Kite Hill Soft Fresh Original

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.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

This Kite Hill almond milk cheese has a lovely, rich, nutty flavor.

Kite Hill 1

However, its clammy, slightly rubbery texture doesn’t make it the best cheese for spreading onto crackers.

KH1

The Kite Hill website suggests that this cheese can “be served warm with fresh bread or crostini” — and warming it up might be a good way to go. Served cold, the cheese doesn’t spread well; it’s far too crumbly … yet we did find that it makes a nice foundation for bruschetta; the tomato mixture holds the crumbles in place, and the creaminess of the cheese is delicious.

IMG_1118

This Soft Fresh Original reminds me of ricotta, but Kite Hill actually has another ricotta-style cheese, which we haven’t been able to find locally yet.

This Soft Fresh Original is also a great vegan cheese for sprinkling over salads … it enhances lettuce and veggies with its rich, creamy, subtle, savory flavor.

Kte H 1

So while this isn’t the best cheese for spreading on crackers straight out of the fridge, if you’re looking for a nice crumbly vegan cheese for myriad other purposes, check out Kite Hill Soft Fresh Original.

Heidi Ho Smoky Chia

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.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

After trying Heidi Ho’s Ne Chevre, we were looking forward to sampling the melty cheeses that Heidi Ho seems best known for. The first one we’ve had the opportunity to try was the Smoky Chia Cheeze, which was available at the local food co-op.

HeidiHo

The nice thing about this cheese is that its ingredients are few and mostly organic. This version is advertised on the Heidi Ho website as a base for pizza, as well as for artichoke dip, au gratin potatoes, or fettuccine alfredo.

HeidiHo2

Yet the cheese wasn’t as creamy as we’d hoped — the texture was a bit grainy, and the flavor was a little chalky as well. It did have a nice smoky flavor, but it didn’t have the feel of “real cheese” that so many vegans are looking for.

HeidiHo3

While we love the idea of having a ready-made vegan pizza base or pasta sauce, this flavor didn’t quite measure up. Yet Heidi Ho does have other flavors, and we’re always up for tasting something new.

Miyoko’s Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash

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.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

We admit we put off trying Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash because it seemed a little strange — a cheese covered in black ash? And indeed, it looks a little odd…

black ash

We half-expected the cheese to be a little gritty, or to have a smoky or charcoal flavor. However,  the black ash is so fine that it barely registers, and it has no flavor at all.

black ash3

The only flavor that comes through in this delicious cheese is the gouda-like flavor of the cheese itself, which is very smooth and creamy. It’s a little firmer than Miyoko’s double-cream cheeses but still highly spreadable.

black ash2

I highly recommend this one, as it’s so unique and fun. And vegans who miss gouda will especially love it.