Jul 25, 2018
In a country that loves its daizu or soybeans, why is it that there is virtually no soy yogurt? I don't think I've ever seen it in Japan until this week, but back home we can find soy, rice, almond, coconut versions of most dairy products and in even normal supermarkets.
Almond milk seems to be catching on, and of course soymilk is awesome in Japan, but not soy cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.
Pokka Sapporo brand Soymilk yogurt, or 'yogurt made from soymilk' if you wanna be specific. Not super cheap, but available in plain, aloe, and blueberry.
(One thing I have never seen back home is aloe yogurt - in any form, but I like it!)
I haven't tried this out yet so I can't explain what it's like or compare it to what I'm used to at home. One thing that was a little frustrating when I checked the ingredients, is that it is not actually vegan. (I'm not vegan, but any vegans who just got excited about this are probably disappointed.)
The ingredients list above shows gelatin. The annoying thing is, it also mentions the thickener kanten, which is vegan. Why not use only kanten to thicken the yogurt?
I get the idea that Japan is 99% unaware about veganism. I have met vegans living in Japan and don't know how they do it. I know they cook almost everything at home, can only eat things like rice if they need something from a convenience store, and get a lot of trouble for their choice in diet. For that reason, I don't recommend moving to Japan for anyone who wants to maintain a vegan lifestyle. (It also means they can't really experience the culture if they can't enjoy the local cuisine.)
The problem isn't the availability of vegetables and grains in Japan - it's that they are generally prepared with non-vegan ingredients. Even the soymilk I used to drink (Kikkoman) contains ingredients derived from dairy products. I've switched to a locally produced unsweetened soymilk with only soybeans in the ingredients.
Is there a vegan soy yogurt available at a Japanese supermarket not specifically for vegan / health foods?