Friday Favourites – Cheese
Like milk the word cheese is not synonyms with dairy although our association lends heavily towards the dictionary meaning; a food made from the pressed curds of milk, firm and elastic or soft and semi-liquid in texture.
Despite not using the curds of dairy milk the vegan cheese industry has come leaps and bounds from where it started. Vegan cheese actually taste like something and even melts which is exciting especially when making pizza.
Don’t compare to dairy cheese
Comparing dairy cheese and vegan cheese is one that should not be made, as you might be bitterly disappointment. Vegan cheese is a food group within its own right its like comparing apples and bananas both a fruit but they taste very different from each other. Vegan cheese will never quite melt like dairy cheese due to the lack of ‘fat’ but will it taste as good? We think so.
From mozzarella, brie and soft cheese to tasty grated and slices there are an array of vegan cheeses to be sampled to suit whatever the dish; lasagne, toasted sandwiches, cheese and crackers even a cheese board.
You can live without dairy cheese
So the next time you say you couldn’t possibly go vegan because you couldn’t live without cheese hunt down and try our five favourites, you will soon change your mind we bet ya!
Five Favourites; vegan cheese
Botanical Cuisine Classic cashew cheese
Botanical Cuisine make an array of cashew cheeses that will have any die hard cheese eater loving the soft and supple cream cheese which is rich, complex and sweet. Handmade in Collingwood this raw cashew cheese is available in a variety of flavours; Classic, Lemon & Dill, Paleo Philly, Paleo Mushroom and Paleo Turmeric. We haven’t yet decided which one is our favourite but the Lemon & Dill works wonders in a pasta as well as topped on celery or a cracker.
Miyokos Artisan Vegan Cultured Nut Cheese
Crack out the quince paste, red grapes and pear slices as this cheese makes a superior cheese board. Unfortunately not all products are available in Australia but there are certainly more than enough to satisfy including; classic double cream chive, double cream sundried tomato garlic, aged English smoked farmhouse and double cream garlic herb.
Miyokos cheeses are buttery and savoury and make up quite the cheese board or melted on a baked potato, stirred into cheese sauces or crumbled over salads.
Are you sure this isn’t dairy cheese? Available in a block or slices, this cheese has that rubbery texture that sometimes we crave in a heavily manufactured product. Creamy like a dairy cheese, it’s a true cracker cheese and melts beautifully adding creaminess to a béchamel sauce.
Available in mainstream supermarkets so you don’t have to hunt far and wide for this dairy free cheese alternative.
Now this cheese is one of the most talked about cheeses within the vegan community and for good reason –it melts and basically this is what this cheese is good for. I wouldn’t recommend eating this raw that’s not what it is intended for, its for grilled cheese, mac’n’cheese, tacos, nacho and all those comfort foods that aren’t necessarily healthy but we can’t be saints all the time when it comes to food.
Yes its expensive, the downfall of a small distribution channel in Australia but the interest is growing and with this we will hopefully see a downturn in the price. At the moment you can expect to pay anywhere between $10-$13 for a packet. Ouch I know but if this is a ‘every now and then’ food item then I say it’s worth the investment.
Damona Divine – Brie
Once again a cheese not to compare with its dairy counterpart – its is not dairy and the sooner you get over that the more open you will be to cheeses such as this. A jelly-like texture that is creamy and smooth with a hint of coconut as after all it is made with coconut oil.
Damona also make a bocconcini, cultured butter, and almond feta and pepperjack cheddar and are handmade in Melbourne. Local foods never tasted so good.
Fast growing industry
As you can read the vegan cheese market is growing and with options from raw to processed all your cheese cravings can still be satisfied minus the cruelty. Other brands include:
- Sprout and Kernel
- Tofutti better than cream cheese
- Redwood Cheezly
- To-fetta Deliciosa