Whole Story

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A Fine (Vegan) Cheese

Whole Foods Market loves cheese! That’s why we continue to search for new, innovative cheeses to share with our customers — no matter their dietary requirements. So what happens when traditional cheesemaking methods meet dairy-free alternatives? Kite Hill, a new line of fine plant-based cheeses made from pure nut milks (no animal products!), answers that question — deliciously!

Cheesemaking Process

The team behind Kite Hill combines deep culinary, cheesemaking and scientific expertise to produce new, innovative cheeses. Kite Hill has distinguished itself by the quality of their ingredients and because their cheesemaking technique adheres so closely to the time-honored artisanal technique for dairy cheeses.

Kite Hill cheeses begin with a blend of nut milks made from almonds harvested in California's San Joaquin Valley and macadamia nuts. The only other ingredients then added are enzymes, cultures and salt, mirroring traditional cheesemaking. The cheeses are crafted and aged in California using the highest-quality French equipment. The result is a flavor profile and texture that closely resembles traditional dairy cheeses.

Offerings

  

Available in six-ounce wheels, these Kite Hill cheeses are now available in our US stores:

Soft Fresh, Original is a supple, creamy soft fresh cheese, rich and complex with sweet and balanced aromas. This fragrant cheese is best served right out of the refrigerator. It can be spread on crackers or paired with olives, nuts, pickled vegetables and fresh fruit or sliced into a salad.

Soft Fresh, Truffle, Dill & Chive is a supple, creamy, fresh cheese with earthy, black truffle overtones. The curds are hand mixed, combined with fresh truffle oil and a mixture of herbs, and then shaped and pressed immediately before packaging to ensure ultimate freshness. This fragrant cheese is best served right out of the refrigerator.

Soft Ripened is a velvety cheese with a white, fluffy rind. It has a tangy mushroomy flavor profile with a rich, silky texture and pungent aromatics. This cheese is best served straight from the refrigerator and pairs well with white grapes.

Ricotta is smooth, moist and incredibly versatile. Made from almond milk, it has sweet, and cultured overtones, and a buttery finish. Use as a filling for pasta andin lasagna, as a substitute for any recipe that calls for ricotta. Its silky texture makes for a great mascarpone substitute and is ideal for desserts, even baked desserts like cheesecake. Kite Hill has kindly shared their exceptional recipe for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake.

Kite Hill Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients for Crust:

5 ounces graham cracker crumbs

1 ounces organic sugar

3 ounces vegan butter

Method:

Melt butter, allow to cool. Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar in food processor, and pulse to mix. Add cooled butter to dry mix and stir with spoon.

Sprinkle crumb mixture into the bottom of 10-inch spring form pan and press evenly to ¼ of an inch thick. Store pan in freezer for 10 minutes to chill butter in the mixture.

Ingredients for Cheesecake Filling:

20 ounces Kite Hill Ricotta

4 ounces organic sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons fresh Meyer Lemon juice

1 tablespoon egg replacer, hydrated in 1/8 cup of cold water

Method:

Blend all ingredients for filling in food processor (except egg replacer) until smooth and creamy consistency is achieved.

Add to mixing bowl blended cheesecake filling and egg replacer and stir evenly. Pour mixture into pan. Place onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 300°F for 25 minutes. Rotate pan in oven halfway through baking. Allow to cool thoroughly and refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Are you a fan of Kite Hill yet? Share your favorite variety in the comments below! 

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67 comments

Comments

archena says …

very nice vegan cheesecake recipe and love the vegan cheeses too, will have to try once I visit my local Johns Creek, GA store

Debbie says …

Tried nut cheeses over the Christmas holidays and I have to say, they were delicious! I do not think anyone would know they are made from nuts unless told so, I know I wouldn't have know.

Patricia Erwin says …

Would you offer the Meatless Monday class again.? My husband and I were in Florida for King Weekend when it was offered and I could not take that class. However, I'd really like to take it, as I am basically a Vegetarian now and I need more ideas to keep my husband happy with meals at home.

Jo Woods says …

I am in Canada. Is there any place that I can buy Kite Hill Cheeses and what is the cost?

Lila says …

Is this available in Illinois? Zip 60053?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JO - I'm looking on their page with locations and I do not see any Canadian retailers. You can search directly at http://www.kite-hill.com/find.html. I would suggest contacting them directly to see if they have plans to head to Canada.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LILA - You can run a zip code search to find retailers at http://www.kite-hill.com/find.html.

Diana says …

This looks great but are the ingredients organic?

Deborh says …

The vegan cheese looks delicious and perfect for a person who is dairy and gluten free diet. My only concern is the type of salt used. Since I am also aluminum free diet I will be unable to try this cheese. Maybe in the near future you can try sea salt instead of ionized salt. Again thank you for accommodating for individuals that are on a vegan diet.

Krista says …

Just tried the Kite Hill Truffle, Dill and Chive "cheese" over the weekend and it was delicious! Taste and texture were great. I will definitely try the other flavors and varieties.

Cassie says …

I was so excited to see this at my local store! Thanks for carrying this!

Raini Spatziai says …

Might you consider stocking HODO Soy from San Francisco?

Linda Gabrilo says …

Is this Kite Hill Cheese and is Treeline Cheese available in your Park Ridge, Illinois store????

