An area dairy is making connoisseur cheese, with no animal merchandise

One factor Hitoko Sakai is aware of is how one can cook dinner with out animal merchandise. Sakai, a longtime vegan, started her culinary profession whereas working as a chef in Michigan. She now owns a vegan cheese firm based mostly in Englewood.

Dairy Free Creamery is precisely what it feels like: a cheesemaker specializing in lactose-free connoisseur cheeses. Not like some vegan cheese options discovered on grocery retailer cabinets, these are freed from starch, oil, sugar, gluten, and different components.

Every cheese begins with cashews, Sakai’s favourite base. “I’ve made a number of totally different cheeses from several types of nuts and seeds,” Sakai says. “However the cashew nut is simply nice. I really like the style of it.

Dairy Free cheeses undergo a two-step fermentation course of. “I do a quicker fermentation and a second fermentation, which some folks name getting older,” Sakai says. “I dip the cashews in salted water, which prompts the nut and makes it simple to digest.”

Walnuts, together with many different plant-based meals, comprise phytic acid, a naturally occurring acid that blocks the absorption of minerals similar to zinc, calcium, and iron. Soaking walnuts not solely makes them simpler to mix right into a creamy texture, however removes a major quantity of phytic acid, permitting the walnut’s vitamins to be harnessed to their fullest. After being soaked, the cashews are combined with a probiotic or vegan tradition, adopted by the primary fermentation.

“The second fermentation, or getting older, course of can take days or two weeks,” Sakai says. “It relies on the cheese. Some take three months or extra. Dairy Free’s “Parmesan”, for instance, ages for 3 months. This creates a more durable cheese that may be grated.

Texture is one space the place many commercially accessible vegan cheeses fall brief. They’re typically plastic or chalky, because of the addition of starches or oils, two components omitted from Sakai cheeses.

“I like that my recipe could be very easy,” says the proprietor of the dairy. “I like to make use of 5 components or much less.” As an alternative of including extra components to make more durable cheeses, Sakai merely makes them mature longer. He says that prospects, nevertheless, typically want his cheeses which can be softer and extra spreadable than him. The preferred of him proper now’s his Chive Chèvre, a pressure of soppy, creamy cheese topped with contemporary chives. Sakai is creating a brand new recipe for cheese, supposed to resemble cheddar. To do that, he’s experimenting with annatto seeds.

“My favourite is horseradish or cranberry ash,” says Sakai. “I additionally like cream cheese and mozzarella. They will add creaminess to soups, taco salads, or no matter, so I wish to all the time have them available.

You’ll find Dairy Free Creamery merchandise on the downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market, St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market, and the One Cease Cooperative in Englewood, the place you can also make a purchase order from the stand or acquire an order on-line. You too can purchase Sakai cheeses at native retailers like CROP Juice and Jessica’s Natural Farm. For extra data or to position an order for pickup, go to the Dairy Free Creamery web site.