What’s different about Kite Hill? I’ve seen other dairy alternatives on grocery store shelves.
We are the only plant-based foods company that makes our foods using traditional cheese-making methods. Other nut based products use ground nut pastes, stabilizers, and artificial ingredients to make cheese-like products. Our artisanal products contain only almond milk, cultures, enzymes, and salt. Our cultured cream cheese style spreads contain small amounts of natural stabilizers to achieve the creamy textures that people expect from spreadable products.
Are your products organic?
Our goal was to produce a suite of plant-based products that are not only healthy, but also affordable. To that end, we have chosen to not use organic almonds. Our nuts are certified non-GMO and we do not use any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners in our products.
Where do you source your almonds?
All of our almonds are grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
What about the drought? Don’t almonds use too much water?
Yes, almonds are a thirsty crop, but they don’t require anywhere close to the water resources necessary to sustain the animal agriculture industry. The number one consumer of water in California is alfalfa, which is grown to feed dairy cattle here and overseas. We believe that by switching to a plant-based diet (that includes nut products), you can greatly reduce your water footprint. You can learn more about almonds, dairy, and the environment here.
Will people with nut allergies be allergic to our foods?
All of our as our products contain almond milk, so any individuals with an allergy to almonds will not be able to enjoy our products.
Are your products vegan?
Yes, our products are classified as vegan. We use nut milk and proprietary vegan enzymes and cultures to make all of our products.
Are you gluten-free?
Almonds are naturally gluten-free, and none of our other ingredients inherently contain gluten. However, we do not label our products as gluten-free because many of our herbs are grown outdoors, where there is a possibility of cross-contamination from other crops. Our products that do not contain herbs, such as our Soft Fresh Original, Soft Ripened, and Plain Cream Cheese style spread, do not contain gluten. We are in the process of working with our herb supplier to have our herbs certified as gluten-free so that we can label all our products as such.
Is there soy in your products?
Nope. We’re 100% soy-free.
What about GMOs?
We source certified non-GMO almonds and none of our other ingredients are genetically modified.
What allergens are present at your factory?
We only process almonds at Kite Hill, so there is no risk for wheat, dairy, peanut, or soy cross-contamination.
Do your products melt?
When cooked in lasagna or on a nice crusty flatbread, our ricotta becomes soft and even creamier, but it does not melt. Our other artisanal artisanal items are best eaten fresh out of the cheese drawer or at room temperature. Treat them like any other artisanal cheese.
Is the rind on Soft Ripened edible?
Yep! And we think that’s the best part! We’ve very proud of the fact that we are able to grow a rind on this product just like any other traditional aged cheese. Enjoy!
Speaking of Soft Ripened, it seems to get stronger in flavor over time. Is that normal?
It is normal. The bacteria and fungi used in the Soft Ripened continue to do their thing over time, even when it is refrigerated. Don’t worry, though — a stronger flavor isn’t an indication that anything is wrong. This is typical of the aging process, and in fact, we like it even better after it has a little more age on it.
How long can I keep your products in my refrigerator?
Each item has a best-by date on the package. We recommend that you take care to follow our recommendation.
Is it possible to freeze your products?
We don’t recommend that you store any of our products in the freezer. Treat them just like any other artisanal cheese — keep them in the cheese drawer of your refrigerator.
Are your products raw or do you pasteurize your almond milk?
Yes, we pasteurize every batch of almond milk. We have chosen to pasteurize because it keeps our products consistent — we only want to work with the specific strains of bacteria that we have developed specifically to make our products. Pasteurization is also necessary from a food safety standpoint.
Why do you use gums in your cultured cream cheese style spreads?
We found that the most exceptional nut-based cream cheese style spreads needed a little help to achieve the creamy textures that people expect from a high quality, spreadable cheese. We only use a small amount of xanthan gum, locust bean gum, and guar gum, which are all natural ingredients. We’ll never use artificial stabilizers, preservatives, or carrageen in our products.
Where can I buy Kite Hill products?
Our products are available nationwide in select Whole Foods Markets.
I didn’t see Kite Hill at my local Whole Foods. How can I get it?
Talk to your Whole Foods cheese monger or Whole Foods grocery team member and ask them to stock Kite Hill. We are very young company, and a little nudge will go a long way!
Is your line available in Canada/Internationally?
Not yet. We hope to expand internationally soon, but right now we are just trying to fill all the orders from stores and restaurants here in the United States. Stay tuned!
I own or operate a restaurant. Can I order your products?
Yes, absolutely! We’d love to work with you and help put Kite Hill on your menu. Please send us a note and we’ll find a way to have our items distributed to you.
Can I cook with your products?
Yes! We love using our ricotta and soft fresh line in all sorts of dishes. Our cream cheese style spread also makes a great substitute for sour cream. See our recipes page for more ideas (coming soon).