Snack

If 'Moon Cheese' Is the Future, Take Me There Now

This snack is 100% cheese—and also totally shelf-stable. But how? We tried all three flavors: cheddar, Gouda, and pepper Jack.

September  6, 2019

“I’ll have to check with grocery if it’s still in stock,” the Whole Foods customer care representative told me over the phone. “That’s a hot item.”

We were chatting about Moon Cheese, which I first tried a couple months ago, and haven’t been able to stop thinking about since.

Moon Cheese’s manufacturing company Nutradried describes it as the “100% cheese snack that crunches.” Which is a catchy way of saying: It’s cheese that doesn’t go bad, even if you toss it in your desk drawer, then forget about it for months. The packages I bought today (Gouda, cheddar, and pepper Jack) are “best by 3/28/20.”

Photo by Emma Laperruque
Photo by Emma Laperruque

Admittedly, cheese that doesn’t go bad sounds strange. If I said lettuce that doesn’t go bad or bread that doesn’t go bad at room temperature, you’d be suspicious.

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Top Comment:
“I know they have a proprietary means of making it (also only 100% cheese), and I wonder which company came first?? Either way, they're a small business in Illinois and their product is AMAZING. So, if your Big Box retailers can't keep you supplied, consider finding Umland's Crunchy Cheese online supporting this small biz in the Heartland. ;) (I'm not affiliated with the company in any way, just a fan!)”
— Melanie S.
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But, like freeze-dried fruit, it’s as simple as dehydration: “Using patented technologies,” the website writes, “we remove only the moisture from cheese while keeping all the nutrition and flavour.”

The result is a crunchy nugget, crouton-like in texture with an intensely cheesy flavor. I never loved Cheez-Its as much as everyone else—and now I realize, it’s because I always wished they were like this. All cheese, no it.

“Moon Cheese proved me very wrong,” my coworker Ella Quittner admitted. “It's excellent—like a cross between cheese and breadcrumbs. I want to crumble it up and put it on salads, on top of tomato soup, or eat it plain.”

Our executive editor declared it “pretty delicious,” then added, “I could definitely see myself eating these on soup or in salad, or mixing them into a fun snack mix—like a Chex Mix situation? That would be good.”

Here are four recipes I can’t wait to cheese-ify:

Have you ever tried Moon Cheese, or something like it? Let us know what you think of shelf-stable, space-age cheesy snacks in the comments.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • beezus
    beezus
  • Mary Ellen Olbrisch
    Mary Ellen Olbrisch
  • Melanie Shellito
    Melanie Shellito
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    Sarah D
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    anne reiswerg
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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

7 Comments

beezus February 28, 2020
Meh. I ordered the 3 flavor pack, based on this article a few months ago. They were okay, but not fabulous.
 
Mary E. October 11, 2019
Get it at Costco where it tends to sell out. Great filling snack, good for ketogenic eating. My dog loves it too. Only cheddar available at Costco. I hope it stays.
 
Melanie S. October 10, 2019
In my community, our food co-op stocks Umland's Crunchy Cheese... I know they have a proprietary means of making it (also only 100% cheese), and I wonder which company came first?? Either way, they're a small business in Illinois and their product is AMAZING. So, if your Big Box retailers can't keep you supplied, consider finding Umland's Crunchy Cheese online supporting this small biz in the Heartland. ;) (I'm not affiliated with the company in any way, just a fan!)
 
Sarah D. October 10, 2019
I've tried moon cheese and it's so good! My favorite flavor is pepper jack!
 
anne R. October 10, 2019
I found these at Big Lots of all places. They have a lot of international and off brand food items that are interesting. These are great...with wine.
 
Jim September 9, 2019
Tried them, but the problem is they taste like grease bombs. Regular cheese emulsifies the fat and doesn't taste oily. Dried like this, your mouth feels like you are eating pieces of solid grease.
 
Joanie R. September 6, 2019
I actually tried them a couple years ago when they first were available. They had an odd off flavor to me. Mind you I am a cheese friend, especially cheddar. The Gouda was the best...less of the odd aftertaste.