Kite Hill: Vegan Cheese That'll Fool Your Omnivore Friends
Despite the marvelous advances food tech companies have made in the areas of chicken, beef, fish, and even egg substitutes, vegan cheese has been far from fooling anyone. Even the best of the faux dairy is still a pretty obvious reproduction, often tasting more like chewy soy chunks than the real deal.
All photos by Hannah Sentenac Some close-up cheese action.
Until now. Whole Foods and Lyrical Foods put their brains together to create Kite Hill, a cheese-making biz that concocts artisanal nut milk cheese using exactly the same process as animal milk cheese (only cruelty-free). This stuff is legit.
We were asked in for a tasting at the Whole Foods Coral Gables store, where associate specialty coordinator Kari Foley schooled us on all things Kite Hill.
Doppelganger cheese plate.
The products just hit Florida stores, so you can find 'em now at your fave branch. No digging them out of the refrigerator next to the Daiya though. Instead, they're on display in the specialty section, paired with other American artisanal cheeses.
The only difference between Kite Hill's four varieties and your standard handcrafted cheese is the milk. In this case, they're utilizing almond and macadamia milks rather than goat, cow, or sheep. While the majority of vegan cheeses currently on the market include a whole host of ingredients, Kite Hill has only four: nut milk, salt, enzymes and cultures.
It's just cheese, folks.
The folks behind these dairy-free products are the cream of the culinary crop. The team includes vegan celeb chef Tal Ronnen; Monte Casino, former artisan cheese-making instructor at Le Cordon Bleu; Jean Prevot, a leading cheese-making overseer previously with Laura Chenel Chèvre; and Dr. Pat Brown, a Stanford University biochemist.
The end result is a product that's closer to the real deal than anything I've ever tasted before.