight, we’re making pancakes using the recipe on the website, but substituting chocolate for Original.
Who says lactose-free isn’t exciting!
PEARL ORGANIC SOYMILK
Coffee, Creamy Vanilla, Chocolate, Green Tea, Original, Tropical Delight, Unsweetened
Certified Kosher (Pareve) by Kosher Overseers USDA Certified Organic