Friday, January 02, 2015

Celebrating Vegan Cheese - A Review of Field Roast's Chao Cheese

Field Roast's Chao Cheese
for New Years!
Hello to all of you - my few, faithful readers who have stuck around even without anything new to read! Yes, indeed, it HAS been awhile since my last post and again, I have a host of excuses, but I'll skip all that and get straight to the point here.

Happy New Year. Now, go celebrate!
(We celebrated New Mexico style, with 'beef-and-cheese' tamales and green chile stew! And a cheese plate or two...)
Celebrate all the wonderful options that we vegans (or aspiring, curious, wanna-be, might-be, almost, half-way or never-gonna-be) vegan folks have! So many great choices that weren't around twenty (ahem) or more years ago...
One of those options? ....cheese.
I cannot count the times people have said "I could go vegan EXCEPT FOR THE CHEESE".
"I could never give up cheese"
"I love cheese too much"

I've heard (and said) all those things. And I won't preach at anyone about how easy it is, or how the baby calves will thank you or how realistic vegan "cheeze" is.
It ISN'T easy. And honestly? Up 'till now, with few exceptions, vegan cheese really hasn't been good, or realistic or tasty or melty or worth celebrating.

Up 'till now.
In the last few months, the world of vegan cheese has had a couple game-changers. And the fabulous folks at Field Roast have created one of them. Chao Cheese Slices!!
Yes, I know I'm late to the cheese party. Everyone else in the blog-o-sphere has already reviewed and raved about this stuff. And their reviews would be accurate -  it IS THAT GOOD.
But, for 85% of the vegans out there, it was also unaccessable, being exclusively available at Whole Foods Markets.
I don't live anywhere near Whole Foods. a lot of you don't. A lot of vegan food bloggers do, however, so while they sang the praises of Field Roast's new cheese, the rest of the U.S. vegans (sorry, I know it's not available to a lot of my Canadian friends either!) had to sit and drool.

Grilled Chao, Pesto and
Heirloom Tomato Sammy
I was extremely lucky, in that I got an advance, sneak-preview straight from the factory, before the other bloggers got it, before people were drooling, before it hit store shelves. And it IS the best, tasty, melty, tangy, cheesy vegan cheese ever, EVER!
I made sandwiches.
I topped burgers.
I ate it plain with crackers.
I melted it on nachos.
I made burritos and mac-n-cheese. But after that precious package was gone, sadly, no more Chao for me. Unless I wanted to drive forever-and-a-day to Whole Foods...

Chipotle and Cheese Tamales
That's why I waited to post my review now, at the first of January. To renew interest, excitement and drooling in those of you NOT near a Whole Foods Market... Because, as of January first, YOU TOO  can get this wonderful stuff!

Field Roast's "Chao Cheese" is now available at places (in the U.S.) OTHER than Whole Foods!!!!!
 Yes, you may have to march into your favorite store and request that they stock it. Yes, you still may have to wait a few weeks. Yes, you may have to check again, and REMIND your corner grocery store to get the stuff pronto!! But it's out there, and no longer exclusive to Whole Foods and could be coming to a store near you!
New Mexico-style New Year's:
Field Roast Chipotle Sausage
and Chao Cheese Tamales!

And for those of you needing more IDEAS for this amazing stuff? (Really? You need ideas?) let me just say, our New Year's Eve chipotle-and-cheese tamales (recipe here) were completely amazing, devoured by everyone; meat eaters, cheese-lovers, New Mexico tamale-eating natives, and happy, celebrating vegans alike. Go.
Make some now.
And Happy New Year!


Monica said...

I love your blog, so I'm always happy to see a post from you. Thanks for reviewing Chao Cheese. I hadn't seen this yet, and I can't wait to try it. I really miss having grilled cheese sandwiches ;-)

kimbalaya said...

We love chao! The herb & black pepper makes an amazing grilled cheese sandwich. And I've been getting it at Grocery Outlet for $1.99 lately!