We know there's already a big market for vegan cheeses and cheese substitutes for those who can't tolerate dairy. But, in light of this being Vegetarian Awareness Month (did you know?), we want to talk about the newest vegan cheese invention.
It’s called CHATO: that’s “Cheese” and “Potato” combined. CHATO.
According to ABC Rural, it has been in production since 2004, with Australian inventor Andrew Dyhin working tirelessly to perfect his creation. The “cheese” is made 100% from potato. All we really know about the process is that it is melted down into a liquid form to be used and changed as necessary. Unfortunately, since the patent is still pending, Dyhin can’t yet share his secrets about all that goes into making it.
Although this cheese is actually made of potato, Dyhin is confident that it looks and tastes like the real thing. It looks like cheese, smells like cheese, and apparently tastes like cheese, too.
“Yes, we use cheese flavors and salt so we can make a dairy-free cheese that [is] almost 100% potato and is dairy- and gluten-free,” he told Metro.
According to ABC Rural, Dyhin hopes that this new invention can help solve food insecurity. "When we look at the world today, and we see how important food security is, and getting the maximum amount of food from a hectare of land, having a way of using potato in all its current forms and all the by-product from potato processing and stuff that's left in the paddock, the stuff that gets thrown in the dump. This can do that,” he said.
"We can make potato shelf-stable, so depending on the packaging that can sit on your shelf ready to use without refrigeration," he added.
Once liquefied, the potato can be molded into blocks and used for making meals such as gnocchi and mash, or maybe just to add to salads or sandwiches. Dyhin says it’s even useful for dropping into disaster zones and to help feed the military.
Dyhin even hopes that his creation can eventually be used in place of other dairy products such as custards and ice cream. If it truly is this versatile, CHATO will be a great dairy substitute!