Up until trying the cheese from Miyoko’s Kitchen, I had completely given up hope on the prospect of finding a good vegan cheese. Over the four years I have been vegan, I have tried so many different kinds, and although some are definitely okay/edible, none taste like cheese to me. Like many other people, giving up cheese was the hardest part of becoming vegan. It was definitely worth it, but I won’t lie…there were days where the thought of never having a grilled cheese sandwich again made me pretty depressed. When I heard I was going to have the opportunity to review Miyoko’s Kitchen products, I was both excited and nervous…would it live up to all of the amazing reviews I had heard? Would it taste like the cheese I remembered?
According to their website, Miyoko’s Kitchen began after Miyoko worked for years trying to recreate the cheeses she remembered, and then wanted to share them with everyone in the form of her cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese. People repeatedly asked her to make the cheese and sell it, so after partnering with Lisa Shanower, Miyoko’s Kitchen was born. Located in Marin County, Miyoko’s Kitchen plans on opening a retail store that will carry the cheeses, as well as other artisinal vegan products.
Because of the fact that their products can’t legally be called cheese in California since they don’t contain dairy (…really, California?), they refer to their products as cultured nut products. I, however, thought they tasted exactly like cheese (you know, but without all the pain and suffering of the dairy kind), so I am going to throw caution to the wind and call it cheese for the purposes of this review.
I loved the packaging, and was really excited to see the wide variety of different cheeses that were sent to me. I decided to review each individually, and had both my non-vegan husband and I taste them. He hates most vegan things I have him try, so I figured if Miyoko’s Kitchen cheese could win him over, it would be a miracle. We decided to try everything the same way at first, on plain sesame crackers that didn’t have much flavor on their own.
The first cheese I opened was the Classic Double Cream Chive. I took the first bite and almost cried. It was amazing. The texture was creamy and spreadable, and it went extremely well with the sesame crackers I was using. It was mild and tasted very similar to an garlic and herb spreadable cheese I used to love before becoming vegan…except the Miyoko’s Kitchen version was better. I had my husband taste it and he agreed; he loved it as well. This ended up being my favorite cheese that we tried. I ended up having it on some sourdough toast for breakfast, and it was awesome. Honestly…words can’t describe how much I loved this. I haven’t tried it yet, but I know that this would be amazing as a creamy sauce on pasta.
The next cheese I opened was the Aged English Smoked Farmhouse. It was a harder texture than the Classic Double Cream Chive, and sliced nicely. Immediately, I knew that it would be perfect in a grilled cheese, maybe with some thinly sliced apple slices and fig butter. It had a sharp, smoky flavor I always associated with smoked cheddar or smoked gouda. It was great when sliced and served on crackers. My husband really enjoyed this one too.
The next cheese I tried was the High Sierra Rustic Alpine. Like the Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, this was a harder cheese, made more for slicing than spreading. On Miyoko’s website, she recommended that this be paired with fruit, so I tried it with a pear I had in the house. Definitely a good choice. I loved this one. It was definitely milder than the Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, but still packed with flavor. My husband liked this, but preferred the more flavorful cheeses.
I then tried the one I was most excited about…Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash. This looked beautiful as a wedge served on a white platter; I know I will be buying this one again if I am planning to have a party, because the visual impact alone is awesome. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of taste, but I really liked it. It was creamy with a subtle tang. It tasted great on crackers, and like the High Sierra Rustic Alpine, the website recommended that it be paired with fruit. I had some red grapes on hand, and they went really well together. Again, my husband liked this one (especially the texture), but preferred the cheeses with stronger flavor.
The next cheese is the only one my husband refused to try, because he hates mushrooms (sad, I know). The French Style Winter Truffle was beautifully mushroomy, but not overwhelming like a lot of mushroom items and truffle items are. It tasted earthy and fresh, and was fantastic on crackers. There is a mushroom soup I make that this would be perfect in. My husband really missed out on this one.
The last cheese I tried was the Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic. This was my husband’s favorite. It was super flavorful and smooth. For some reason, even though it had a distinct garlic flavor, it reminded me (in a good way) of this pimento cheese my mom serves with veggies. I ended up adding a few good sized chunks to some sad pasta I was making for dinner one night, and it really made the dish a lot better!
If you’re jaded about the prospect of a vegan cheese that tastes like the real thing, please give Miyoko’s Kitchen a try. Something great is that their products are vegan, gluten free, and non-gmo. Visit their website and place an order today…you won’t regret it. A few notes on ordering…the minimum order is three cheeses, and the maximum order is ten. Items sell out quickly. Wheels range from $9.99-$11.99. When I first saw the prices I was hesitant because I have dropped so much money in search of great vegan cheeses, and I didn’t want to spend so much on a product I hadn’t tried. Now that I had the opportunity to review these amazing products, I am definitely going to become a regular customer! The cost is completely worth it, and reasonable considering how amazing these cheeses taste.
If you are interested in doing some cooking with your new, amazing vegan cheese, check out Miyoko’s Blog. It is filled with great vegan recipes.