Your New Favorite Queso Is Made From Potatoes

This plant-based dip is created with the trio of potatoes, carrots, and chiles.

Since I write about food for a living, I like to think I have discerning taste. But every once in a while, I crave those trashy sports stadium nachos, the kind with ultra salty chips, pickled jalapeños, and, most importantly, the neon orange "cheese product" sauce.

As a vegan, I occasionally get this pang of garbage nostalgia, and wish it was as easy as heading to the grocery store and grabbing a jar of cheese sauce. But now there's a new product on the market to satisfy that craving: LOCA Food's Potato Queso.

Sold in a jar that's reminiscent of that mystery cheese product we all used to love (still love?), thankfully the LOCA Queso is made from more wholesome ingredients like potatoes, carrots, nutritional yeast, tomatoes, and green chiles. Unlike many dairy-free cheeses that rely upon nuts for richness, the LOCA Potato Queso is free from the top eight most common allergens.

three jars of potato queso

Buy it: LOCA Food Plant-Based Potato Queso (2-Pack), $25;

Once I popped the lid off the jar, I knew this stuff was going to be just what I needed. With a sharp Cheddar-y scent and bright orange color, my senses were telling me — even before the first bite — that I was enjoying the same old cheese sauce of yesteryear. It's easy to heat up LOCA Potato Queso on the stovetop or in the microwave, meaning you can be enjoying cheesy vegan dishes in mere moments.

I tried the two varieties, Mild Nacho and Spicy Jalapeño, in a plethora of ways. Mixed with Rotel for easy cheese dip, dolloped onto veggie burgers, slathered onto bread for grilled cheeses, and drizzled over tacos.

nachos in paper trays

The verdict? It's eerily similar to processed cheese and most definitely gave me a hit of nostalgia. The sauces are creamy and smooth, with just the right amount of cheesiness, and a hint of spices so they're not bland. The "Spicy" variety didn't have any heat to me; it simply tasted like a more heavily seasoned version of the Nacho sauce, which isn't a bad thing at all.

If you're in the market for some convenient vegan cheese sauce, LOCA Food sells their Potato Queso in a two-pack for $25 or a party four-pack for $45. While they're on the pricey side, a little goes a long way with these, with enough per jar to amp up the cheesiness of several plant-based meals.

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