Bertha Bush says …

When will it be in West Des Moines, IA! I'm beyond excited that it's also gluten and soy free! Thanks!

Christine Whittington says …

Please please please have these in stock at the Frisco and Denver Whole Foods stores! I love vegan cheese made with nuts. There are other vegan cheeses, but they are pretty much just made of vegetable oil.

Ashley says …

What would be the best egg replacer for this recipe? What do you mean by hydrated in cold water?

Lynn Wright says …

I do not consider anything "cheese" unless it is made from animal milk. I take that back, head cheese, also not a cheese, also a misnomer.

Anita Marten says …

The Kite Hill cheeses taste incredible! The ricotta works so well with my gluten free brown rice Jovial pasta dishes. The cheese herb combination sliced in thin wedges tastes fantastic with sun dried tomato on a cracker or with vegan pesto sauce.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ANITA - You can check on their website but it does not appear that any of the flavor options are certified organic. http://www.kite-hill.com/index.html

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@RAINI - Our buying is done at the store/regional level so check with your local San Francisco store to offer the suggestion!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LINDA - I would suggest calling the Park Ridge store at 847.292.7100 before you head over to shop to see what they have in stock.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@BERTHA - Our availability can differ between stores so I would suggest checking with the store directly at 515.343.2600 to find out if/when they will have this in stock.

Mickey R says …

Tried the Kite Hill cheese last week. Absolutely delicious! especially with freshly baked hardy bread!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ASHLEY - Most egg replacers will come in powder form so it will need to have water added to make an egg like consistency. I would suggest checking with your local store for a brand they recommend based on what they have in stock.

jake sims says …

I have chosen the vegan path because I am repulsed and disgusted by the treatment of animals in the food industry. I am searching for products that strictly adhere to these values. In that context, are there any ingredients, including enzymes, from animal sources in your products?

Darlene says …

Nice article and information. I cannot wait to try these cheeses and the cheesecake. I use lactose free milk and have been feeling better in my tummy. I don't like almond milk and can't use soy (cancer survivor) and rice milk is okay; haven't tried coconut milk. Exciting!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JAKE - Are you referring to Kite Hill as a vendor in particular? If so, I would suggest reaching out to them directly. If you're referring to our stores, we do sell animal products in our stores but we will also have tons of vegan product options as well.

Jordan says …

I worked for Kite Hill (Lyrical foods) for 1 year and was personally responsible for producing the milk for the cheeses. Macadamia nut milk is not part of the recipe anymore (it wasn't cost effective). Furthermore, consistency was always a problem. This is not real cheese. If you expect it to taste or have a cheese like texture, you will be disappointed.

Meghanne says …

Please please bring this amazing product to Canada soon. Kite hill said it would be launching north of the border in 2015... Will it be soon??

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MEGHANNE - I would suggest reaching out to Kite Hill directly at http://www.kite-hill.com/contact.html for their plans.

celeste knowles says …

Does the 86th St.store carry Heidi Ho Cheese?

Lynne says …

Please add Treehill and Punk Rawk Labs vegan cheeses. The cashew-based cheeses taste better than the almond-based.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@CELESTE - Our products differ between stores. I would suggest calling the store directly at 317.706.0900 to find out if they have this in stock before you head over.

Eleanor Green says …

what are the calorie count for these cheeses? which ones would be great for salads and sandwiches? what is the cost? Will all the stores carry these cheeses?

Noelle Monek says …

Can you please start carrying the ricotta in the PA Stores? I have tried it in other stores throughout the country but it is not available where I live in the Philadelphia area. Please add this to our region!

Faye Rouzpay says …

I am looking for Valbreso feta cheese. I hope you get it in your store.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@NOELLE - Our buying is done at the regional/store level so definitely let your local store know you're interested in them carrying this!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ELEANOR - Our pricing will differ between stores so check with your local store to find out their pricing. You can also find nutritional info on the vendor's website.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@FAYE - It's best to check with your local store directly to find out if they have this in stock.

Cathy Williams says …

Will Kite Hill Vegan Cheese be available in your Canadian stores and if so, do you know when? Thanks,

Anserd Fraser says …

Need more info on veggie cheeses. Are there plans to sell Anchor cheese, which is a product of New Zealand. Anserd

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@CATHY - Since our buying is done regionally, I would check with the Canada store you shop with to find out.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ANSERD - Our products will differ between stores so check with your local store if they carry this and if not, they would love the suggestion!

Hala says …

Just discovered your cream cheese. Love them. First no-dairy "cheese" that is eatable. I hope my WF would start carry your other cheese. - I asked, so there is hope. (i am not a vegan, but I am allergic to dairy proteins, soy, and a few other things...). Thank you for making stuff I can eat and enjoy. My "normal" partner., who can eat real cheese, also liked the spread. He is a picky eater. Thanks.

Leslie M says …

Are these available in Hawaii? (say yes!)

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LESLIE - Our vendors and products vary between locations. Check with your local store in Hawaii to see if they carry this brand.

katie beller says …

I just tried the Kite Hill cream cheese for the first time and it is delicious! I am lactose intolerant so this is really a miracle for me. Thank you for carrying these products!

frank vee says …

do you have Heidi Ho! Organics cheese??

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@FRANK - It's best to check with your local store to see if they have this in stock.

john hansen says …

Do you carry Miyoko cheeses?

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