This is one of those products that I have been very excited to try ever since it came out! It has finally hit the shelves of Natural Grocers here in Casper, and I am beyond thrilled. I have always been partial to Kite Hill, partly because it isn’t made from weird starches and soy-based products, but mostly because one of the co-founders of the company is Tal Ronnen. Tal has had such a great influence on the vegan community especially through his restaurant Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles. That isn’t the reason I choose to support Kite Hill, though. He happens to be a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, the culinary school I went to. Whenever I get the chance to support the efforts of a fellow grad, I take it and run!
When I first noticed that my local Natural Grocers began carrying the Kite Hill ricotta, I purchased it without thinking twice. It is very recognizable as the Kite Hill brand, so it is hard to miss. As always, I love the simplicity of the Kite Hill packaging. It looks clean and appealing. I didn’t like that this one had the cardboard sleeve on it. Under that was the original plastic seal, but I wasn’t able to reseal it. There wasn’t a lid and the plastic part didn’t stick back onto the container. That was moderately frustrating, and I ended up putting it in a zip top bag. Seeing the ingredients was actually a very pleasant surprise. It had five ingredients and I didn’t have any questions, which was a good thing!
When I opened the ricotta, it looked exactly how I imagined it. It was a lot thicker than I expected, though. When I tried to get a spoonful, it was quite thick and a lot drier than I thought it was going to be. I tried a little bit off of the spoon, and it was really yummy. The flavor was a lot stronger than I had expected, but I didn’t mint it. I thought it tasted pretty good. I have been used to making my own almond ricotta and mine isn’t nearly as thick and doesn’t have as strong of a flavor. Since I tried it plain, I decided to go sweet with my next test. I was making a miniature strawberry chocolate tart and wanted something creamy to resemble a filling. I mixed the ricotta with a bit of powdered sugar, and it tasted exactly like a cannoli filling! It was delicious. I may or may not have eaten the whole tart that night… Needless to say, it had a great flavor and the texture was spot on.
As far as comparing it to the real thing, I have no idea. I don’t have a single idea what dairy based ricotta tastes like. I never liked ricotta cheese before I went vegan. I do know that this is just as good as any homemade version I have tried!
I highly recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a good ricotta alternative. I think the flavor is great, and the texture is incredible. I will definitely be picking this up if I don’t have time to make my own!