Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Holy S***, Cheese!"


As a French girl, I've had cheese coursing through my veins since the day I was born. Brie, Camembert, Boursin, Gorgonzola, Norwegian Jarslberg (actually my favourite), Gruyere, Emmental, you name it! As a joke (or not, I'm still not quite sure), when my sister and I were growing up, my dad made sure his girls had an appreciation for the finer things in life by making us take blindfolded taste tests to learn to recognize the difference between our cheese (to most people, French cheeses are often all white cheese with some form of crust). I so loved that game.

When I went vegan, Jarlsberg and baked brie might have been two of the things I pined for on occasion. Vegan cheeses just didn't cut it, they tasted more like the processed plastic-wrapped stuff I didn't even eat when I was an omnivore. When I went raw, I can't say I ever had a huge fancy for raw nut cheeses. Enter: Meredith's Fermented Nut Cheese.

I think Andrew's response when I put a spatula of it in his mouth pretty much sums it up: "Holy Sh**! Cheese!" And yes, cheese it was. It tasted quite like goat cheese, if not, it reminded me exactly of another one of my favourite's: Boursin, a soft wonderful French version of cream cheese. I tried to simulate two of my favourites: the cracked pepper kind, and the herb kind.

I have to say, I was really reticent to try this recipe at first. Fermented and/or yeast-related foods and I have had quite a rocky relationship since I began cooking. The extent of my fermented recipe successes were twofold:
1) 'feeding' the starter of Amish Friendship Bread that my sister and I got in high school once (and then got again, and again, and again... if you've ever received any, you know that it becomes a non-stop cycle).
2) For Easter a few years ago, I had enough courage to try an Italian Easter Bread of marzipan goodness (which was EXCELLENT, by the way) and that is made over 24 hours.
So the thought of mixing wet cashews with probiotics that I had never used before and keeping them in a warm dry place in cheesecloth gave me visions of bacteria infestation, my causing the household to get food poisoning, and other equally dramatic consequences. Little did I know!

I definitely plan on making more of this cheese (and actually attempt to introduce it to my dad), next time trying the chive boursin and a 'real' cracked pepper version (as opposed to just ground). Oh, cheese, how I've missed you!

P.S. Check out Averie's awesome Cuisinart food processor giveaway! Perfect timing since mine just died :(

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