Saturday, June 13, 2009

Failed cheese

Sadly, this is one of my culinary experimentations that did not turn out so well! I've been fascinated with the concept of nutritional yeast since seeing it here last summer/fall. Nutritional yeast is high in protein, and often used as a cheese substitute by vegans. The idea is that the yeasty flavor mirrors cheese taste, especially in things like mock alfredo sauce, when combined with a few other spices. I was really hoping this guilt free cheese wasn't too good to be true, so I snapped up one of these packets at my local natural foods store. My intention was to bake up a spaghetti squash and use the cheese sauce to make my own raw version of fettuccine alfredo/mac and cheese.

The powder looked fairly promising when I opened it, but it didin't really smell like much, or taste like much except salt.

Instructions say to mix contents with 1/2 c. boiling water and whisk until mixture thickens...Blech!!

The sauce was very chemically tasting (how can that be?? It's organic!), slightly bitter and other than that, very very bland! The instructions also suggest adding a little butter which might have vastly improved the flavor, but it's supposed to be a vegan cheese substitute, so I figured doing so would be a little against the purpose. It was really only palatable after I added salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes AND a few squirts of spicy Dijon mustard.

I am, however, undeterred by my failed cheese sauce concerning the concept of nutritional yeast, and will probably attempt its use again at a later date. But perhaps this time, I'll use one of the recipes on the web and add my own spices to see if it turns out a little more edible.

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