It’s 3 p.m. and lunch is a distant memory, yet dinner is hours away. It’s officially the snacking hour, the time we turn to all manner of crunchy, salty, nutty, chocolaty sustenance to keep us satisfied until dinner. In this column we’ll feature the very best snacks you can buy online.
Vegan cheese has come a long way since its beginnings as a vaguely plastic-textured, synthetic-tasting nondairy workaround. But what it still often lacks—for all its impressive nutty, savory complexity—is tang. The mouth-puckering lactic acid bite that makes dairy-based cheese so beguiling just doesn't exist in nut cheeses for the most part, which tend to be more creamy and sweet.
Except, somehow, in Miyoko's Creamery's Roadhouse Chedda.
Miyoko’s Roadhouse Chedda delivers on the promise of a decidedly snackable vegan cheese. Most nondairy cheeses seem to try to emulate fancier, charcuterie-board worthy varieties—and an herb-pressed roll of organic cashew nut cheese alongside plump fresh figs has its place. But sometimes, I want to dunk a pretzel or celery stalk alongside some wings. Sometimes, I want a cheese that won’t object to being drizzled with Frank's RedHot sauce.
If you knew Velveeta or Rondelé growing up, you'll like the throwback flavor and texture of this “chedda” that you can spread on toast, crackers, or veggies. It emulates that tubbed, spreadable cheddar flavor of a pub cheese or a pack of Kaukauna: creamy, with a rich mouthfeel (thanks to cashews and coconut oil), but also savory and decidedly bright (thanks to nutritional yeast and miso). In a vegan Parmesan or aged cheddar, a hint of nuttiness is a good thing. But, with the Roadhouse Chedda, I like that you can't taste the cashews; they're there for the texture. This is not a vegan cheese that tries to be fancy. Instead, it goes straight for the delicious, supermarket-aisle world of processed cheese spreads.
While you’d most obviously use it as a spreadable appetizer, Roadhouse Chedda is surprisingly versatile in cooking, too. I used a thick smear of it to approximate a dairy-free version of Tara O'Brady's knockout Bombay Masala Cheese Toastie. And it would definitely work for any kind of cheesy toast appetizer, like these Grilled Peach Toasts with Pimento Cheese, or Broiled Goat Cheese Toasts with Marinated Greens.
When I have a dinner party again, I'm sure I'll be swayed by the elegant nut-based cheeses made in the style of Camembert and Roquefort. But in the meantime, come 3 p.m. or game day, I’ll get that tangy, savory, nostalgic kick—hold the actual cultured milk—from Miyoko’s Roadhouse Chedda.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious