by Chun Valencia
I have a confession to make: I’m a cheese addict. Bordering on obsession. And yes, I need help.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been baking vegan desserts for quite some time now. As a food geek, I enjoy discovering all those amazing alternative ingredients.
The first time I baked my own vegan muffins, I was giddy like a little girl. It’s the same feeling I had when I first learned how to ride a bike. Talk about nostalgia!
Wait, back to baking substitutes.
For instance, I’d use “flegg” instead of whole eggs. I simply mix 1 tablespoon of flax meal with 3 tablespoons of hot water to replace 1 egg. At times, on certain recipes, I’d use pureed dates as a butter substitute. What’s nice is that the dates even act as a sweetener too.
Baking vegan, for me, is indeed a delightful journey. But I have a dilemma.
The Dilemma: My Cheese Addiction
But there’s one thing that really bothers me: my cheese addiction. How in the world will I live without this precious curd?
Oh, that smooth velvety Camembert that glides off my tongue. Tell me, how do I say goodbye with my beloved springy Mozzarella I’ve fallen madly in love with? Or my good old pals Gouda and Emmental who usually end up grated over my favorite baked dishes.
A lot of recipes for baked goods call for cheese and this leaves me stumped. Depending on the type of cheese, we know that it gives that rich umami flavor. Other cheeses are just awesome because of their melting qualities.
The Practical Solution: Vegan Cheese
Thank God some innovative food geniuses out there have found the way. Welcome to the growing world of vegan cheese!
A few years back, there wasn’t much choice out there. But now there’s hope for cheese addicts like me. Or perhaps you’re in the same boat too. Nowadays, you’ll find a wide selection of vegan cheese in specialty shops, hoping to still make your cheese-loving heart flutter.
I say let’s give the vegan cheese a chance. In the spirit of food geekery, let’s go further and discover ways to make our own awesome vegan cheese. It’s not only practical, but even challenges our creativity.
Listen, I heard that nuts play a crucial role in making vegan cheese. Guess I’ll begin befriending my cashews and almonds even more.
Cheese lovers unite!
You know, just the thought of this impending shift gives me jitters, but I think it’s my excitement getting the better of me. After all, I’m a person who embraces change with wide open arms.
And this cheese rendezvous is no exception.
Feature image by OneGreenPlanet.