I have managed to post again this week, which I am happy about but I have been online much in the last week as I inured my shoulder doing nothing at all and it’s causing me quite a bit of pain. I have been off work for over a week now and have finally been given stronger medication by my doctor, except these send me to sleep and irritate my stomach so it’s not all good news. I’ve been trying to exercise the shoulder as well and hopefully the pain will be gone soon. Needless to say I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself, but also quite angry that I’ve been home all this time and I haven’t managed to do anything that I wanted to. Oh well, like I said, hopefully I’ll be feeling better soon. Today I have a vegan cheese review for you.
I have to say I’m not a fan of most brands of vegan cheese, I’ve tried a few and have settled on Violife because I like the taste and texture. I haven’t entirely ruled out trying new brands though so this post is going to be a about a few cheeses that I’ve tried recently.
Obviously the first cheeses to talk about are from the Sainsbury’s free from range, a range which has had a lot of media and that people seem to like. I picked up the soft garlic, regular cheddar, and onion cheddar varieties.
I was super excited to try this range, but especially the garlic and herb soft cheese as I haven’t found a soft vegan cheese that I like yet. Upon opening I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the colour, a kind of sad almost grey looking colour that didn’t appeal to me. The scent it gave off was more herby than garlic and I found the same with the taste, except when I first opened the packet the product really tasted sharp, like vinegar and that was really off putting. I’m not sure if there was something wrong with it, but after a while, open in the fridge the sharpness mellowed out. Again, the cheese wasn’t really strong enough with garlic for my liking, and the herbs were a little too strong. I liked the texture of the cheese, it was creamy and had a real authentic soft cheese feel but the taste just didn’t do it for me so I wouldn’t buy it again. The 170g tub was £1.80 in Sainsbury’s.
Ingredients: Water, coconut oil (23%), soya protein concentrate (9%), salt, humectant: glycerine; acidity regulators: lactic acid, sodium lactate; sugar, inulin, thickener: carrageenan; garlic granules (0.3%), spirit vinegar, flavourings (contains soya), mixed herbs (0.2%) (marjoram, basil, oregano, thyme), fructose, garlic powder.
After the soft cheese debacle I was hesitant to try the regular cheddar cheese, but I thought it best to try the unflavoured cheddar to see what it’s like before the onion variety. I had a problem with the texture of this one, the cheese stuck to the knife when I cut through it and then it crumbled as I tried to remove it from the knife. I found it hard to get a good piece to go on a cracker. Also I found the cheese smell to be quite fake and almost like smelly feet which really put me off. ‘Do it for the blog’ I told myself as I tasted the cheese. The taste definitely wasn’t as strong as the smell, it tasted almost like a mild cheesy flavoured potato. The reaction in the mouth, the sharpness, was the same as dairy cheddar so that’s something, however I wouldn’t buy it again. The 200g pack was £2.30 in Sainsbury’s.
Ingredients: Water, coconut oil (24%), modified potato starch, soya protein concentrate (4%), maize starch, salt, flavouring, yeast extract, modified maize starch, thickeners: carrageenan, guar gum; acidity regulators: lactic acid, sodium lactate; colour: mixed carotenes.
The last cheese I tried was the onion cheddar, after the last two I wasn’t very excited about this one but I was pleasantly surprised. It was sharp but sweet and really melted in the mouth. I liked the almost pickled onion taste. It had the same issue with the regular cheddar in that it got stuck on the knife when I cut it. This was the best of the three that I tried and I would buy it again. The 200g pack was also £2.30 in Sainsbury’s.
Ingredients: Water, coconut oil (23%), modified potato starch, caramelised red onion chutney (8%) (red onion, sugar, red wine vinegar, water, modified maize starch, salt, black pepper), soya protein concentrate (4%), maize starch, salt, flavouring, yeast extract, modified maize starch, thickeners: carrageenan, guar gum; red onion, spirit vinegar, acidity regulators: lactic acid, sodium lactate; colour: mixed carotenes.
Around the same time I purchased the Sainsbury’s cheese I picked up this prosociano from Violife. It’s an alternative to parmesan, which I’ve never tried before, but I was excited to try it on pasta. It was harder than any cheese I’ve had previously and was pretty easy to grate. Just like the Sainsbury’s regular cheddar this had an almost potato to taste to it, like a rich, buttery and salty potato soup. It was odd, not particularly off putting but not what I expected. It tasted okay on pasta but honestly, and for the price, I prefer a sprinkle of nooch. You can find this product online for around £5, I bought it in Tesco for £3.50.
Ingredients: Water, coconut oil (17%), modified starch, starch, sea salt, rice protein, vegan parmesan flavour, olive extract, colour: b-carotene.
Another cheese product I picked up recently was Mozzarissela, I have limited experience with vegan mozzarella (only at Zizzi’s, who apparently use this brand) but I do sometimes miss a bit of mozzarella on a tomato salad so I thought this was a good buy. The cheese had no real smell, it had a sharpness to it and the creamy texture was really nice, not exactly an authentic mozzarella texture but that’s okay. It was fresh, and tasted like mild herbs and rice. It was an okay product that I quite liked for salads, and I know it melts well on pizzas. I would like to try the smokey flavour because I feel like it needs extra flavouring. I paid £3.99 for the 200g pack at my local vegan store.
Ingredients: Biosurice 46% (water, germinated whole rice 20.8%, salt, apple vinegar), water, cold pressed coconut oil, sunflower oil infused with oregano, lemon juice, thickening agents: agar-agar, gum arabic, xanthan gum, carob flour.
Hope you’re having a better week than me