I’ve wanted to try Miyoko’s Kitchen from the moment I heard about it, as I’ve been an ardent admirer of Miyoko Schinner and her cook books for several years now and I knew that it had to be good. The moment they arrived, it felt like Christmas. I wanted to sample them right away but I would not open them until I had a few goodies to plate them with. These were fancy vegan cheeses, after all, and they deserved a little class! The pictures I’ve featured in this post are from the first night my friends and I tasted a little of each cheese paired with vegan meats from Field Roast along with olives, almonds, fruit and wine. I also used the cheese as an ingredient in several dishes I made that same week. I was surprised at how long one wheel will last you as they are quite decadent on their own. The cheeses featured here are High Sierra Rustic Alpine, Aged English Sharp Farmhouse, Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf, Double Cream Garlic Herb, French Style Winter Truffle, and Double Cream Sun-dried Tomato Garlic.
I served the cheeses slightly chilled, but kept them out of the fridge for about ten minutes to let them soften a bit. This made them easier to cut and spread. When first digging in, I went straight for the creamy cheeses first. Double Cream Garlic on a crostini was simple and delicious. Later paired as a spread with bruschetta, and as a base for a creamy pasta sauce; this creamy cheese is slightly tart like goat cheese and has strong flavors of the garlic and herbs. The texture was creamy and melted in my mouth. You can’t help but notice the slight flavor of miso, as it seems to be one of the main ingredients of Miyoko’s Kitchen cheese, but it wasn’t so much that it bothered me and had I not known it was in there I may have not really even recognized it. Next, I tried the French Winter Truffle and this flavor was definitely one of, if not the most favorite from the bunch. The truffle flavor was pronounced, yet mellow. The flavors of the woody mushroom paired so well with the buttery undertones of the cheese. It also paired AMAZINGLY well with Field Roast’s Wild Mushroom Deli Slices. Just saying. The beginning of a true and epic fancy vegan sandwich, right here.
When I got to the High Sierra Rustic Alpine and Aged English Sharp Farmhouse, I must admit I was put off by very strong flavors of the chickpea miso used in these cheeses. In these two semi-hard cheeses, it was quite over powering. Not like the soft cheeses at all, where the flavor of miso was but a hint among the others. I like miso very much, but I’m not sure I like it in nut cheese. The texture was also somewhat gummy rather than creamy, and also very miso-like in appearance once cut. I wondered if they needed to be absolutely chilled for serving, so I tested this theory. While it did seem to improve texture, it did not improve taste much. The High Sierra Rustic Alpine was also extremely smokey, which I don’t often complain about, but something about the miso and smoke flavors didn’t seem to combine well in my opinion. It is worth noting, though, that one of my best friends completely loved it. I ended up giving her the whole wheel, while I used the Aged English Sharp Farmhouse throughout the week as a garnish to many dishes. It was nice to cook with as it added a strong cheddar-like flavor to sauces and tofu scrambles. I probably would not purchase these again, though, and wouldn’t recommend them to a possible new comer to vegan cheese.
Next I tried the Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf, which also ended up being a big favorite of mine out of the bunch. The wine soaked grape leaves imparted a subtle depth within the lively taste that was reminiscent of goat cheese. It’s tart, yet well rounded in it’s flavors and incredibly creamy. This cheese is amazing with fruit, and it was so delicious when added to fresh and fruity spinach salads topped with nuts like pecans or almonds. Try it with pears, too! I ate this with most of the leaf taken off, but it is completely edible if you wish to eat it all.
The Double Cream Sun-dried Tomato Garlic was really pleasant, too. Paired great with the Field Roast’s Smoked Tomato slices that were featured in our cheese spread, which really taste like giant pepperoni slices. I had fun experimenting with this cheese by adding it to pastas, Italian style sandwiches and it even made a great pizza base.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience with Miyoko’s Kitchen and I’m really happy with where vegan cheese is going. I would definitely purchase the creamy soft cheeses again and would highly recommend them to anyone. I’d like to see the hard cheeses made with more nuts and less miso, though. Until the next cheese tasting, my kind gourmets!