Treenut Cheese

white-alders

 

One of the hardest products to give up when going vegan is cheese–and that’s  because cheese has an addictive chemical in it.  But I am going to save that information for another post.

That being said finding a really good cheese substitute is also challenging. Most of the faux cheeses out there have so many fillers in them that they are just as unhealthy as dairy processed cheese.

I think the key to a good cheese substitute are the cheeses made from nut milk.

Non-dairy cheese that is produced in the same manner as dairy cheese but using nut milk instead of cow or goat’s milk.

“Cheese making, at its most elemental, involves acidifying milk—souring it, really—and then adding the enzyme rennet to thicken the proteins and fat.”[1]

A nut cheese is made using the same processes as traditional cheese making but instead of using rennet a plant enzyme is used instead.

“Vegan cheese is simply the consolidation of the protein mass from nuts, coconut, beans etc.  A lactic bacteria may also be used to provide the acidity for this. For a firmer vegan cheese, emulsifiers, oils and thickeners must also be used.  The consolidation is simply a matter of compaction of the proteins and unlike real cheese, there is no physical bonding of the proteins. ” [2]

Probiotics is used when making fermented nut cheeses at home.

I have found two brands of tree nut cheese that actually taste like cheese–meaning you can just eat them out of the package or on crackers and they taste yummy.

The first cheese I discovered comes from the Parmela Creamery which creates delicious nut based cheeses using the finest ingredients and techniques similar to cheese making to bring out the natural, flavor profiles of nuts. Parmela is known for their Parmesan.

 

parmelacreamery

It comes in three flavors Kalamata Olive, Black Pepper and Original. I just tried the original.

The ingredients: cashews, water, coconut oil, salt, lactic acid, locust bean gum, and cultures.

The next time I went back to whole foods to purchase more of the Parmela Creamery they were out of stock.  What I did find instead was “White Alder” from Kite Hill.

white alder

 

“White Alder is a soft ripened velvety cheese with a white, fluffy rind. It has a tangy mushroomy flavor profile with a rich, silky texture and pungent aromatics. This cheese is best served straight from the refrigerator and pairs well with white grapes.”[3]

Kite Hill recommends pairing it with dry white wine such as a Chardonnay with fruit.  I just ate it spread on a Ritz cracker nothing fancy just the pure joy eating a product that actually tastes like cheese without tasting weird.

Ingredients: Almond milk (water, almonds) Macadamia Milk (water, macadamia nuts) enzymes, cultures.

I will dedicate a future post to Kite Hill as it seems they are setting precedents in the world of vegan cheese.

If we can conquer cheese then imagine how many more vegetarians will finally crossover to vegan!!!!

 

[1] http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/engineering-the-future-of-artisanal-vegan-cheese

[2] http://www.cheesemaking.com/VeganChz.html

[3] http://www.kite-hill.com/white-alders.html

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6 thoughts on “Treenut Cheese

  1. Holy crikey! They have obviously come out with a lot of new cheeses lately! And here I have been complacently enjoying Daiya and Tofutti. I need to get out there and find these. We are not lucky enough to have a vegan cheese store, or much of anything at all vegan, here in central Ohio.

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