Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sheesh, is that Cheese? Part 2

I went to Deep Roots Market recently and grabbed a bunch of to-dos to make a sandwich. An unexpected lunch buy but good because I could use the groceries for more than a day though, of course, the Rice Dream mocha pie was eaten up ASAP. And I mean ASAP. I mean, can I get Rice Dreams ice cream bars and pies in packs of, oh, about 500? Thanks. Check out the grocery bag items below. All vegan, all tasty. All new to me (except the Rice Dream, of course) and pretty exciting!

Totally Nuts Cashew Cheese


I was sort of on a let's-try-something-new roll when I ran into Deep Roots for some lunch and I grabbed this cashew cheese with a what-the-hell kind of attitude. Thank goodness for that!

I know cashews are used for...um...dairy-ish purposes? From some recipes I've skimmed, it seems to be a good ingredient for creamy, full-flavored consistencies. I heard of almond cheeses but I wasn't sure of any other nut cheeses. I never tried almond cheese (and anyways, the one I just checked at Earth Fare wasn't vegan) and there was even a Totally Nuts vegan almond "ricotta" cheese. But, I don't like ricotta cheese on the regs so I didn't want to try the vegan version. Go figure!

So! This stuff was great! I kept on saying that I didn't know what pimento cheese was like since I never had it, but that this stuff reminded me of it. Mostly because it was bright orange. I still am not sure about pimento cheese but that isn't quite the priority. The thing is...this could totally be sold as not a cheese substitute. The dairy industry was whining about using the word "milk" for non-dairy products or...gasp!...fakes! but I figure that there is some general noun-age and verb-age for works like "milk" so let's use English to it's fullest extent, mmkay? Ok, calling something "cheese" may be stretching it but again, check out this article for some great points on the name-game.

This cashew cheese could be called a dip, spread, or something to that effect and I feel like those omnivorious-licious folks wouldn't shrug it off or act like "vegan" were a dirty word. I would even think that some people would think it's exotic (and probably expensive). A cashew dip? That'd be a great addition to next week's dinner party crudites!

Aaaanyways, the flavor. Well, the "cheese" is full of flavor and kind of tastes like cheese. I was shocked by it's tastiness when I first ate it, but I am not sure if it's because I thought it tasted like cheese or because I just thought it tasted great. Obviously it doesn't have the texture of most yellow/orange cheeses that I assume most people think of. It's all about the flavor here. If I were to serve it to non-vegans, I wouldn't refer to it as a "cheese". I'd just let it be.

I am not sure how I'd sub it for regular cheese, but I did use it one on side of my sandwich with the vegan chicken salad and it tasted great!

This product is local, too. It's made in Brown(s?) Summit, near Greensboro. I haven't found any info on it online, but the producer's contact info IS on the package...well, hello there, neighbor...

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