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Overcoming preconceptions and prejudices, which want vegan foods as mere alternatives that recall, more or less vaguely, the flavor of the product they are inspired by and from which they often derive their name: the new frontier of vegan nutrition is increasingly oriented towards quality, in the awareness that a product of exclusively vegetable origin is above all a food, prepared with its ingredients and its processing, which can be consumed by everyone and anyone who appreciates its flavor. And, as we will see, vegan cheeses fit this description perfectly.

Vegan cheeses, more than just alternatives

The new generation of vegan cheeses is very far from the classic stigma that accompanies foods without animal derivatives and dairy-free, ie that they are essentially symbols of a “vocation to deprivation” typical of those who choose the vegan diet. These products, in fact, surprise for the refinement of the production system and, above all, for the final taste, which puts them at the same level, if not sometimes even above, of the “counterparts” from an organoleptic point of view.

Furthermore, in many cases vegan cheeses are free of cholesterol, lactose, and casein, and contain fewer calories and fat than the classic cow’s milk cheese, thus proving also ideal for a slimming diet or for a more prudent regime.

And one should not think of a contemporary fashion: in reality, the first document attesting the attempt to make cheese not based on animal milk dates back to 1896, when for religious-food reasons John Harvey Kellogg (the father of the homonymous company in breakfast cereals) invented Nuttose, food based on cooked peanuts that could be used as a substitute for cheese or meat.

How are vegan cheeses

In addition to vegetarian cheeses (which however contain animal derivatives), there are many 100% vegetable cheeses on the market that are designed for vegans, but more generally also for celiacs, those who are intolerant or allergic to lactose, want to vary their diet, those who look for low-fat alternatives or is curious to experiment with new tastes to alternate in the weekly diet and so on.

Generally, these products are fermented just like the classic variants and are produced starting from completely natural ingredients and using technologies and experiments associated with traditional cheesemaking techniques, frequently avoiding the use of additives and chemical flavors to favor the process.

To facilitate the understanding of the offer, Eater – one of the bibles of the US diet – has proposed a standardization that divides vegan cheeses into three macro-categories according to quality, taste, and texture.

Industrial cheeses made with vegetable oils, starches, and flavor enhancers, which are the lowest quality level, with a plastic consistency and indefinite flavor.

Cheeses derived from the fermentation of vegetable milk – from hazelnut to oats – to which are added probiotics and enzymes. They are superior, qualitatively better and tastier, and can offer addictive textures and flavors in terms of creaminess and taste.

Vegan artisanal cheeses, made with dairy processing techniques that have nothing to envy to the classic ones (molds, inoculations, care, flavorings), usually applied to cashews and dried fruit, which lead to the creation of products with a defined character.

A growing market

The increase in demand is also driving towards these increasingly better and higher quality productions: according to the Eurispes 2020 research, today more than 2% of Italians are vegan (while almost 7% are vegetarians), and the figure is growing significantly constant year over year.

The market data is also relevant: according to the Veganok Observatory, only between March and September 2020 (in full lockdown), the number of vegan products distributed in large-scale distribution grew by 3.1%, while sales grew by +5.1 %. More generally, the analyzes of international observers indicate that the global plant-based meat market alone exceeded $ 3 billion in 2019, with annual growth estimates of 19.4% from 2020 to 2027.

In short, the market is growing and so are the tastes, needs, and awareness of the modern consumer, who is no longer limited to looking for a product that echoes – in name, taste, texture, and appearance – a food “Normal”, but he wants quality food because he is attentive to the ingredients and the origin of the products he brings to the table. Furthermore, the equally relevant issue of food intolerances, especially lactose and gluten, is another element that leads to the choice of “free-from” and plant-based foods, which is the most immediate and often tasty answer to the problem.

Speaking of the market, however, we cannot fail to mention the decision of the European Parliament, which confirmed, for producers of substitute foods in the dairy market, the ban on using names that imitate or evoke dairy products. This means that the very diction vegan cheese is “wrong”, even if it has now entered the common lexicon.

What are vegan cheeses?

Until recently, saying vegan cheese meant referring only to tofu, food prepared with the curdling of soybean juice and declined in various forms, different in characteristics, uses, and consistency.

Today, as mentioned, the producers have equipped themselves to propose different and surprising solutions: among the Italian brands engaged in the production of alternatives to cheese there are Sayve and Cicioni, which have the Veganok certification and use 100% vegetable ingredients. Also very interesting is the range of Vegand’or vegetable cheeses, which proposes formulations of vegan recipes linked to the Mediterranean tradition such as Vegand’or Fiorito (a 100% vegetable Camembert made from the hot spinning dough), Vegand’or Filante (the vegan mozzarella ), or the Vegand’or Stagionato (possible substitute for Parmesan and Grana, totally gluten-free).

Another Italian company, Dall’Albero, proposes itself as a “vegetable fermenter” and offers a complete range of vegetable alternatives to cheese, handcrafted in Italy with traditional techniques. To date, there are about 20 types of products, from fresh cheeses to spreads to seasoned and molded cheeses.

