Wildbrine, a fermented foods company known for its raw sauerkraut and kimchi, unveiled new cashew-based vegan cheese and butter products during trade show Natural Products Expo West. The new cheeses are cashew-based and cultured to replicate the “funk” and brine of dairy-based gourmet cheese. Flavors include Beet Blush, Shiitake Shakeup, and Neo Classic (Wildbrine’s take on traditional brie). Like dairy-based brie, Wildbrine’s variety has a distinctive rind, which is created during the “aging” fermentation process. The butter is also is made from fermented, or “cultured,” cashews and coconut oil, and can be used in multiple applications, from spreading on toast to baking flaky vegan pie crusts. “We believe in fermentation and culture, and it works wonders for cheese and butter,” Co-owner Chris Glab told VegNews. “We’re using this ancient technique to take fermentation to different categories to help everyone eat more plant-based.” Wildbrine’s new vegan products will begin to roll out to specialty stores in California by mid-spring and will eventually be available nationwide. Other vegan companies have also come out with fermented cheeses in recent years, such as Nuts For Cheese, Julie’s Vegan Foods, and Punk Rawk Labs, adding to the sophistication and variety of the plant-based cheese market.
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