The biggest barrier for me when it comes to making the leap to vegan- I've been vegetarian for a long time- is my great love of cheese. Are there any vegan versions you'd especially recommend? Particularly keen to know about vegan versions of goats cheese, mozzarella that melts, halloumi and mature cheddar, but any you've tried and loved it would be great to hear about
I'm still on the transition to vegan, and I've really cut down on cheese so that I avoid a lot of things it would have been in. So far, vegan 'cheese' has been very hit and miss, and naturally, different people like different things.
I got some Tesco 'mature cheddar style "cheese"' which smells quite unpleasant, but it grates well and melts a bit, so you can have it on toast. The best for taste so far I've found has been the cheese-style shreds from Follow Your Heart. They don't smell awful, and taste quite like cheese.
I haven't found anything like goats cheese or halloumi. The Tesco Mature cheddar isn't salty enough or hard enough to resemble real cheddar.
The new tesco cheese with jalapeño in is amazing. It melts really well for cheese on toast too. It's the first vegan cheese that I've thought wow, I need to buy that again!
Also recommend the Tesco jalapeño cheese, but tbh none of the substitutes I've tried can really replace cheese. This one does taste good melted in a toastie though!
This is an article I have stored in my phone for when I'm shopping. My more experienced vegan mate said he's stopped bothering with non-dairy cheeses. I haven't tried all these, but I'm a big fan of the Garlic and Herb soft stuff from Sainsbury's new range. Anyway, here's the article:
VEGAN CHEESES (GARY)
Best for bagels – Tofutti Original Creamy Smooth
This is a classic “cream cheese” with a lovely smooth, spreadable texture. You’d never guess that it’s made from tofu!
Best for sandwiches – Violife Cheddar Flavour Slices
These slices are not only tasty but also ultra-convenient. They go perfectly between two slices of bread with some crisp lettuce and a splash of vegan mayo. They’re available at Holland & Barrett, independent health-food stores and at some branches of ASDA and Tesco.
Best to add to a salad – Vegusto No-Moo Herb
This is a firm vegan cheese, delicately flavoured with parsley, chives and basil. Toss it with some mixed leaves, sundried tomatoes and a splash of olive oil for a sophisticated light meal.
Best for “cheese” and crackers – Tesco Free From Rich Soya Smoked
The smoky flavour is what sets this “cheese” apart. We love it on crackers or oatcakes, possibly with a little dab of chutney. Relish! [This is a Sheese product ‘Sheese Melty Strong Cheddar Style', repackaged for Tesco]
Best for pizza – Veganic Vegan Pizza Cheese
This dairy-free cheese does exactly what it says on the tin – namely, goes all lovely and gooey when sprinkled on top of a pizza alongside your favourite vegan toppings.
Best for sauces – VBites Cheezly Edam Style (Melting)
This cheese is wonderful in a homemade sauce, creating just the right texture and a great cheesy taste. Your vegan lasagne will never be the same again!
Best for melting – MozzaRisella
Made out of rice milk, this Italian “cheese” is a vegan version of – you guessed it – mozzarella. With its mild flavour and soft texture, we can’t get enough of it melted on top of pizza, pasta or anything else you might fancy.
Best “blue cheese” – The Blue Sheese
If you’re craving a cheese that’s slightly more piquant, this vegan blue cheese is just the thing. And, as opposed to dairy-based blue cheeses, you won’t be eating mould!
Best for dipping – Sweet Chilli Creamy Sheese
Warning: this vegan cream cheese is seriously addictive. It has a satisfying kick and tastes great with tortilla chips or breadsticks. Try also Sainsbury’s Free From Garlic and Herb
Best ‘Value and Availability in the UK'
Cheezly White Cheddar Style - melty and cold, both work well
Thank you @WestleyAndButtockUp! And thank you hazel and FFS, that sounds lovely, a bit like the Mexicana cheese that is so lush.
Westley that's a great list - thanks for posting it.
Incidentally, does anyone know why vegan 'cheese' can't be made like vegetarian cheese (the rennet in that is derived from thistles afaik)? You can curdle rice milk/soya milk/almond milk with a small quantity of cider vinegar so there is scope for it to follow the same sort of process.
However, I am ignorant about what else happens with cheese making
I'd be very keen to know what's the closest Gary to halloumi. Perhaps it's one of the ones on my list? I haven't yet tried most of them.
I'd also like to annotate that list with which supermarkets stock which brands.
Once you're more used to a different way of eating then try drizzling tahini, a little olive oil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes on top of home made pizzas (and lasagne etc) instead of pretend cheese. It's soooooo goooood. You need to pop it back in the oven/under grill for a few mins till it's bubbling.
Brilliant that you are transitioning and any change is better than none It soon becomes "normal"
Tesco's grated mozzarella is the only vegan cheese that I have tried so far and after reading about vegan cheese being gross I wasn't expecting much, but I thought it was really nice, it's very mild and melts well. I am looking forward to trying the jalapeno Gary next
This thread is cheering me up after a day spent trying to meal plan for a family including a dedicated meat lover, a vegetarian trying to be vegan, an 8 year old who is very limited in what he will eat and adores cheese, a 2 year old who has recently decided that he pretty much eats pasta and yoghurt and an almost 11 year old who has started to speak grunt almost exclusively
I tried the violife on cheese on toast the other day and it wasn't great, so glad to see there are other options. Thanks for the list above, the pizza cheese in that list above that goes gooey, I need to get that!
Violife is good if you slice it thickly and fry it like halloumi. It goes a bit crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle. DH had a brainwave on time he was making me dinner.
Amy's Mac n Cheeze ready meal is good too.
I'm also a veggie on the transition to vegan! The mozarizella is the best vegan cheese I've tried so far - melts quite well too. As a hallumi alternative I've been using marinated tofu instead. Definitely some recccomendations I'll try on this thread!
Credit for the list, above:
I find it too much hassle for every day, but for an occasional treat I've started making homemade 'Camembert' using this recipe:
Had to order the tapioca flour from Amazon but it was worth it!
I'm not vegan - or even vegetarian - but try to eat vegan quite a bit. I gather that basil-marinaded tofu is quite good in salads.
I can't stand most Garys - easier to go without imo!
Having said that, I've been sneaking sliced Gary (Tesco red leicester) into the DC's sandwiches and they suspect nothing I think the Tesco blue version is quite good too.
The only three non vegan things I eat are cheese, milk in coffee and mayo. I could lose the second two but cheese...I wasn't able to eat dairy for decade in the 80s/90s as was horrendously allergic and am still catching up on all the lost cheese.
I do use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan though.
That homemade vegan Camembert looks fantastic.
The Tesco blue gary tasted wrong to me the first time, but that's because it was on a plate with someone else's Roquefort.
The next day I was going to throw it out, but I tried another piece with some good crackers and it was perfectly decent. I now think it's as good as any average blue cheese that's a little harder. It's not as good as a creamy French blue, but it's not really trying to be.
if you can get hold of the Violife smoked flavour it is yum yum, and this is from someone who is not really a big fan of vegan cheeses.
Sainsbury's greek style dairy free cheese (feta style) is pretty good if you have it with toppings in your sandwich e.g. with basil and tomato, or with mustard and rocket or something. Has filled a big hole for me - on its own it's not as great but with the other flavours it really works well.
I don't mind the violife original on occasion, but prefer the ones above.
The Sainsburys caramelised onion one is good. And Vegusto piquant. I use MozzaRisella for mozzarella. And artisan nut cheeses are tasty (if expensive, though you can make them at home).
Wesley Violife are due to release a vegan halloumi soon
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