I’m currently cooking recipes from The Conscious Cook
by Tal Ronnen for a future review. One of the most intriguing recipes in the cookbook is a cashew cheese that’s cultured using a specific brand of probiotic powder. Meaning, you add bacteria to your food. On purpose. Then you let it hang out in a warm place and do it’s thing: culture. Whoa.I had to order the required probiotic powder on the internet and wait. Then, I thought about culturing food, thought about what it might smell like – I’m sensitive like that – and waited. I soaked some cashew nuts and waited. Blended the mixture with some pantry staples, added the probiotic powder, scraped it into cheese cloth and waited. Next, I rolled it into a log, put it in the refrigerator to firm up and…yeah.
Nearly seventy-two hours later, I had cheese. It smelled really good when I unwrapped it, like rich ricotta. It didn’t taste like cheese, though, and it was gritty, despite following the instructions for pureeing it. I grabbed some jarred piquillo peppers from the pantry and made “pimiento cheese.” This did satisfy a pimiento cheese craving I’ve had for a while.
There is another cashew cheese recipe that I want to test before I declare whether this one is worth the effort.
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