Still remaining with the national producers, it is also worth mentioning Verys, which offers a line of “fresh vegetable alternatives” such as Strachicco (vegan version of stracchino) or Chiccotta (ricotta), derived from the sprouting of rice. From the same ingredient comes the MozzaRisella, created by another manufacturer, which is a vegan version of the classic mozzarella, just as greedy and stringy, while the ” No Muh ” line of Vegusto, a vegetable alternative to cheese available, is inspired (also) by Parmesan. in many variations, one of the first to appear on the national market.

Finally, for those looking for quick solutions and not disdaining more industrial productions. We remind you that many brands have opted for vegan proposals that can also be found in the classic retail outlets; one of the most popular products is Tenerotta Valsoia, 100% vegetable ricotta of the well-known brand, which can be used without distinction for all recipes that require the use of the original ingredient, both raw and cooked.

You may also like to read, 3 Surprising Uses for Cottonseed Oil

Chicken is normally regarded highly by most cooks due to its appeal which is widespread and the various advantages it has over other menus. Versatile, economical, and easily available, chicken might just be the perfect ingredient for every day, easy recipes as well as for entertaining. You will also find it starring in most of sought after ethnic and regional recipes from chicken parmesan, chicken masala, and sesame chicken, chicken enchiladas, to chicken fried steak, dumplings and chicken. Don’t forget about the oven-fried chicken drumsticks.

When you check out Popeyes Menu at KitchenLTO.com, you will learn that not all chicken is created equally. With some tricks and tips, you will be in position to create some lip-smacking fried chicken which will have everyone wanting to steal your secrets from you. Whether you are making chicken for a picnic outing or for a dinner at home, the below measures will ensure that you will be in a position to create great improvements in your fried chicken.

  • Ensure that the kitchen is cut out properly: You have to satisfy both the white and dark meat preferences by ensuring that the whole chicken is cut into pieces. Whether you do the cutting yourself or you buy it from a butchery when it is already cut, it will be good if you go an extra mile and cut each of the breasts of the kitchen into two or three pieces.When the breast pieces are smaller, then it will enable the cooking time to be more in line with the thighs and legs. The breast will then not be overcooked, this is due to the fact that chicken breasts which are larger tend to get crispy and golden on the outside before they are fully cooked on the inside.
  • Make a marinade: The secret to having a succulent fried chicken is to start with a brine or marinade, as this will ensure that the chicken is kept at its juiciness peak. If you check out Popeyes Menu at KitchenLTO.com, you will be able to learn that, those who love fried chicken choose buttermilk marinade while others go for brine, which is a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices which are dissolved in water.If you decide to use the buttermilk brine, then it will mean that you take 1 cup of water, stir it in ¼ cup kosher salt. Take granulated sugar, ¼ a cup, and spices such as paprika which is smoked. Stir the mixture until it is dissolved. Add about 3 cups of buttermilk to ensure that you finish the brine for buttermilk. Soak the chicken in the brine, refrigerated overnight before you proceed with the recipe.
  • You should never rush it: When you check out Popeyes Menu at KitchenLTO.com, you will find that the best chicken has to take a luxurious and long soak in the buttermilk brine. You can consider allowing the chicken pieces to spend at least 24 hours in the liquid for a maximum of 48 hours.
  • The seasoning has to be generous: After you have had your chicken sit in the buttermilk brine it is necessary that you are generous with the spices too. Add more salt and spices. When you add more salt at every stage of the kitchen frying, it ensures that you do away with the blandness.You have an option to pump up the flavor further by adding other spices to the coating of the chicken. For the station for breading, you can add items such as garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne powder, black pepper and salt to the flour dredge. When it comes to the milk, stir in any condiment that is wet such as Sriracha or hot sauce.
  • Use the correct cooking temperature and oil: While you don’t necessarily require a deep fryer for the chicken that is perfectly fried as you can use a cast iron pan together with enough oil, it is important to be careful which type of oil you are going to use to do the frying. You have to ensure that you choose one that has a smoke point which is high, such as peanut or canola oil.You will need to hit the oil until its temperature is about 335 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the best temperature if you want to have a chicken which is crispy on the outside while cooked through a moist in the inside. To determine that your oil is at the correct temperature, it will be best if you utilized a thermometer.But you have an option of determining temperature without a thermometer through flicking a little flour in the oil which is hot. If the flour happens to sizzle upon hitting the oil, then the time is ripe for frying. Another tip when it comes to extra flavor for your chicken is to season the cooking oil with some ginger, bay leaves, peeled garlic cloves, or other seasonings before cooking the chicken. You can fry the aromatics in the oil when it is warming then go ahead and remove and throw them away before you add in the chicken.
  • Avoid the paper towels: You should avoid ruining all your hard work of being able to create a fried chicken that is golden by going ahead and placing the finished product on paper towels after you are done with the cooking. This papers can cause the chicken to steam and in the process, all the crispiness might just turn soggy. You have an option of covering the baking sheet with a wire rack. When each piece of fried chicken has finished frying, you can transfer them carefully to the wire rack. The chicken will then be able to cool down with the excess oil being able to drip off in the rack without having to ruin the masterpiece that you have just created.

Chicken boasts of a nutritional profile which is positive. It is low in cholesterol and fat and high in protein. It contains zero carbs and thus, making it a perfect piece for eating healthy.