Over the years Jane and I have worked our way through a variety of vegan cheeses. While we've been enthusiastic about many of them initially, over time we've come to eschew eating vegan cheese as a whole. Ultimately, vegan cheese just doesn't work for us and the most basic reason is that it is NOT cheese; the consistency, the mouth-feel, the aftertaste simply do not compare to the real cheese which exists in both our memories. Consequently, none of the products we had previously tried have remained on our shopping list.
Recently, we were asked to sample Miyoko's Creamery cheeses in exchange for a review. We agreed, but were not expecting to be wowed, despite other bloggers reviews. Can I just say, “OMG!” This could be real cheese, or at least what we recall real cheese to be. It's edible on it's own – meaning you can serve it with wine and crackers and it tastes delicious! It is so good that even though there were recipe suggestions (and some of them sounded quite delicious), we ate the cheese on its own. We still haven't bothered to try to cook with it... not even a grilled cheese sandwich.
And, when our samples ran out, we bought more. As a matter of fact, as I am writing this post, Jane is purchasing some of Miyokos Creamery cheese right now!
We're fortunate to live in Los Angeles where we can find Miyoko's Creamery cheeses in a variety of stores. You can look on their website for a list of stores that sell the cheeses.The vast majority of stores that sell their products are on the west coast:
If you're interested in trying them out yourself and don't live in a distribution zone, you can always order their products online. However, I would not order the Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf over the summer. Ours arrived moldy, so we tossed it. Jane was bummed about that as the aroma of the cheese appealed to her more than any of the others, and none of our local stores are carrying that particular variety.
Our two favorites were the Aged English Sharp Cheddar and the Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, they reminded us of a cheddar and a smoked Gouda. But in reality, we enjoyed most all of the cheeses. The only one we didn't care for was the Country Style Herbes de Provence; neither us cared for the lavender/spice blend that coated the cheese. So we cut it away, and voila... a cheese which appealed to our palettes. Also, we didn't much care for the ash on the Mt. Vesuvious Black Ash, it left our fingers and mouths black and ashy, and, in our opinions, didn't add to the cheese at all, so we wound up cutting that away too; however, the base cheese was quite yummy. Miyoko's Creamery cheeses are now a staple in our home.
Checking their website, I see that in September, they will be in Toronto and Los Angeles at upcoming festivals and on a vegan cruise to Alaska. Vegan cruise?! Sounds appealing. We went on a cruise to Alaska many years ago; pre-vegan. Having never been on a cruise before that, I anticipated lots and lots of incredible food. Instead, we found lots and lots of rather ordinary, average, okay, sub-par food. We laughed and thought, "we're the only ones that lost weight on a cruise." Now a vegan cruise... that sounds interesting, but there's too much going on this year. Maybe next year... Knowing that there's a vegan cruise with culinary providers like Miyoko's Kitchen will keep us interested.
For now, we'll just happily head over to one of our local stores that carries Miyoko's cheese and enjoy!