Dr Cow was the first aged vegan cheese out there, even years ago in 2006 when I first went vegan. I used to read rave reviews of them on vegan forums, but it was before they had a shop and it seemed like too much money to gamble back then on my college student budget.
They are a small, certified organic, environmentally conscious company researching and creating innovative artisan foods. All of their products are gluten free, soy free, dairy free and animal free and also vegan. They use 100% certified organic and unprocessed ingredients. They are inspired by the living raw food philosophy and use only truly raw creamy Indonesian cashews.
I finally first tried their cheese last summer, as I had read they opened a vegan cheese shop in Brooklyn and of course needed to check it out. I mean, a shop full of all vegan cheese?! Count me in.
Dr Cow offers a LOT of varieties! Last year I just got a plain one and that was good, but now doing these cheese reviews I needed to get a more well-rounded picture. I wrote one of the owners, Pablo, who told me to come by and let me try a small taste of a few of their cheeses and some other products, then I bought my favorite for a more thorough testing at home (more on that later). 😉
This review covers their cheeses and also a bit about their store in Brooklyn. If you’re not in NY, it’s still possible to order from them online or find a store near you that carries them.
When you first walk in their shop you see they indeed have more than just cheeses! I tried this raw raspberry jam and hazelnut chocolate spread. Super yummy!
On to the cheeses, first the basics:
Base: truly raw cashews, a few use macadamia nuts or brazil nuts
Consistency: solid and sliceable
Varieties: too many to list, see some below
Other points: raw, aged, 100% certified organic ingredients, Ayurvedic properties, tons of unique varieties, first aged vegan cheese out there
Cashew Coconut & White + Black Truffle Cheese
I had somehow never really tried anything with truffle, so I wanted to give it a go. It was tasty and the truffle imparted an interesting hint of umami flavor in addition to the base. I like that they layer things in the middle of the cheeses and I love the texture. It really is sliceable while most vegan cheeses are more spreadable. They all have their place, but sometimes I really want a slice of cheese, y’know?
Rainbow Cashew Beets Tomato & Turmeric Cheese
I totally chose this one for looks. I mean, it’s rainbow cheese and look how pretty it is! All the Dr Cow cheeses I tried used the same base, which they then add things to to make the different varieties. This one was subtlety tangy with a slight taste from the beets, tomato and turmeric, which gave a hint earthiness.
Cashew Reishi Paprika & Green Tea Cheese
I asked Pablo which cheese was the most popular and he pointed out this one so I thought I’d give it a try. I loved all of the cheeses I tried, but this had the sharpest flavor, which if you’ve been reading these reviews by now you may have realized is always my favorite. I totally never would have chosen this off the shelf otherwise, but am so happy I went with it!
Reishi is the king of the mushrooms in Chinese medicine and is supposed to have healing properties for the immune system. There are also hemp seeds hidden in the middle there, which I didn’t really taste much, but they added a very slight bit of texture that I liked. I ate most of this out of the fridge plain and the rest on some delicious raw crackers given to me to take home and try.
Cashew He Shou Wu Cordyceps Beets Tomato Astragalus Cheese
Dr Cow’s cheeses are all fermented one day and then aged up to two months. Pablo took out one of the giant aging cheese hunks for me to oogle. You can see the quarter at the bottom right for a size comparison. It was big. Now that is the proper amount of vegan cheese for me! This variety was Cashew He Shou Wu Cordyceps Beets Tomato Astragalus. If you are like me, you didn’t understand a lot of these words, so I did a bit of research into Chinese medicinal herbs:
He Shou Wu is an herb used support kidney and liver functions. Cordyceps is a rare expensive mushroom mainly grown at an altitude of 3500-4500 meters on plateau areas, such as Sichuan, Qinghai and Tibet in China that enhances kidney yang, invigorates the lung to ease breathing difficulties, stops bleeding and dissolves phlegm. Astragalus is an herb, the root which is used to stimulate and increase the immune system. I’m going to assume now that you already know what beets and tomatoes are ;).
You can also buy these pre-packaged Dr Cow cheeses. If your local store stocks Dr Cow, this is probably what you’ll see. Some of the standard packaged varieties are: Cashew Nut Cream Cheese, Aged Cashew Cheese, Aged Macadamia Cheese, Aged Cashew & Brazil Nuts, Aged Cashew & Hemp Seeds, Aged Cashew & Dulse Flakes, Aged Cashew & Blue Green Algae, and Aged Cashew and Kale. You can see there are a couple more spread varieties and I’m sure there are others I missed!
What Makes Dr Cow Different
Well, the sheer variety of cheeses alone makes Dr Cow very different! Pablo also made a point that they really focus on making cheeses that taste good, but are also good for you…so no processed stuff and everything is made in their store themselves. You can also see this with the hint of Chinese herbs and Ayurvedic principles in many of the cheeses.
Besides this, Dr Cow cheeses are very sliceable (except the spreads of course) and all have a bit of sharpness to them from aging for two months, which I love. Their cheeses also do the ripening thing, which means once you open them they continue to age in the fridge and the flavor develops and gets more complex over time. When I first tried Dr Cow a year ago I wasn’t sure about it, but then I put it in the fridge for a few days and when I tried it again I loved it. Not sure how that works, but it’s kinda cool!
Dr Cow Shop
If you’re lucky enough to live in New York or be traveling through, you should definitely check out their shop. They have tons of cheeses as you saw above, granolas, biscottis, chocolates, raw tarts (see below), spreads and just a lot of awesome stuff.
Address: 93 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
If that doesn’t convince you, here is a vegan raw chocolate ganache tart I bought and took home with me. It was mind-blowingly good. I believe it was also gluten-free. Super rich creamy chocolate flavor without being too sweet and no date taste! It really just tasted like chocolate, even though it was raw.
The shop also may start holding vegan wine and cheese parties in their outside space next door when the weather is good, so keep an eye on their Facebook for that!
Where to Buy
Dr Cow ships nationwide. You can buy a pack of their cheeses and their granolas online on their website here. You can also buy single cheese online at Vegan Essentials. They are a bit pricy at $8+ depending on size, but they are super good using high quality ingredients and have been doing this for ages now. I have not yet tried a Dr Cow cheese I don’t like! Worth a splurge every now and again. I definitely plan to stop by each time I’m in New York!
Have you ever tried Dr Cow? What did you think?! Let me know in the comments!