With a local grocer stocking these new cheeses from Parmela, a pizza party was clearly in order.
First, a few words about Parmela Creamery’s aged nut cheese — these cheddar shreds were delicious to eat out of the bag (which is not even close to true of most vegan shreds, most of which are waxy and/or taste very artificial). But these aged cheddar shreds, which are cashew-based, are flavorful and have a smooth, creamy texture.
We also tried Parmela’s aged mozzarella, which comes in a cube ready for either slicing or shredding.
This mozzarella is good enough to eat plain, on bread or crackers — it is mild and has a nice authentic texture.
And both cheeses melt beautifully and taste wonderful on pizza (especially with mushrooms, tomatoes, and Field Roast sausage). They’d likely be delicious in any recipe calling for cheddar or mozzarella.
Visit Parmela online for more info on their offerings (and then contact your local stores to get them to carry this stuff).
We were delighted to find this Cashew Reserve spread from The Cultured Kitchen at our local co-op.
The Cultured Kitchen makes two varieties (the other, Smokey Chedda, sounds amazing), and we sampled Herbs & Chives, which has a mild, delicate flavor. Especially lovely is the hint of lavender.
The texture isn’t as smooth as some vegan spreads, but this is to be expected with a product as natural as this one. While we spread this lovely vegan cheese on crackers, given its consistency, it’s even better as a dip…and would be a beautiful addition to any holiday gathering.
Miyoko’s Cheesy Garlic Vegan Butter is absolutely fantastic. We are not one bit surprised (though we are disappointed it’s no longer in the online store — we hope it’ll return soon!).
This lovely butter comes in a tub, and it is flaked with herbs and has a very buttery consistency — impossible to tell it’s not “real” butter.
We spread it onto slices of crusty French bread, which we then popped into the oven to make garlic bread.
Our bread emerged from the oven with a perfectly melted, buttery, cheesy, garlicky topping — and it was delectable. (We also tried adding the butter to warmed bread, but it is much better when applied liberally to bread, then warmed.)
You can spread it on as thick or as thin as you’d like, but thin works well because this butter is so incredibly flavorful. The only problem with this lovely new product is that it sells out so fast — get it while you can!
At the same time we tasted NuCulture’s Bacony Chipotle cashew spread, we sampled its Garden Herbs variety.
Like the spicy chipotle flavor, this one is light, creamy, spreadable — and delicious.
And while it doesn’t have the kick of the Bacony Chipotle, it’s herbs and spices are lovely, and it’s wonderful on crackers and bread. It’s perfect for anyone who’s looking for a less eye-watering snack, and it would be glorious on a bagel.
Check out NuCulture’s website to learn more and to find recipes. We look forward to trying (once we can find them!) the other two cashew spreads soon!
We were delighted to discover two NuCulture cashew spreads at our local food co-op (stay tuned for the review of the Garden Herbs variety).
NuCulture has four plant-based spreads (including a dessert flavor, pumpkin spice), and all are vegan as well as gluten- and soy-free. The Bacony Chipotle is slightly bacony and incredibly spicy (in a great way).
We enjoyed this spread on crackers and fresh bread, and it would also be delicious on a baked potato or as a dip for french fries … it’s light and creamy in texture and would be incredibly versatile on just about anything you wanted to add a bit of spice to (or make that a lot of spice).
NuCulture offers recipes on its website, and we also discovered that this variety, combined with the Garden Herbs flavor, created a wonderful cool-hot sensation (but that’s as far as we went, recipe-wise). Stay tuned for our next review…
As ever, Miyoko’s Creamery is always trying new and amazing things. We were thrilled to see a new cream cheese available, and we ordered it right away. (It’s not currently on the Miyoko’s website, but join the mailing list to be notified of new cheeses!)
The cream cheese doesn’t have the smooth texture that others (such as Daiya) have, and it’s also quite sweet.
There’s a very pleasant nutty flavor, but there is also slightly chalky aftertaste. As one taster pointed out, “It doesn’t finish well.” In the end, we were split on the bagel factor, with half of us finding this new cream cheese lovely on bagels and the other half not so much.
In the interest of further research (this is all for science, people), we decided to see how it would work in a recipe. The good news here is that it’s brilliant. Behold this double-layer, peanut butter-chocolate cheesecake (all vegan, naturally).
This cheesecake turned out to be quite delicious — though keep in mind that this was a no-bake recipe, so we haven’t yet tried baking with this new Miyoko’s cream cheese. Still, given the success of this recipe, we’ll likely give it a try soon.
Most of all, you should give this new cream cheese a try yourself soon, and see what you think.
In our continuing ice-cream coverage during this sweltering summer…Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate Bars.
This coconut-milk ice cream bar is as delicious as the dark chocolate ice cream that comes by the pint from Coconut Bliss — but of course, in the summer it’s fun to eat ice cream on a stick.
And these bars feel a little lighter and fluffier than the amazing dense chocolate of the dark chocolate pints … which, again, is perfect for summer.
The chocolate is rich and creamy and flavorful … we can’t think of a better way to beat the heat. In fact, we’d enjoy them even in winter.
We hope to try out every Coconut Bliss bar flavor before summer’s end, but in case we don’t, you can check them out here. Flavors include naked coconut, strawberry, latte, and coconut almond in chocolate. And you can see our review of the Salted Caramel in Chocolate here.
Since we are still in a heat wave, we sampled Nada Moo! coconut-milk ice cream, which came highly recommended by a fellow sweet tooth who says she’s never met a Nada Moo flavor she didn’t like.
After tasting Nada Moo’s Cookies & Creme, we feel quite certain that we’d agree about all the other flavors.
Cookies & Creme is amazing: rich, creamy, with a strong vanilla flavor and plenty of crunchy chocolate cookies.
The texture is lighter and fluffier in texture than Coconut Bliss (which isn’t better or worse, just different), and, like Coconut Bliss, the ice cream is made with organic coconut milk.
We are very much looking forward to enduring the heat wave with more Nada Moo. Other flavors include Chocolate Cherry Fudge Brownie, Pistachio Nut, Vanilla Cha-Cha-Chai, Sweet Cherry Lime, and Maple Pecan. Yum.
So, Coconut Bliss is not exactly cheese, but it’s in the triple digits here this week, and so we are eating much vegan ice cream. And we feel it’s our duty to inform you of the deliciousness of these coconut-milk ice-cream bars.
Already huge fans of Coconut Bliss ice cream by the pint (which are available in flavors including Chocolate Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge, Mint Galactica, Mocha Maca Crunch, and Ginger Cookie Caramel, among others), we could not resist trying out the bars.
The bars are not as large as they look on the package (are they ever?), but they are a good size and very satisfying.
The Salted Caramel coconut-milk ice-cream is sublime by the pint, and it is only more delicious wrapped in chocolate and delivered on a stick.
I couldn’t possibly recommend this more … it’s the perfect summer treat. Stay tuned as we sample other varieties…
While traveling this summer, we were able to find Kite Hill in local groceries, and we found a product we haven’t yet tried — its almond milk yogurts. (While this is officially a cheese-tasting blog, we’ve clearly been expanding to include all non-dairy vegan products — it’s a tough job, but we are here for you.)
We sampled the Kite Hill strawberry yogurt, which was smooth and creamy, and a tiny bit tangy (a good thing for this flavor).
The texture is nice and light — and super smooth! — and it has none of the chalkiness of some vegan yogurts. It’s perfect for eating plain, with museli or cereal, and for using in smoothies.
We look forward to trying the other flavors and hope we can soon find them locally!