The end of my second Veganuary means a thankful return to cheese.
Last year, although I didn’t write about it much, I did try quite a few vegan cheeses. It was a depressing endeavour, with weird buttery scents, spongy textures and erratic melting.
A year on, have things improved? I started the month with supermarket-available items, and graduated to some fancier/pricier options by the end.
- Applewood Vegan. Melts well and has a pleasant smoky taste. I had some passable pasta with this melted into Elmlea Double Plant Cream.
- Mexicana Vegan. Made by the same people as the Applewood, so has the same soft texture and meltability, with a spicy kick.
- Vitalite Dairy Free Slices. The intense smell from the opened packet had my husband searching the fridge for spilled milk. I found myself eating these idly and a little sadly – they tried hard but only reminded me of what I was missing.
- Nush Almond M*lk Ch*ese Chive. Made with almond milk, this is actually quite a convincing cream cheese doppelganger. Side by side, perhaps not, but standalone, it is creamy, slightly acidic and has a good chive hit.
I put in an order with GreenBay for a few fancier cheeses part way through the month. My hope was that the more you pay, the better it gets, and that did actually seem to be true!
- New Roots – Free the Cow Spread – Garlic and Fine Herbs. Made from cashew nuts. Pretty darn good!
- MozzaRisella Mozzarella Style Cheese. Made from brown rice sprouts. An odd beast, this. The unmelted texture was reminiscent of panna cotta, the melted more like a bechamel, with almost zero taste. It added an unexciting bland creaminess.
- Honestly Tasty Veganzola. Made from almonds. This really impressed me. The look and texture were great, although the latter was a bit butterier than regular gorgonzola. The taste, although not a perfect replica, was very good. I think in isolation this could fool people!
I was very impressed with a few of the fake cheeses out there – an almond or cashew base seems the way to go. I’d like to try a few more from Honestly Tasty – I just need to save up the pennies first!