Atlanta has a reputation as a foodie’s paradise, and luckily for plant-based eaters, that includes an ever-expanding array of vegan products and eateries. Chief among these is Pure Abundance vegan cheese, a locally-made cashew-based cheese that’s so good even non-vegans are gobbling it up. Just in time for the holidays, we sat down with founder and vegan cheese wizard Allison Wunderland to get all the deets on the Pan and Luna varieties of this dairy-free delight.
Local Scout: What inspired you to create Pure Abundance?
I’ve always loved animals, and for most of my life, I ate them too. That changed five years ago when I made the astonishing discovery that it’s possible to create delicious, satisfying food using only plants. I was over the moon to learn I could make my mouth and belly happy without harming animals, and I wanted to share that discovery with anyone who would listen. Pure Abundance is how I share what I’ve learned.
What are some of the ways you like to serve it? In particular, do you have any ways you like to share it with carnivores for optimum enjoyment?
It works in any recipe that calls for cheese, so the possibilities are endless. Cheese & crackers are a crowd pleaser. I love a Luna grilled cheese sandwich; add fig spread or tomato and basil to make it fancy. Cut Luna into cubes and use it in paneer tikka masala. Pan is delicious in lasagna or ravioli, and it’s good in grits too. Luna is a perfect fit on pizza, as our friends at O4W Pizza have proven. For more inspiration, check out Wrecking Bar on Tuesdays. They’ve been creating all kinds of deliciousness with our cheese for their Veggie Tuesday menu.
Are there any wines you find go especially well with your wares?
Pan’s sparkly flavor pairs with sparkly wine. Champagne and Cava are good choices. Luna’s richness is complemented by light reds. Try Beaujolais, Grenache, or Pinot Noir.
It keeps growing in popularity–what do you attribute this to? (besides the fact that it’s delicious, obvi).
That’s thanks to the good people of Atlanta! We don’t have an advertising budget; our friends and customers are our advertising. I’m grateful for what this city has become: Atlantans recognize the value of locally produced goods and are loyal to local businesses. I feel supported and appreciated every day. Cashew Cheese has been called a “niche” item, but Atlanta foodies are sophisticated enough to understand that vegan food isn’t just for vegans.
Do you have any plans for future flavors?
Yes, there is more to come once we increase our production capacity. Smoked Buddha is next. It’s smoky, savory, and beautiful. We’re also working on a Cream Cheese recipe. You might see Pure Abundance cheesecakes one of these days too.
Appalachian born and bred, Brook Bolen is a freelance writer whose interests include pitbulls and toddlers (especially her own). She is routinely shocked to discover more people don’t count cornbread and beans as their favorite meal and can’t understand why a mashup of Yo Gabba Gabba and Run the Jewels doesn’t exist. Brook tweets infrequently at @BrookBolen.