Punk Rawk smoked salt cashew cheese on raw onion crackers. Heaven. But when it comes to vegan cheeses that melt and stretch, unlike this raw (unprocessed and delectable) cheese above, there's some science behind it. NPR recently wrote a story on this endeavor: Cracking The Code: Making Vegan Cheese Taste Cheesier.
Non-dairy cheese alternatives first sprang up in China in the 1500s, according to The History of Fermented Tofu- A Healthy Nondairy/Vegan Cheese... But to make a true vegan cheese substitute, you can't use casein. So Gordon's latest challenge has been to make a cheese that is completely free of animal byproducts but still retains the properties we love about cheese.