Chambers Lane pâté review! (amazing new vegan cheese alert!) »
Since Laura and I moved to the East Bay, we’ve been unable to get to Rainbow Grocery as often as we used to. Last time we were there, we um, went a little overboard. We came away with four new cheeses and cheese spreads that we had never seen before. Of these, the Chambers Lane Truffled Cashew pâté was far and away the favorite, even above the much pricier Punk Rawk Labs cheese.
So when the people of Chambers Lane contacted us to see if we were interested in trying their other flavors, of course we said yes.
All together, there are three flavors. The first we had tried was Truffled Cashew. They also have Fig Balsamic Walnut Cashew and Rosemary Thyme Almond. These are also quite good.
The Fig Balsamic is sweet, tart, and rich-tasting, with hints of spice, it definitely has a wonderful complex flavor.
The Rosemary Thyme, on the other hand, is savory, but with a milder herbed taste. It’s almond-based, so it’s not quite as creamy as the other two, but is still pleasantly nutty.
But the first one we had tried probably still remains the favorite. With its rich, decadent truffle oil and creamy cashew texture, it really is something special. We started out by eating it on crackers like fancy folks, but then polite affectations went out the window, and we finished by sticking our fingers directly into the jar to get every last bit.
In addition to being available at Rainbow Grocery, you can also find Chambers Lane pâtés at Country Cheese Coffee Market and Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, Woodlands Market in Kentfield, and Draeger’s in Menlo Park, Danville, and San Mateo.
Let’s hope they get into even more stores soon, because this stuff is the GREATEST. Insanely delicious vegan cheese for all!
S.F. Bay Area: VEGAN AND WINE CHEESE PARTY! »
Chef Miyoko Schinner, the madwoman behind the genius new Artisan Vegan Cheese cook book, is throwing a delicious party to celebrate her own awesomeness! If I were her, I’d be doing the same damn thing because SHE IS AWESOME. She’s revolutionized vegan cheese, teaching us how to make mozzarella and a million other ridiculously tasty vegan cheeses. OH HOLY MOTHER! We’re all about vegan cheese, we’re all about Miyoko Schinner, and so, uh, yeah, we are gonna be at this party EATING ERRYTHING. ALL OF IT.
So uh, fight you for it? Like, with knives. Cheese knives, but still. Seriously, dairy cheese can suck my dong, this is where it is AT.
Saturday, Oct. 20, 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $10, go get ‘em at Brown Paper Tickets.
You’ll enjoy a speech from Miyoko, sample her gourmet cheeses (sexy?), and sip on tasty organic wines. GIRL. It’s a vegan wine and cheese party! Let’s get at it and get into it and put our stuff all up in its stuff, it’s gonna be HOT.
Product Review: Regal Vegan’s Basilcotta! »
As I announced on Twitter last night, look what I came upon at Union Market last night! Basilcotta: Regal Vegan’s basil cashew ricotta-style spread. You know I’m obsessed with their Faux Gras so I had to buy this immediately.
My official verdict: very yummy! It’s not as amazing and addictive as the Faux Gras, but really, what is? “Basilcotta” is pretty much the perfect name—that’s what it tastes like: ricotta mixed with basil. I just ate it on bread and it was creamy and good. I would love to have it in some pasta shells! I will try to get it together to do that and let you know how it turns out. Maybe I can mail some to Jenny and make her do it for us!
It’s not on their site yet but hopefully it will be soon and then hopefully you’ll be able to order it like you can the Faux Gras. Does anyone on the west coast carry Regal Vegan? They need to!
I think I will actually have to get it together to try this one. I do love a cheese board! Then again, I could just use Punk Rawk Lab cheese. But then I wouldn’t have the satisfaction one gets from making fake cheese! I imagine it’s grand. And not unlike the satisfaction that comes from getting to the bus stop JUST as your bus pulls up. When I was little, my friend told me that means you did everything right all day.
It’s at-home tofu misozuke from Recipe Renovator! Laura found this and flipped, naturally, as she is all about tofu misozuke. She says, “If you can’t buy this delicious stuff, try making it yourself and feel like the artisanal kitchen wizard that you are! Because that that stuff is so tasty, it definitely involves the dark arts BURN WITCH BURN!”
Here’s my promise to you Vegansaurs: I’m totally gonna make this! And report back! Because I have no particular kitchen skills (just the worst at following recipes) except my TOTAL FEARLESSNESS. Let’s do this! We’ll be rolling in tofu misozuke by October. Guess my trick-or-treaters will be getting vegan cheese in their pillowcases this year!
Jeez louise! Olives for Dinner is killing it lately. And these vegan mozzarella, basil, and cherry tomato skewers certainly do not disappoint. How cute are they? Like, not even cute, more like “elegant.” These make me want to have a classy party! And be like, “la di da! I’m fancy!” Because, if you haven’t noticed, I’m hella fancy.
Product Review: Nutty Cow Vegan Ricotta! »
Now, I don’t know what’s on the market these days in terms of vegan ricotta, but it doesn’t matter. I just tried Nutty Cow’s ricotta, and it’s all that exists to me.
I hate to admit this, but I really wasn’t sure what to expect when Carla of Nutty Cow approached us to sample this product. Vegan cheeses are sometimes great, but most of the time, kind of weird. However, I could tell I was going to like their cheese when it arrived in the mail just by the packaging—the logo is so well done!
Being hungry and impatient, I opened one of the three containers immediately and ate it with crackers.
I realized then that this wasn’t just any vegan cheese product. It was special. And though it’s made with nuts, the texture is so soft and creamy! I knew I’d have to hold back on the remaining two packages and make something incredible.
