Each cheese begins with a cultured coconut milk instead of what Flenner says is the more popular choice, coconut oil. He finds oil-based cheeses don’t “hold up like a real cheese”; the texture, he says, turns greasy and melts like “oily water.”
Aging comes next, which also adds to flavor. Like their dairy counterparts, Flenner’s cheeses are aged in a temperature-controlled environment. But rather than build a cheese cave, Flenner opted for a wine fridge.
“Vegan cheese can age like dairy cheese a little bit, but since it's plant-based and not relying on cow’s milk, it has a different makeup that makes it a little trickier to do,” he explains. “I have my wine fridge in conjunction with a hygrometer that measures temperature and humidity. Too much or too little can make the cheese go south.”
In addition to his six flagship cheeses, Flenner is slowly producing a rich, aged bleu cheese and a camembert using a vegan mold. These cheeses take about eight weeks to grow mold and age, but once done, will sport the classic blue-green funk and veins on the inside.
Rabbit Foot Creamery cheeses are available for purchase through email (limited delivery and pick-up) and will soon be available through Flenner’s website, rabbitfootcreamery.bigcartel.com. They’re also available on the menu at Farmer x Baker from time-to-time. Updates on cheese availability and the progress of Flenner’s bleu cheese can be found on Instagram.com/rabbit_foot_creamery_.