When Tina Stokes went vegan six years ago, the only thing she struggled to give up was cheese—none of the dairy-free cheeses on the market appealed to her. So she made her own, focusing on achieving that super-sharp, punchy flavour. Stokes’s experiments were so successful—her family thought they were real dairy—that she eventually quit her job as a director at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to churn cheese full time. Here’s how she does it…
1. Sharp cheddar
Stokes makes most cheeses with cashews, and uses sprouted quinoa as a culturing agent. The cheddar is also mixed with soy yogurt and miso for a sharp flavour.
2. Pub cheddar
For a punch of umami, Stokes blends the pub cheddar with Stranger Than Fiction, a vegan porter from Collective Arts Brewery.
3. Sun-dried tomato and basil
This spread gets its tang from nutritional yeast and rejuvelac made of sprouted quinoa.
4. Creamy chive
This one is a dead ringer for cream cheese, with a rich, smooth texture
5. Herbed feta
Stokes makes her feta with soy instead of cashews for a crumbly texture, and flavours it with marjoram, thyme and basil.
These stories originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Toronto Life magazine. To subscribe, for just $29.95 a year, click here.