Miyoko’s Sharp Cheddar-Style Cheese Sauce

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)

Here’s the thing about the very best Miyoko’s cheeses: You have to act fast. And when we learned that Miyoko’s had a new cheese sauce, we did just that. (It was then sold out for a while, and now it’s back! So…act fast.)

This Sharp Cheddar-Style Cheese Sauce is phenomenal. While many plant-based folks make homemade cheese sauce that is very good, I’m not among them, and, until recently, I had yet to find a truly incredible cheesy sauce that requires nothing more than pouring it over pasta to make a delicious meal.

But now, there’s this:

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As with other Miyoko’s cheeses, this ships in two days via FedEx, and it comes in smallish containers (one meal, basically, for no more than a pound of pasta, and less if you want it to be super cheesy).

IMG_4514Because it’s cashew-based, the ingredients separate a bit, so you have to give it a good stir, then heat it over the stove until it gets thick and creamy — about 10 minutes or so.

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The result is a beautiful, thick, cheesy sauce that is perfect for pasta shells. And, just for a little variety, we also tried it with macaroni, which was equally delicious.

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As many vegan cheese lovers know, consistency is among the toughest things to perfect when it comes to plant-based cheeses, but Miyoko’s nails it. And this sauce also has the sharp, cheddary flavor of any classic mac-and-cheese recipe.

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Don’t forget to ask your local retailers about carrying Miyoko’s cheeses … we are thrilled to see them in no fewer than four of our local stores, and counting, in many different flavors. But ordering online has its benefits, too — Mikoyo’s donates 1% of its online sales to an animal rights/vegan nonprofit.

 

 

 

Kite Hill Cream Cheese – 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)

Though I love Daiya’s cream cheese, when I saw Kite Hill‘s chive cream cheese at Whole Foods, I thought I’d give it a try.

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Wow. This cream cheese is even more amazing than Daiya’s. It’s creamier, and the chive flavor is far stronger and fresher.

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The reason the photo below is of a cracker rather than a bagel is because this cream cheese is rich and flavorful enough to serve on crackers (though of course we can’t wait to try it on bagels, too).

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If you can find it, check it out…and enjoy.

Kite Hill Brie

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 cheese is called “Artisan Almond Milk Product – Soft Ripened.”

In other words, it’s vegan brie. And it’s delicious.

IMG_1071This soft, creamy, melt-in-your mouth vegan cheese has the tangy, ripened flavor of real brie — as well as the texture. It has a sharp rind and a rich, creamy interior.

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I highly recommend this vegan cheese for any occasion in which a cheese plate is called for…I’ve tried it out on non-vegans who couldn’t believe how tasty it is. And, best of all, it’s cholesterol- and cruelty-free.

Enjoy!

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…

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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.

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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.

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

Miyoko’s Napa Valley in a Brandy-Cured Grape Leaf

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)

When we saw that Miyoko’s Kitchen was offering a Limited Edition cheese, in a brandy-cured leaf no less, we couldn’t resist.

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The Napa Valley in a Brandy-Cured Grape Leaf is, like so many Miyoko’s cheeses, a thing of beauty.

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This cheese soaked in a bit of the brandy it was wrapped in and has a hint of flavor and sweetness, and it otherwise has a lovely nutty, slightly smoky flavor.

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This soft, creamy cheese is rich and indulgent — and we highly recommend trying it while it’s available. It’s perfect for early summer feast with fresh bread or crackers.

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Miyoko’s Herbes de Provence

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 week’s tasting was Miyoko’s Country Style Herbes de Provence, a departure from the double cream cheeses we are so addicted to from Miyoko’s.

herbesLike everything shipped from Miyoko’s, this wheel came beautifully packaged.

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This cheese is covered with herbs (on the website, lovely purple specks of lavender are visible, though not on the cheese we received). Still, it’s no less appetizing — and the lavender flavor came through in every bite.

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This is a firmer cheese, very easily sliced — and if set out for a while, it’s highly spreadable. The bursts of flavors from the herbs (among them, lavender, rosemary, and thyme) blend well with the mellow, creamy texture and flavor of the cheese.

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This is another amazing cheese from Miyoko’s — we have yet to try one that it’s very near perfection. Enjoy!

AND — as if you need a reason to order Miyoko’s online — the company is now donating 1 percent of all online sales to nonprofits — for the month of may, the nonprofit is Friends of Animals. Learn more here.

Miyoko’s Double Cream 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)

There’s a lot to love about Miyoko‘s cheeses. (A brief aside: As the Miyoko’s Kitchen website points out, “Because our product isn’t made from dairy, in the state of California, we can’t call it cheese … we’ve decided simply to go with the flow, call our creations cultured nut products, and have fun with it! After all, we’re a team of cultured nuts ourselves.” Check out their About Us page; they truly are having fun with it.)

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We’ve now sampled several of Miyoko’s “cultured nut products,” and they are all spectacular. The Double Cream Chive, however, wins our first-place vote.

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This amazing vegan cheese is soft, creamy, incredibly flavorful, and all around just about perfect. (For anyone who may be wondering, this cheese is not only vegan but GMO-, soy-, and gluten-free.) In a word, it’s perfect.

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While so far, we’ve enjoyed this on crusty bread and crackers, it’s a versatile cheese that you can use in many other ways, such as on baked potatoes. Check out Miyoko’s blog for delicious recipes.

And come back soon for more reviews of Miyoko’s cheeses, aka cultured nut products.

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.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

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.

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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…)

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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.

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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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