January 6, 2015
THE DALLES, Ore. — Folks with special diets or who just want to eat better without sacrificing taste have some new options to turn to thanks to NuCulture Foods.
NuCulture is the newest business at the Port of The Dalles Industrial Area. The company has introduced three flavors of a cheese-like cultured cashew Gorgeon (TM) Spread.
“Sugars in cashews are very, very helpful in creating a natural fermentation that reduces pH, makes the cashew more digestible, extends the shelf life — and the flavor is amazing,” said NuCulture Owner and Food Scientist Jenny Hogan said.
Hogan began thinking about ways to improve the American diet after watching the documentary “Forks Over Knives” that advocates a whole food, plant-based diet to combat many of the world’s most prevalent diseases.
“I was realizing that the American diet isn’t exactly healthy,” Hogan said. “So I started trying to eliminate animal-based products from my diet. But I’m a cheese lover. I was on the dairy judging team while at Oregon State University and I won second in the nation.”
She found eliminating dairy products particularly challenging.
“I tried to develop a cheese that I could eat and hopefully other people would love as well,” Hogan said.
After 20 years in food product development, she had a solid base of knowledge and experience from which to start. She developed the Tofurky Frank that won Best in Show at the Natural Foods Expo West. NuCulture Foods is one of only six companies that have been named to the TEAM Oregon Food delegation attending the 2015 Natural Food Products Expo West show in March. She will be joined in her booth by Jill Miles, Business Recruitment Officer for the State of Oregon, and Andrea Klaas, Executive Director of the Port of The Dalles.
Using non-GMO ingredients that are organic whenever possible, Hogan created a spread that works on crackers and vegetables in flavors like Bacony Chipotle, Garden Herbs and Pimento Paprika. More flavors and products are in development.
“They are plant-based, probiotic, dairy-free, cholesterol-free, soy-free and gluten-free — and they taste really good,” Hogan said.
NuCulture’s products will soon be available at White Salmon Thriftway, Rosauer’s and The Farm Stand in Hood River, and through Azure Standard of Dufur. Hogan eventually plans to pursue online sales.