In the six years since it launched, Miyoko’s Creamery, the Petaluma-based company’s vegan cheeses have already become a national following. But now, Miyoko’s is taking its show on the road in a new way — in the form of a vegan grilled cheese food truck that will launch on March 4, the Marin Independent Journal reports.
The food truck tour is part of the company’s launch for two new cheeses — a cheddar and a pepper jack — as well as a new oat-based cultured butter. The cheeses will debut at the March 3–7 Anaheim Natural Products expo before hitting the road for what is tentatively slated as a 17-city tour — one that will include stops in Oakland and San Francisco. As of publication time, Miyoko’s has yet to set exact dates for those Bay Area stops, but the cheeses themselves will be available to the general public starting in April.
In the world of vegan cheeses, Petaluma-based Miyoko’s is an established player — founder Miyoko Schinner has been making and selling the stuff since the late ‘90s, dating back to her previous company, Now and Zen. The company is probably best known for its line of cashew-based spreadable cheeses and cream cheeses, which are now so ubiquitous in the Bay Area, you don’t even have to go to a specialty shop — your local Safeway probably carries them.
More recently, the company has been embroiled in a lawsuit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture over its right to use words like “butter” and “lactose free” in its marketing — wording that state regulators find problematic for a non-dairy product, but that Schinner sees as an exercise of her First Amendment rights.
A vegan grilled cheese poses its own unique set of challenges, not just in terms of hitting the right savory flavor notes, but also the proper stretchiness and meltability. And Miyoko’s isn’t new to this grilled cheese game — the company has promoted versions, like the one pictured above, made with a mix of its mozzarella and other vegan cheeses, in the past. But apparently, the new cheddar and pepper jack cheeses are especially well suited for this use.
After a grilled cheese pop-up this past December — hosted by the popular SF vendor GrilledCheezGuy — Schinner told the vegan news site VegNews that the new cheeses are “fermented, they have umami, they have depth, they stretch, they melt.” Will they turn into a nationwide hit? Presumably that’s what this food truck road trip is poised to find out.