June 4, 2012

National Cheese Day

"A meal without some cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye." - Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

It's National Cheese Day!

Sponsored bySte Martaen

I've never been to the Caribbean. My parents go once every January, though, to help alleviate some of those winter blues that seem to inevitably happen to those of us who live in colder climates. When they came back from Saint Martin/Sint Maarten they had stars in their eyes. If it was possible to love an island, then these two were absolutely head over heels for the friendly half French-half Dutch community. The way they gushed on and on about the place made me, my osmosis, kind of love it, too. After all, how can we not be grateful for people, places, and things that bring such joy to the people we admire most?

When I discovered Ste Martaen cheese, I knew it was going to be awesome. Without even having tried it before (I had never even heard of it until one fateful night wandering further down the rabbit holes of Google), I had no doubt that it was going to be an impressive rendition of vegan cheese.

And it was.

Actually, can we be honest with each other for a second? I may or may not have accidentally eaten one of the blocks - the poor Smoked Gouda never stood a chance! - in one sitting. I didn't want to. I didn't mean to. But when I received my shipment from Ste Martaen I really wanted to at least try the product. So, I cut off a slice, put it on a cracker, and ate it. Then I did it again. And a few rounds later the block of cheese ceased to exist. Afraid of myself, I ran to the kitchen, threw the rest of the Ste Martaen cheese in the back of the freezer and built a fortress made of frozen lima bean bags and bricks of soup to safeguard it from the ravenous, ravishing monster I become when hungry.

So, today, I'm celebrating with just four blocks from Ste Martaen: Pepper Jack, Olive, Colby, and Muenster.

Ste Martaen is owned and operated by Laviyah and Nahum, two folks who are madly in love with each other and with veganism... and if there's two things I can stand behind it's romance and food! Being foodies themselves they tried to find a suitable vegan cheese the could easily be paired with wine (these are my kind of people). Unable to find a brand that had both the taste and texture they wanted, they started their own company.

And you know why I love them? I mean, besides the fact that they're just genuinely happy, joy filled people and that their cheese is a great source of protein (TAKE THAT YOU "BUT WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN?!" HATERS), vitamins, and minerals? Because, according to their website, "Our goal with Ste Martaen [In your best French accent pronounced Sahn Mar-tahn] is not to emulate dairy cheese, but to offer consumers a product that can elegantly substitute it’s dairy counterpart or enhance your everyday vegan meal."

I like that attitude.

And I like their cheese.

Tonight I wanted to celebrate by making two different things: nachos courtesy of the Ste Martaen website and jalapeno poppers with raspberry jam (which came from my brain... and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing as was evident when I forgot to de-seed the jalapenos thereby making them impossibly hot).

Talk about a small feast!

Happy National Cheese Day!

Disclaimer: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer. Opinions expressed are totally my own and are NOT in anyway influenced by monetary compensation. Logo used with permission by company.