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November 21, 2014

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Miyoko’s Kitchen: Vegan “Cheese”

by Anne Paddock
01-Chive

A vegetarian lifestyle has always been a natural fit for me and the only two things that really hold me back from becoming a vegan is butter and cheese. Although infrequent, I do indulge in a Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie or a Salty Oats oatmeal cookie by Kayak Cookies – both of which are made with butter (and eggs). And, then there is cheese. A slice of Comte or Vermont Cheddar on a toasted bagel with lettuce, tomato, and red onion is my dream bagelwich and my go-to snack when I’m on the road and fresh out of energy bars. I can go to any bagel shop and get my fix. “Hold the meat, keep the cheese, and add the veggies” and I’m off and running.

But, in the back of my mind are two thoughts that stay with me more and more these days:  the studies that show how bad dairy products are for our health; and second, by eating dairy products I am supporting an industry that is cruel and ruining our environment. So, when new plant-based products offer alternatives to a product made from an animal, I enthusiastically embrace a new option – and that is how I came to discover the “cheese” from Miyoko’s Kitchen – vegan cheese that actually tastes good.1508084_803362809702488_7264403406112361248_n

Technically (read “legally”) speaking, a product cannot be called “cheese” unless its made from dairy (but that may change just as the milk industry fought the makers of almond, soy, hemp, rice, and other plant-based milks and lost) so Miyoko’s Kitchen “cheese” is called a “cultured nut product.”  Made primarily from organic cashews, filtered water, organic chickpea miso, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and cultures, the nine varieties include both hard and soft cheese with added flavor from herbs and spices:

Classic Double Cream Chive: a versatile round that reminds me of Boursin. Savory and creamy with a mild herb garlic flavor. Spread on crackers or mini-toasts.Classic Double Cream Chive

Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic: a creamy round of Mediterranean-inspired cheese with the flavor of sundried tomatoes and garlic. Another great “cheese” to spread on crackers or toasted baguette slices. Top with chopped grape tomatoes and basil for a variation of bruschetta.02-SundriedTomatoGarlic

High Sierra Rustic Alpine: a semi-hard round of cheese that reminds me of Swiss Gruyère. Delicious with bread or cut into slices and served on a dessert plate with apples, pears, and grapes.High Sierra Rustic Alpine

Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf: a wheel of soft, white cheese wrapped and aged in a green fig leaf which allows the flavor to sharpen as it ages. Serve with crackers and fig jam for a special treat.Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf

Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash: a round, smooth wheel of “cheese”‘ with a creamy texture and a slightly tangy sweetness. Covered in black ash (vegetable ash), the name comes from the volcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy that was made famous in the story of its eruption and the subsequent destruction of Pompei. Serve with crackers and fruit.Mr. Vesuvius Black Ash

Fresh Style Winter Truffle: an elegant, woodsy, and earthy wheel marbled with truffle scented mushrooms. Serve with assorted crackers.06-WinterTruffle

Aged English Sharp Farmhouse: Miyoko’s Kitchen’s answer to Shark Cheddar: a hard, round wheel of aged “cheese” with complex flavors that enhance as the wheel ages in your refrigerator. Slice and serve on sandwiches, crackers, and bagel sandwiches!Aged English Sharp Farmhouse

Aged English Smoked Farmhouse: a semi-hard wheel of “cheese” with a rich, smokey, and sharp flavor. Serve at room temperature with crackers.08-AESmokedFarm

Country Style Herbes de Provence: a slightly tangy round covered in herbs including lavender, that slices like a hard cheese but that softens in the mouth. Serve with mild crackers or toasted baguette slices or crumble into a salad.09-HerbesDeProvence-e1409422328311

Each round is free of cholesterol, lactose, egg, egg, gluten, and soy. Made with non-GMO ingredients, Miyoko’s Kitchen rounds are 6.5 – 8.0 ounces each.  The nut-cultured products are sold in collections containing three to six rounds.  The collections range from $33 -$67 with an average cost of $11 per round. Order on-line at miyokoskitchen.com. Also, see the company website for a list of grocers in California carrying the line of products by Miyoko’s Kitchen.

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. So exciting to see that Miyoko is putting some of her wonderful cheese into production. If only I could get it shipped all the way to NZ!

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