When I first read (over on Yum Veggie Burger) that there existed in Williamsburg a vegan cheese shop, my initial reaction was an eye-rolling “well of course that exists.” But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became. I needed to see for myself, so I headed out to find Dr. Cow. The shop is a tiny space that’s the storefront of their kitchen. All of the cheeses at Dr. Cow are made with nuts — cashew, macadamia, and Brazil nuts. I’ve had cashew cheese before, a fact that seemed to surprise the woman working at the shop, but it was a soft cheese used as a filling in pasta. At Dr. Cow they’re doing something I’ve never seen before — they’re aging the cheese, allowing them to solidify into cheese-shaped forms. Now let’s be honest: no one is going to mistake these for real cheese. The texture actually reminded me of thick hummus more than anything else, and there was a strange, funky sharpness to both types I tried. And yet when paired with some crusty bread, they were quite delicious. I had a cashew cheese flavored with turmeric and kale, with a thin strip of beet in between those two layers. I also tried a macadamia cheese, flavored with saffron. Because macadamia nuts are higher in fat than cashews the texture is much softer, and the texture was a little chunkier. Dr, Cow also sells nut milks, as well as a selection of raw, vegan, and organic desserts. The cheese is a completely different thing than those heavily processed vegan cheeses meant to melt realistically and top veggie burgers and pizzas and such. They aren’t cheap; these are painstakingly crafted artisan products, and the prices reflect that. Although I probably won’t be back to Dr. Cow anytime soon, I love that they’re doing something completely new and different. Hopefully the shop, which has only been open for about a month, will be there for a long time to come.
Dr. Cow — 93 South 6th St