Veganuary 2016
Comments 16

So Just How Bad Is Vegan Cheese..?

Vegan Pizza Cheese Review

Last year when I took part in Veganuary, I just didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t bother to seek out things like actually tasty tofu recipes and, more importantly, I neglected entirely the world of vegan cheese.

Having looked much more closely this year at what’s out there in terms of plant based “cheeses”, I think my end resolution will probably be to make my own using nuts – that said, I haven’t tried that yet, so don’t hold me to it. The reason for this is: there’s a bunch of crap in vegan cheese.

For me the whole point of temporarily adapting plant based diet is to ditch unnecessarily processed foods and go for whole ingredients that are unlikely to piss off my brain or digestive system. Vegan cheese ingredients are all small print and lengthy and kind of gross-looking. I haven’t done any real research into any of them because the Internet is full of annoying scaremongers, so correct me if all the processes and ingredients behind your average pretend cheese is sound, but you get the idea. There are certainly more things going on in there than your average Pinterest cashew cheese recipe, yaknow?

You’re not here to listen to me be an annoying hippie though, you want to know what the stuff tastes like.

VioLife Vegan Pizza Cheese Review

VioLife Vegan Pizza Cheese Review

VioLife Vegan Pizza Cheese Review

The cheese I tried out for size was VioLife’s Pizza Cheese, I picked it up at hiSbe which is just down the road from me (fellow Brightonians, they are your go-to for vegan thingies, them and Infinity Foods) and it was just over £2.

Meltiness

I was too lazy on the day in question to make a pizza base and real pizza sauce. You can judge me if you want. Instead, I thought a crumpet smeared with tomato puree would do the job. It did.

I grated the cheese on, whacked it under the grill for a few minutes and what you see above is what I got. It melted more than meets the eye, beneath the surface of what looks like unmelted strands of cheese is actual gooeyness, I was actually pretty impressed on that count.

I feel like if I’d done this properly, and baked the cheese in the oven on an actual pizza, it would have looked more appealing also. I’ll have to do that and report back, really, won’t I.

Taste

It wasn’t disgusting.

The thing I could most closely compare it to is plasticky American cheese, it did have a faint plasticky taste for sure. It didn’t taste creamy and delicious like mozzarella. Did it taste of anything? I should have made notes. I’m sorry for how bad I am at this.

I didn’t retch, and I haven’t sworn it off for life, and I’m looking forward to trying it on actual pizza. That’s all I can give you.

Texture

WEIRD.

It kind of stuck to my teeth a little bit. I guess because it lacks the delicious fatty goodness of actual cheese, it’s gonna behave way differently once it reaches your mouth, so it takes some getting used to. Again though, not offensive enough to make me swear it off for life.

Overall verdict? Vegan cheese ain’t so bad. Now I just have to pluck up the courage to try the VioLife “cheddar”, it’s been sitting in the fridge for a few days now, I can’t ignore it forever..

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16 Comments

  1. Love the highly un-scientific approach to all of this!

    Oh, and not really sold on vegan cheese. Terrible stuff.

  2. I definitely agree that Violife is fine for melting on things like jacket potatoes and quick meals, but if you’re after some *tasty* vegan cheese then give Vegourmet, Vegusto, Tyne Chease, and MozzaRisella a go!

      • You’re welcome! I guess there are lots of different types, and everyone has their own favourites. I think the key is not expecting it to be exactly like dairy cheese, but to find a taste and texture you enjoy. The different Violife slices are pretty good in sandwiches, but others are far better for melting 🙂

      • Yeah I tried my very hardest to approach it from a “this will not taste like actual cheese” perspective, it’s tricky though when it looks like cheese and says cheese on it! Makes my brain hurt a wee bit haha.

  3. Love your ‘scientific’ approach!! As a long term ‘nearly’ vegan I’ve tried ALL kinds of vegan cheese in a bid to rid myself of my quite sad cheese addiction. I can’t say I’ve really liked any of them with 2 exceptions, 1- Sheese chive & herbs tastes pretty identical to herby cream cheese ( you can get it at Holland & Barrett) & 2 A brand I can’t remember the name of that’s only available in the USA.
    I do however use LOADS of nutritional yeast in place of parmesan cheese to sprinkle on everything..

    • Ahh you can use nutritional yeast to sprinkle straight on can you? May try that, although it might put me off as it looks a tad like fish food!

  4. Pingback: Veganuary | 2 Weeks In | Cate in the Kitchen

  5. Pingback: So Just How Bad Is Vegan Cream Cheese..? (AKA a Sheese Review) | Cate in the Kitchen

  6. mlinklater says

    The vegusto piquant is super fantastic. Eat it straight on crackers. I’ve served it many times to non-vegans (even French people) and they love it. Don’t give up!

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