This week, vegan cheese company Miyoko’s Creamery served hundreds of free grilled cheese sandwiches secretly made with vegan cheese and butter to unsuspecting San Franciscans. The brand hosted a grilled cheese pop-up at The Grilled Cheez Guy in San Francisco, which occasionally hosts a “Free Grilled Cheese Day” sponsored by a cheese company. This time, it was sponsored by Miyoko’s and the event was not advertised as vegan. Two hundred sandwiches—made with Miyoko’s new nut-free vegan cheddar and pepper-jack cheeses (created from oats, potatoes, and legumes) and vegan butter—disappeared within 90 minutes of opening. The customers initially assumed that the sandwiches were made with an artisan dairy cheese, but after a few bites, it was revealed that the sandwiches were actually vegan. “On a scale of one to 10, this is a nine and a half,” one customer said, before being told the sandwich was vegan. “I’m so shocked to find out this is vegan,” pop-up customer Kutu said. “This is truly a game changer.” “It’s a solid grilled cheese sandwich,” Scott, another customer, said. “I would not be able to tell at all [that it’s vegan]. It’s just as crispy, just as cheesy; not quite as stretchy as a normal cheese, but I think it tastes fantastic.” The sandwiches were so popular that nearby office workers were calling their friends to come and get them before they were gone. “We’re hoping to change the world with these new cheeses that are legume-, potato-, and oat-based,” Miyoko’s founder Miyoko Schinner told VegNews. “They’re fermented, they have umami, they have depth, they stretch, they melt … They are absolutely incredible and will change the culinary game across the board.”
Earlier this week, Miyoko’s was highlighted on television talk show ELLEN, where her product was featured as part of Ellen’s 12 Days of Giveaways. “I love this cheese so much; it is so delicious,” host Ellen Degeneres said during the episode, before revealing to the studio audience that they were all going to receive a $300 gift card to try the products for themselves. Last month, the talk show host also revealed that she and her wife Portia de Rossi invested an undisclosed amount in Miyoko’s to support its efforts to launch new products in 2020.