Launched in the summer of 2020, Prairie Melt was created by Good Stock Executive Chef Michelle Robinson, to fill a need she felt was missing in her own plant-based eating enjoyment.
“For me, pizza was always the thing that I really missed, once I switched to plant-based eating. I would try to order vegan cheese on pizza and it just wasn't the same,” says Chef.
“From there the application of it kind of just grew into everything else with melty cheese, like, oh, now I can have nachos too!”
“I never wanted it to have a long list of ingredients, with chemicals or preservatives, so I was also really aiming to make something simple and delicious,” says Chef.
After months in the test kitchen and dozens of combinations later, Prairie Melt was created with just five simple ingredients: Potato, canola, nutritional yeast, lemon juice & salt.
Chef Tip: To use Prairie Melt as a topping, crumble on your dish and bake at approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 to 20 minutes. If broiling on high heat, cook for 2-5 minutes only or until it just begins to brown. Prairie Melt will also melt in the microwave after about 1-2 minutes on high.
“I think the biggest thing we always hear is that people love the flavour of it. As well as the fact that it actually melts, which we find is the main complaint about a lot of other vegan cheeses.” says Chef.
“Customers don't feel like they’re compromising on the flavour at all and yet it’s also a really adaptable ingredient, both as a topping or for melting directly into recipes like a sauce,” says Chef.
It’s a cheeze geared not only towards vegans and plant-based lovers but towards a broader group as well.
“My brother-in-law was on an elimination diet at the time and he couldn’t have nuts or soy or gluten, and I was thrilled that this could work for him. I think it’s important to share that Prairie Melt does not just cater to vegan and plant-based eaters, it was also designed for people with allergies and folks who are eating dairy-free as well,” says Chef.
“It’s just so versatile,” comments Carol from @yeg.baking on Instagram.
“I also thought it'd be a great all-purpose option for restaurants as well. It is tough to find a vegan cheese that's allergy friendly.”
“We didn't even intend this, but one of our restaurant customers, The 3 Amigos, sometimes uses it even just as crumble to top off certain dishes, so we’re learning all of these different ways people are putting it to use in their own kitchens and it’s very exciting to see,” says Chef.
You can find Prairie Melt as a menu option at the Next act, in a vegan mac and cheese, on poutine and in their breakfast melt. Mill Creek Cafe also features Prairie Melt in their own breakfast scramble as well as a few other specials. As mentioned the 3 Amigos uses it as an option for tacos, in their vegan bowl as well as inside their ooey gooey gorditas. The Stone & Wheel Pizzeria offers it on top of their pizzas and our friends at Loaf Me use the cheeze in a signature sundried tomato and Prairie Melt bread.
“I love that Prairie Melt is a locally made, carefully curated cheese and it’s made to taste deliciously amazing while also being a healthy choice,” says friend Connie Kob in a comment on social media.
It’s clear that Prairie Melt has gained a ton of fans since it’s launch and now it’s creator hopes to make it available on a much larger scale.
“2020 was really the test to prove the product worked and people liked it and now I would love to see this as a dairy free staple in everyone's fridge,” says Chef.