Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Food Review: Parmela Creamery's Creamy Treenut Cheeses

Written by Sarah E. Jahier

There are tons of new artisinal vegan cheeses popping up, much to my delight (and to the delight of other vegans)! These vary from Daiya’s delicious and economical cheese spreads to the pricier Kite Hill, Treeline or Punk Rawk Lab cheeses. I hadn't really had the opportunity to try many of the artisinal cheeses, either due to high price or not being able to find them, but recently I discovered Parmela Creamery’s cashew-based cheeses! I found them at Whole Foods, and since they were only around $6 a tub, decided to splurge a little and have my own cheese and crackers party!

Parmela Creamery’s soft cashew cheeses are cultured from fresh cashews and coconut oil. They are spreadable cheeses, so they come in tubs much like cream cheese. They can be spread on crackers, toast, bagels, or whatever your heart desires, or added to dishes like lasagnas, pizzas, casseroles, etc. for a cruelty-free cheese substitute!

Right now, they are available in three flavors – Original, Black Pepper and Kalamata Olive. I picked up the Original flavor and the Black Pepper flavor (I didn't think I would like the Kalamata Olive flavor, so I skipped it), plus some water crackers. I made myself a small tray of the cheeses and crackers and dug in!

I tried the Black Pepper flavor first, and was a little surprised at just how strong it was. The peppercorns gave it a very spicy kick! While the strong flavors kinda turned me off at first, this flavor actually ended up growing on me and I quite enjoyed it! Along with the sharp pepper taste, the texture was creamy and the underlying “cheese” flavors were delicious. It’s really incredible to think that this amazingly smooth and creamy texture can come from treenuts and coconut oil!

Next, I tried the Original flavor, which was my favorite out of the two. Again, I was flabbergasted at how insanely delicious it was and really felt like it mimicked the traditional creaminess and tang of dairy cheese, but without all the cruelty and nastiness that comes along with dairy cheese (need a primer on the cruelty of the dairy industry? Read more HERE). The Original flavor was so smooth, creamy and flavorful that I had to restrain myself from eating the whole tub in one sitting!

I've already finished both tubs, but I can’t wait to go back and get more of this decadent deliciousness! Next time I may try using Parmela Creamery’s cheeses in a lasagna or maybe even host a vegan wine and cheese party!

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