Carla suggested I make lasagna, which is a dish I haven’t made in 10 years! I was like, “all right,” but really I was just going to lazily spread it over Whole Foods spinach Florentine raviolis. Then I got inspired to fill large pasta shells with the cheese and bake it with my winning combo of spinach, mushrooms, garlic and caramelized onions. Fate was on Carla’s side, as I couldn’t find the shells I wanted at the store. Lasagna it was gonna be.
Boy, am I glad I made lasagna.
Nutty Cow Ricotta made this lasagna. I should not have indulged in cheese and crackers earlier in the week so that I could have topped my dinner with the ricotta—or at least added another layer to the lasagna! Oh, well. The ricotta was so creamy and delicious! My roommates and I loved it, one of my roommates being a new vegetarian and the other an omnivore. It’s awesome when my omni friends and family like vegan products as much as I do.
"Where can I get this Nutty Cheese?" you ask? Carla says, "We are so excited to be launching next month (fingers crossed), September at the latest. It will be available at Veganessentials.com [a Vegansaurus supporter!] and several stores in the Midwest (so far). We will be announcing stores as it becomes ‘official’ in the next few weeks on our FB page and have been encouraging everyone to ‘like’ us or at least check in on the page to see where we will be available. Also, we will be at Expo East in September in Baltimore and hope to have wider distribution after the show.” So there you have it!
*I find that the attention to detail in the artwork usually means a superior (albeit sometimes more expensive) product. This is not always true, and graphic designers DO NOT COME CHEAP.
Product Review: Nutty Cow Nut Cheese »
Hey guys! There’s a new nut cheese on the market! Nutty Cow sent me samples of their nut cheeses and now I will tell you about them. My verdict: pretty good. It’s not Punk Rawk Labs but what is? Just Punk Rawk Labs. But this is more of a shmear than a cheese-cheese.
OK, I tried the garlic and herb on some wheat-thin-like crackers, it was very good. But I think it’s more of a bagel spread. Definitely a good cream cheese alternative! It’s nice and tangy like cream cheese should be. And the herbs are yum. And the herbs are plentiful, which I like.
I tried the maple pecan on an english muffin and it wasn’t sweet like I was expecting. Tangy, but maple-y and pecan-y. I recommend it on a bagel again. What kind of bagel would you put it on? I’m thinking cinnamon raisin!
Now, I haven’t had the chance to try the ricotta yet but they have some awesome looking recipes on their site. I’ve heard the Tofutti ricotta is not so good so I’m pretty curious about this one. If anyone gets a chance to try it, let me know what you think.
I couldn’t find the ingredients on their site so here they are because I know you guys like that kind of thing:
Non-GMO Soybeans, Filtered Water, Raw Cashews, Lemon Juice, Expeller-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grade A Maple Syrup, Fresh Basil, Salt, Natural Nigari (seawater extract), Cultured Dextrose (vegan)
Non-GMO Soybeans, Filtered Water, Onions, Raw Cashews, Sulfite-Free Balsamic Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Expeller-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grade A Maple Syrup, Salt, Garlic, Fresh Basil, Natural Nigari (seawater extract), Cultured Dextrose (vegan), Spices
Non-GMO Soybeans, Filtered Water, Raw Cashews, Grade A Maple Syrup, Raw Pecans, Lemon Juice, Expeller-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fresh Basil, Salt, Natural Nigari (seawater extract), Cultured Dextrose (vegan), Spices
Nutty Cow informs me that they will be making their way to stores in a month or so. You can follow them on Facebook to find out where!
Product review: Galaxy Nutritional Foods’ new vegan mozzarella shreds! »
They aren’t just dairy-free, they’re soy-, gluten- and preservative-free, plus they’re non-GMO. The color is not white, like dairy mozzarella; it’s a bit orange. But it smells like mozzarella, and as you can see from the picture above, it totally melts. Like, super-melts—it bubbles and stuff! Very nice consistency. As for flavor, survey says: yum! It’s good! I can’t really deal with Daiya mozzarella anymore so I’ve been off the English muffin pizzas. But now I’m back, baby!
They also sent me the Mexican shreds, so stay tuned, I should have a review later in the week. I’m thinking quesadillas? The mozzarella is so melty, I have high hopes for the Mexican shreds. Maybe quesadillas AND nachos?! Who can say? It’s my world!
As for where you can find these shreds, it’s limited:
They say you should encourage your local store to start carrying them, and you should, because this stuff is hella melty and a great alternative if you aren’t into Daiya. I’m excited for nachos!
NPR wants to “crack the code” of vegan cheese analogs! »
Rachel Estabrook at NPR’s The Salt blog gets into the science of vegan cheese analogs, and poses some interesting questions. Why are we so obsessed with making some vegan cheeses behave exactly like casein-ful animal’s milk cheese? How are food scientists working on replicating this “hold onto itself and then lightly let go and then hold onto itself” action that makes dairy cheese melt? Which company has been the most successful so far, and who else is trying?
That answer is illustrated by this photo of Easy Vegan Info’s mac & cheese pizza with Daiya (here’s her recipe, I know what you really want). Yes, according to vegan cheese code-crackers, Daiya makes the best meltable vegan cheese on the market. Being a hardcore Follow Your Heart fan, I take issue with this assertion as nonsense, but also Daiya is a total gutbomb for me and I don’t eat it.* To each her own!
Maybe this new line of shredded vegan cheeses from Galaxy Natural Foods will be the melting vegan cheese that unites us on such a divisive subject. Has anyone tried it yet? It was supposed to be out in April and it’s already May! Give us our new toy, already.
If you want to discuss your most beloved/despised vegan cheeses here, please feel free. Category is: It melts!
*OK I might make an exception for this beauty.
[photo by Kelly Garbato via Flickr]