Staphorster Fromance is the first plant-based slice made with lupine and shea

and you might have questions.

  • Staphorster Fromance? I thought you were from Huizen?

    As you know, from day one, we’ve been trying to find the secret to the perfect plant-based Gouda-style slice. And it was Rouveen Kaasspecialiteiten who put us on the right track: lupine. They are as serious about cheese as we are and - ironically - they happen to be a major coöperation of 250 dairy farmers around Staphorst. Six of which now dedicate part of their farm to grow lupine for our Fromance. This makes Staphorst, famous for its traditional values, the birthplace of a major plant-based innovation. Is that cool or what.

  • So it’s made with dairy…farmers?

    Rouveen Kaasspecialiteiten asked six of the farmers in their cooperation if they’d be interested in growing lupine for plant-based Fromance. They all said yes immediately. They now cultivate lupine instead of cow feed on 15 ha of land, fixing 2400 kg of nitrogen in the soil as they go. Lupine attracts pollinators, so they improve biodiversity & soil health, and inspire their colleagues with new ways of farming. Farmer Arnold: “We’re exploring ways to keep farming in the future. We think it’s the most beautiful thing there is.”

  • What does Staphorster Fromance taste like?

    The combination of lupine and shea butter gives Staphorster properties we thus far only tasted in dairy Gouda cheese: a truly soft, smooth mouthfeel with a gentle taste. And you can roll up slices, just like traditional cheese, waiting for a mini gherkin on top! But don’t take our word for it - both at Vegan Summer Fest and the Gouda cheese market we got the feedback that this was the best plant-based alternative they ever tasted. We’d love to hear what you think!

  • What about nutritional value? And allergens?

    With 8,5 gram per 100 gram, the protein content beats other plant-based slices thanks to the lupine. Also, shea kicks saturated fat in the coconuts: Staphorster Fromance has a saturated fat level 4 times lower than both dairy and plant-based slices: 5,4 gram per 100 gram. It’s also lower in salt, naturally free from coconut, soy & lactose, and rich in vitamin B12 and calcium. And what about gluten? The Staphorster Fromance Cumin and Italian Herbs may contain some traces of gluten, as there is a chance that a stray gluten-containing cereal plant ended up in the lupine field. It’s a small chance, but currently not possible to completely prevent this.

  • What’s so special about lupine?

    Lupine is just as protein-rich as soy, but of even higher nutritional value: it’s one of the few plants that provides a complete protein, containing all the amino acids you need. It grows well on Dutch soil so requires no imports from far away countries, improves soil health, fixes nitrogen in its cute root nodules and attracts pollinators. This plant deserves its own fan club! The lupine we use now comes from Germany, but in the future we hope to make all Fromance from Dutch lupine.

  • Is sheabutter better than other oils?

    That’s what shea said. As with all oil crops, traceability and monoculture remain points of concern. But shea is a jump forward from the more usual coconut oil in many respects. The shea tree grows naturally in the African savannah and the harvest takes place in agroforestry parks - more comparable to a food forest than a plantation. Because no pesticides are used, the environmental impact of the cultivation of shea butter is considered to be quite low. It is seen as a sustainable alternative to more industrially grown vegetable oils. Socially, too: African women can independently collect the nuts, prepare shea butter and sell it, which offers them the chance of a fair income. (Glew, D., & Lovett, P. N. (2014). Life cycle analysis of shea butter use in cosmetics: from parklands to product, low carbon opportunities. Journal of cleaner production, 68, 73-80.)

  • Why would this be more sustainable than dairy cheese?

    Get real about sustainability, and plant-based is the way to go. We have the numbers to prove this. If you compare cow's milk cheese with a soy-based product, then animal cheese consumes: - 8x the amount of emitted greenhouse gas - 25x the amount of farmland and - 38x the amount of water. Since making cheese from lupine is still new, lupine-specific numbers are not yet available but it will definitely be in this order of magnitude. Last but not least: every year, global dairy production takes the lives of 90 million animals (mothers and calves combined). A statistic we're particularly determined to bring down. If we can do so by enjoying delicious Fromance, why wouldn't we?

    Source: Our World In Data (consulted 6-2023)

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