A writer's got to eat, right? Being vegan makes it a little harder, sometimes, and my Holy Grail has always been to try and find a vegan cheese that doesn't taste like wallpaper paste, that doesn't feel like rubber in your mouth, and that doesn't look like silly putty. How could I possibly live without cheese? Author Bill Roorbach (The Remedy for Love, Life Among Giants) has told me it is possible to find great nut cheeses, but I remained doubtful.
And then I tasted Kite Hill.
It's a nut based cheese, and all of their cheeses really have very little ingredients--almonds, enzymes, salt. That's it. One of the co-founders, Tal Ronnen, prepared meals for Oprah and catered Ellen Degeneres' wedding, too. Monte Casino, the other founder, worked at Le Cordon Bleu in Boston where he taught artisan cheese-making, bread baking, and molecular gastronomy, and Dr. Patrick Brown is a biochemist, which being a science nut, impresses me most of all.
I first saw their Soft Fresh Original Cheese at Whole Foods and bought it, and it was amazing. It looked like Brie, complete with that wonderful crust. It tasted like Brie! It had the Brie mouth-feel to it! I was so astonished that I wrote the company to ask if I could write about their products. (I am brave and highly excitable.) They sent me out a delicious care package and Jeff and I had some bread, cheese and fruit this afternoon, test-tasting the cream cheese (It tastes, looks and spreads like cream cheese), the chive cream cheese, the soft fresh truffle dill and chive. All of them were incredibly delicious! And beautiful! A friend of mine has told me that sometimes, when she's hungry, she simply puts raspberries on their ricotta. Food and Wine Magazine has called Kite Hill, "Genius and Delicious." And they're right.
So, if you don't want to eat animal products, or you just want to cut down on dairy, these artisan nut-based cheeses are really to die for.
Now if I can just find a non-dairy ice cream that doesn't taste like frozen glue....