Three cheeses from Miyoko’s Kitchen

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

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Our samplings of vegan cheeses continues! The good news is that is a wonderful journey, and I’ve loved almost every cheese I’ve tried so far. (Check out our last vegan cheese tasting if you missed it.)

Alas, not one of the cheeses from our previous tasting is yet available here in Ashland (we’re working on this). Fortunately, the amazing Miyoko’s Kitchen delivers. In the online store, you can order a “collection” of plant-based cheeses or mix and match. We ordered one of the collections, which included Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, Aged English Sharp Farmhouse, and High Sierra Rustic Alpine.

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The cheeses arrived within two days via FedEx, in a large box packed with ice packs. (Note: Because Miyoko’s is based in the Bay Area, shipping is considerably cheaper if you live on the West Coast than across the country. Wherever you live, though, it’s worth it.)

Each cheese is beautifully packaged, and they traveled very well.

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We first sampled the High Sierra Rustic Alpine, described as a “semi-hard, nutty round with sweet overtones and a creamy buttery finish.” It’s all of these things, and delicious. It is supposed to melt well, too, as this cheese “can also be used for fondue or mixed in a risotto.” But it is also terrific on crackers or a nice baguette.

Next we sampled the Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, which closely resembles smoked gouda — not quite as firm, but every bit as yummy. And, finally, the Aged English Sharp Farmhouse, pictured below, is a bit firmer and sharper, and while it’s great spread on crackers and bread, this one would be wonderful sliced thin for sandwiches.

cheeseThe cheeses from Miyoko’s range in price from $10 to $12 for each 6-oz box, plus shipping, and they have a 60-day shelf life. (And some of the cheeses, like the sharp farmhouse, will continue to age and ripen in the fridge, deepening in flavor and texture.)

Check out Miyoko’s Kitchen for more info on these cheeses, and many more (next on our list: all of the double-cream cheeses, and the Country Style Herbes de Provence). Of course, all of these plant-based cheeses are vegan, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. If you see something you want to try, order it fast, before it sells out; featured cheeses will change periodically.

Also: check out the Miyoko’s Kitchen blog for recipes and news, and for the adventurous: make them yourself with Miyoko Schinner’s book, Artisan Vegan Cheese.

A sampling of artisan vegan cheeses

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

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For a long time, I’ve been waiting to get my hands on a selection of artisan vegan cheeses, and I am happy to report that based on my recent sampling of four cheeses, vegans (and anyone who loves cheese but doesn’t care for animal cruelty and high cholesterol) have a lot to look forward to.

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I began with Kite Hill‘s truffle, dill, and chive soft cheese, which has wonderful flavors (especially if you love dill) and a great texture; if not precisely cheese-like, it comes extremely close.

kite hill

Next I sampled Treeline‘s herb and garlic French-style cheese, which is far “cheesier,” i.e.,  even omnivores would find it indistinguishable from dairy cheese. It is soft, spreadable, and incredibly flavorful — absolutely spectacular. It was with great restraint that I didn’t finish the entire package at once. (After all, I had two more cheeses to sample…)

treeline

Next up was Parmela‘s creamy black pepper cheese, which I found a little plain compared to the others — but it nonetheless had a lovely flavor and a wonderful consistency. Parmela also has other nut cheeses that I can’t wait to try — and Parmela makes what I have found to be the very best vegan parmesan cheese out there.

Finally: the brie.

Many vegetarians are slow to become vegans due to a love of cheese (and, until recently, a lack of good cheese substitutes). Now, there’s absolutely no excuse — vegans can find cheese replacements for any type of cheese they may think they’ll miss, including brie.

Kite Hill’s soft ripened cheese is the brie every vegan has been looking for.

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This almond-based cheese is soft, creamy, buttery, and has the sharp, ripened flavor of real brie — as well as the texture. I admit that, as a former brie lover, I was skeptical…but I was not disappointed. On the contrary, I was quite ecstatic.

brie

I hope you’re able to try out these delicious products and help support the companies that make them; you’ll be glad you did!

And, if you’re adventurous, you can also make your own artisan cheese; check out Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheese, which has recipes for myriad types of cheeses and cheese dishes, of varying complexity.

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Welcome to the vegan cheese revolution

John Yunker

John Yunker is a novelist, playwright, web globalization geek, and co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. Learn more at www.JohnYunker.com.

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There was a time not long ago when eating vegan cheese was not, to put it mildly, the most enjoyable experience. These were the days when “it melts” was considered a major product selling point.

Thankfully, those days are behind us.

We live in a Renaissance period of vegan cheeses.

This blog is dedicated to exploring these cheeses — and pairing them with vegan wines! — and sharing our tastings with you.

We hope you enjoy this journey as much as we do.