In front of me is a board with three cuts of something that looks sort of like cheese. However, I shouldn’t compare it to cheese. It’s a product in its own right. Yet for lack of a better term, it’s called nut cheese.
Bare Food‘s founders, Edoardo and Taksina, are vocal about their love for dairy cheese and stress that they are not trying to make a vegan substitute for regular cheese. They merely try to create a tasty product. A product they believe in.
The look and feel of their nut cheese come close to that of a semi-soft cheese. It’s pale in color with a darker rind. It has small air pockets and a bouncy, almost spreadable texture.
The appearance of the cheese belies its intense flavor. Tangy, salty with plenty of funk. I try three samples. One cheese is pure cashew, another one flavored with white truffle oil, and one flavored with mixed herbs. All of them have the same base flavor, while character is added by using herbs or truffle oil. I am not a big fan of truffle oil in general yet found the mixed herbs and pure cashew cheeses to be delicious. They produce a broad range of flavors apart from the ones mentioned here. Pesto, porcini and black miso and beetroots are some of them.
Bare Food’s nut cheeses are made out of cashew nut, water, and salt. No additives are added except for natural flavor elements. They use cashew because it’s grown locally, which makes it more sustainable, an important factor for Edoardo and Taksina. The cashew nuts are ground and made into a paste, which they ferment for two to three weeks. The nut cheeses, when refrigerated, keep indefinitely but will become harder with age as well as more intense in flavor. Since they are naturally fermented, their nut cheeses are a living product, full of beneficial probiotics.
Bare Food’s nut cheeses are great on their own but would pair well with wine or beer. They can be used in salads or even in warm dishes although they do not melt like dairy cheese does. The delectable nut cheeses are available at About Eatery, Broccoli Revolution, and Radiance Wholefoods if you’d like to try. If you like cheese and bold flavors, I’d say it’s a must.
More information can be found on Bare Food’s Facebook page.