Whey: A Self-Congratulatory Breakfast Treat

tera'swhey

tera'swhey

I Paid: $2.95 for a 1-ounce packet ($3.95 for blueberry; prices may vary by region)

Taste: 3 stars

Marketing: 5 stars

The story behind tera'swhey is this: Wisconsinite Tera Johnson decided to work with small family farms and artisanal cheesemakers to transform their whey (a by-product of cheesemaking) into a profitable sideline. Thus: packets of dried, powdered whey nutritional supplements flavored with high-antioxidant fruits (or chocolate) and stevia extract for low-calorie/low-glycemic sweetness. The stuff is meant to be mixed with juice, water, or milk and consumed for a high-protein nutrition boost.

Its directions say that it can be shaken in a water bottle, but that didn't adequately mix the stuff for me, leaving some nasty powdery pockets. An immersion blender did a far better job.

tera'swhey is some of the most beautifully packaged food on shelves today: pure white packets or canisters, featuring big, naturalistic, striking pictures of fruit and cacao pods. With flavors including Yumberry, Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, Blueberry, and Wolfberry, you get the feeling that this is what God himself uses in lieu of Carnation Breakfast Essentials.

As for the flavor: Well, it's austere. Blueberry and Dark Chocolate were a bit chalky, with aggressive stevia licoricelike aftertastes. Wolfberry and Yumberry were better: slightly tart (Wolfberry), slightly pungent (Yumberry), countering and working with the stevia for a healthful-tasting and ultimately pleasant whey experience.

Bottom line: If you enjoy a little agreeable self-flagellation in the morning, this product is right up your alley.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.