While I’m not a vegan, I have a fondness for some of the tricks up the vegan cook’s sleeve: things like dehydrated crackers and cheese alternatives. Many times they don’t work, tasting like someone tilted the random contents of a health food store’s bulk bins into a blender but, occasionally, you end up with a breakthrough new food concept such as Jennie Cook’s cashew-based “Bedda Chedda.”
While Kelly was in the hospital our very kind neighbor Jennie Cook who is a caterer, author (and guest on episode 50 of our podcast) dropped by many trays and tubs of food so that Kelly’s mom and I would not need to cook or eat out. Jennie is a rare master of both meaty and vegan fare. In addition to the delicious jambalaya, mac and cheese and many other items in her porch care package, there was a tub of “Bedda Chedda.”
I liked it so much that I made a batch myself last night. You can find Jennie’s Bedda Chedda recipe here. Note her admonition to add the liquids first. The end result will solidify more once you refrigerate it. Like most successful vegan foods it doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t. While it really does taste vaguely of cheddar, consider this to be more of a delicious cracker spread. I guarantee if you make a batch of this for a holiday party it will disappear much faster than the eggnog.
And let me also note that for someone in the midst of a family crisis, one of the best ways to help is to drop off food. Thank you to Jennie and to beekeeper Amy and to the many people who offered us food during a very difficult two weeks.