Soledad Cheddar-Style Jalapeño

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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We recently ordered a new vegan cheese — from the Sanctuary at Soledad Goats, a nonprofit organization founded by two former goat-cheese makers who became vegan and turned their farm into a sanctuary for not only goats but also cows, horses, sheep, dogs, ducks, and other animals. (Meet some of the sanctuary residents here.)

Eager to support this new sanctuary, we ordered cheeses as soon as they were on offer. Our cheeses arrived a week later than expected (very inconvenient as we were heading out of town), but we were told they freeze beautifully, so that’s what we did. (And, this was the sanctuary’s very first cheese offering, so we hope by now they’ve worked out some of the issues.)

The cheeses perhaps would taste a little different if they hadn’t been frozen, but in the case of Cheddar-Style Jalapeño, it didn’t matter — this cheese is fantastic.

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Spreadable with a slightly grainy texture (possibly from having been frozen), this cheese has a serious kick, so if you like spice, this is an excellent choice.

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This cheese is textured with bits of what we’re guessing are peppers — it’s impossible to tell because every Soledad cheese we purchased has the same list of ingredients (“tree nuts and/or oats, cultures, salt, herbs and spices”). We hope that, as Soledad continues its cheese-making enterprise, the ingredient lists get more specific.

As of this writing, this jalapeño cheese doesn’t appear to be available now, but check back because this one is delicious. Visit the website to learn more about the sanctuary, and stay tuned for reviews of many more cheeses from Soledad, coming soon!

Daiya Jalapeño Havarti Style

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 Daiya Jalapeño Havarti Style cheese block is wonderful.

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While it’s not “artisan” cheese, it easily sliced for cheese and crackers, and the flavor and texture make it a great choice to nibble on with margaritas or sangria.

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This cheese wedge is also spreadable if it has a chance to warm at room temperature, and it would be delicious if shredded into tacos or in a tofu scramble.

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Overall this is a wonderfully spicy, versatile cheese — Daiya yet again has done a fantastic job!

Kite Hill Soft Fresh Truffle Dill & Chive

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)

Like Kite Hill’s Soft Fresh Original, this herb almond milk cheese has a damp, rubbery texture that makes it difficult to spread directly onto bread or crackers.

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However, the truffle, dill, and chive in this variety make it far more flavorful than the plain version, and its texture makes it absolutely perfect for sprinkling in salads…

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…and over vegan pizzas.

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So if you’re looking for a creamy, herby addition to your favorite foods, give Kite Hill‘s Soft Fresh Truffle Dill & Chive a try. While it’s not ideal as a main event, cheese-wise, it’s an excellent enhancer to anything made better by being cheesier. (Which includes so many things.)

 

Daiya Smoked Gouda Style

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)

As former gouda fans, we were excited to try this Smoked Gouda style cheese from Daiya.

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Yet we found, to our surprise, that this variety is not quite as delicious as Daiya’s other wedge-style cheeses.

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The texture was a bit chalky, and the flavor was a bit smoky but without the gouda spark we were hoping for.

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Daiya is currently in the process of updating its wedge-style cheeses (see Medium Cheddar Farmhouse Block) and so perhaps they’ll improve on this one. And, in the meantime, don’t miss some of the other fabulous Daiya products (especially the cheezecake!).