Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Treeline Treenut Cheese

Isn't it crazy how far vegan cheese has come? I remember just a decade or so ago, in the dark days of veganism, when our cheese only came in three flavors — cheddar and mozzarella blocks and American slices. The cheese was rubbery and tasted weird. I learned to like it back then because it was all we had. But it wasn't good.

Today, vegan cheese is available in just about any form that dairy cheese is, including in fancy, aged, artisanal varieties made from raw cashews. I love a good aged nut cheese for crackers or as a sandwich spread, and while I can always make my own, it's much more convenient to purchase vegan cheeses. Aging nut cheeses takes patience and time, something I don't have much of these days.

Treeline Treenut Cheese has long been one of my faves, but until a couple weeks ago, it wasn't available in Memphis. I had to stock up in Little Rock or Jonesboro (my hometown) and transport it back to Memphis. But Treeline sent me some samples about a month ago, and not more than two weeks after my shipment arrived, my neighborhood Kroger started carrying three flavors of Treeline! Here are my review goodies.

They sent me three flavors of their Creamy Soft French-Style Treenut Cheese — Chipotle Serrano Pepper, Herb-Garlic, and Scallion. Treeline also makes harder-style cheeses, and those are great too.

I first tried the Chipotle Serrano because that was the one flavor I've never had. It's made with cashews, water, lemon, smoked serrano pepper powder, and chipotle flakes, so it's got a smokiness and a little touch of heat. 

The cheese is soft and spreadable, and it has a slight tang, just as any good aged cheese should. I enjoyed most of this tub spread onto these awesome seeded everything-style crackers. 

Next up, I tried the Herb-Garlic because I'm a garlic fiend. I put so much raw garlic and garlic powder in my food that I'm surprised anyone wants to be near me ever. And this garlicky cashew cheese didn't disappoint. The flavor was very prominent, making this easily my fave of the bunch. 

It was great as a sandwich spread paired with Field Roast Wild Mushroom slices, sea salt and cracked pepper Sabra Spreads (the new hummus condiment), tomato, and lettuce.

I had the Scallion schmeared all over gluten-free bagels for breakfast several days last week. Nothing pairs better with a bagel that oniony cream cheese, and this cheese has just the right consistency. It's not a cream cheese per se, but it's just as spreadable as one and with way more complex flavor.

The Scallion spread also made a wonderful quesadilla binder! On National Taco Day (Tuesday), I was all out of corn tortillas, but I had some larger burrito-size tortillas. Now, I know a quesadilla is not a taco. But I figured one fold made it close. This was stuffed with Scallion Treeline cheese, BBQ Soy Curls, and sauteed mushrooms.

As you can see, Treeline soft cheese is extremely versatile. It can be paired with almost any type of cuisine, and it's spreadable! I'm so glad I can buy it locally now.


Cadry said...

Yes, I love Treeline! You're so right that we are incredibly lucky at how much vegan cheese has advanced in a short time. Whoever realized that nuts would make a world-class cheese should get her/his own holiday.

Hillary said...

Vegan cheese has come so far! I love the treeline cheeses, I just wish they were a little easier on the wallet, but they are an excellent splurge!

Susan said...

I got to try Treeline at VVC last year and I was seriously impressed, it was so yummy!

I remember when I went vegan there was one not very good vegan cheese available in Australia. On the plus side at least you could get it in supermarkets. And I ate it. And I guess I thought it was OK because that was all that I had. But it wasn't really OK.
They still sell it now, and I am wondering who is buying it when there are all these other amazing cheeses around?

Unknown said...

When i went vegetarian as a kid (i was about ten) i became lactose intolerant not long afterwards- and back then in my small town non-dairy anything was hard to come by so i just did without.
I try vegan cheeses sporadically, and the aged style treeline cheese I bought a while back (after tasting in store) was excellent. I like to bring an aged nut cheese with wine as a hostess gift- especially if the host is omni. Several have been so thrilled they told me later they continue to buy it :)))