I’m on a mission to find the UK’s best vegan cheese… I’m taste testing some of the best on the market today and revealing my top 3!
There is no coming back.
Once you have tried a vegan cheese that BLOWS YOUR MIND it becomes your mission to seek out a cheese of equal greatness.
My epic cheese story came about during A Vegan Visit to Covent Garden (click here to read the full blog). I was happily enjoying my lunch of a particularly delicious ‘salad’ bowl (the type with ALL the trimmings – aka salad-not-salad) when I happened upon a little round nugget of homemade vegan cheese that I had not expected.
It was OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD.
Incredible, creamy, moreish, flavoursome and more delicious than any that I had tried before. Other cheeses pale in comparison to this Sultan of the vegan world. They bow to its greatness and worship the cracker that it sits upon… Ok, ok, a little dramatic, but you get the picture.
It became my life’s mission (well my February’s mission anyway) to find a cheese to rival it, since the restaurant that created such incredibleness is no longer open (its a travesty).
My fridge is fully stocked and looking like a vegan mouse’s pantry on Christmas day, so without further ado…
Here is the sum up on the most incredible vegan cheeses available in the UK today, along with a round up of my top three:
Bute Island – Sheese Mature Cheddar Style Grated (200g) £2.75
Out of the packet this grated ‘cheddar’ is in nice long strands in a pale cream colour with a solid grate.
It looks similar to the popular Violife but in its unmelted form it is much less salty with a balanced, mellow, cheesy flavour.
It melts like an absolute dream and the flavour goes extra-cheesy when it is in its melted form. It is incredibly similar to cheddar, with the only giveaway being a very slight graininess which is almost undetectable.
The best bit is that when this cheese goes crispy on the side of your pizza or cheese toasty, it has the EXACT same taste as cheddar does when it crisps up.
This cheese is really fantastic and comes into its own when melted making it my top choice for a melty vegan cheese. It is also very good in its cold form in sandwiches and wraps.
Ingredients include: A coconut oil base with soya.
Use it for: Anything melted but particularly pizzas and cheese toasties – the dream!
Follow Your Heart – Vegan Gourmet Shreds Cheddar (227g) £4.49
The ‘Shreds’ cheddar alternative comes in a grated form and is very orange in colour.
When eaten unmelted the texture is grainy and unpleasant with a bizarre, slightly alcoholic flavour.
When melted it transforms into a soft, gooey cheese that would go well melted over nachos as it has a good nacho-cheese flavour. It is a nice cheese when it is melted but I can’t quite shake the aftertaste which, although mild, is slightly odd.
Ingredients include: A lot of ingredients with an organic palm fruit oil and corn starch base.
Use it for: Melting over jalapeño nachos.
Rating: 6.5/10 in its melted form
MozzaRisella – Organic Original Vegan Cheese (200g) £3.99
‘MozzaRisella’ comes in a sausage shape and out of the packet it resembles mozzarella almost identically; it is crystal white, with a silky smooth but firm texture that slices well.
This is the PERFECT cheese for a pizza – it’s got the mozzarella mild flavour with a hint of basil and it melts like a dream. The only difference is that it’s not stringy like mozzarella, which I don’t see as a bad thing. When melted onto a pizza this cheese would fool almost any non-vegan.
It’s perfect in every way apart from being a teensy bit expensive.
Ingredients include: Germinated whole rice and coconut oil.
Use it for: Topping a freshly made tomato and basil pizza – heaven.
Tesco – Cheese with Peppercorns, Coconut Oil Alternative (200g) £2.50
A soft white cheese with a peppercorn topping that looks good enough to adorn any dinner party cheese platter.
This cheese has the texture of a slightly firmer Philadelphia and if you taste the cheese on its own (without the peppercorn topping) the flavour itself is also very similar with a lovely creamy texture and flavour.
The peppercorns go very well with this cheese and it tastes fantastic spread on top of an oat cracker, but be warned – they are punchy so this cheese might be for peppercorn lovers only! It would make a great addition to a cheeseboard and it looks expensive when its actually very reasonably priced.
Ingredients include: Coconut oil, oat fibre and soya protein.
Use it for: A posh cheeseboard topper.
Tesco – Jalapeño and Chilli Cheese Alternative (200g) £2.25
This cheddar-style hard cheese is easy to slice and has a great texture. The flavour is excellent – nice and punchy with a bit of heat but not so much that it blows your head off!
I really enjoy this cheese, it is perfect on crackers with a small dollop of chilli jam if you are looking for something a bit ‘extra’.
Ingredients include: A coconut oil base with chilli chutney, oat fibre and soya.
Use it for: Cheese and crackers.
Tesco – Grated Mozzarella Alternative (200g) £2.50
In it’s cold and unmelted form this coconut oil-based cheese doesn’t have a lot of flavour initially but it develops a cheesy aftertaste that I’d compare to Wotsits!
It’s a tiny bit grainy and it falls apart a little in your mouth – not the typical cheese texture and I wouldn’t recommend it for sandwiches or wraps.
When you melt this cheese it is considerably better and it tastes great on pasta and pizza, with a lovely mild and creamy flavour. I would say that the flavour is a cross between mozzarella and cheddar; not quite as mild as mozzarella but not quite as strong as cheddar.
A reasonably priced and enjoyable cheese.
Ingredients include: A coconut oil base with potato starch and soya protein.
Use it for: Sprinkling on top of pasta and popping it under the grill to go all melty and delicious.
Rating: 8/10 in melted form
Tyne – Chease Artisan Organic Vegan Cheese in Cashew Truffle (150g) £8.95
I was very excited to try this posh little beauty. From the pictures and description this one seemed to most closely resemble the the cheese I had tried in Covent Garden.
The packaging is thoughtful and Tyne have got a great selection of flavours. The cheese itself is quite small but would be the perfect size for a cheeseboard at Christmas.
It’s got a slightly crisp exterior with a soft inside. The flavour is dramatically different to any of the other cheeses I have tried and I should imagine it would be ‘love or hate’. It’s got the tang of a strong cheese with a smoky flavour, which I personally really love. The smoky flavour is quite strong – so much so that you might as well be eating a smoked cheese.
This wouldn’t go on pizzas or even in sandwiches, but would be a great treat to add to your Christmas cheeseboard… which might help to justify the price!
Ingredients include: Cashew nuts, water, white truffle oil, probiotics and Himalayan pink salt – thats it! All organic and raw.
Use it for: A posh cheeseboard topper.
VBites Cheezly Soya Free Cheddar Cheese (190g) £2.19
The colour of this cheese is a rather unappetising pale beige. The texture is grainy and the flavour is actually just unpleasant. I really don’t like this one unfortunately.
Ingredients include: Sustainable palm oil and pea protein.
Use it for: … or don’t use it!
Vegamigo – Grated Melty Pizza Cheese (200g) £2.99
This finely grated cheese is very similar to cheddar with its smooth texture and yellow cheddar colour. The flavour is mild and similar to Violife but a little less salty, which is good. It also doesn’t have the same ‘margarine’ taste that Violife has so it takes the lead for a sandwich cheese!
It does melt slightly but holds its form a bit more than others. It is a really great all rounder and good value for money, it’s just a shame its made with palm oil.
Ingredients: A palm oil base with potato starch.
Best for: A cheese wrap or pizza.
Violife – Mild Cheddar Grated Melty Vegan Cheese (250g) £2.95
In its cold, unmelted form this cheese is quite salty with a very mild flavour. It’s quite moreish, probably down to the saltiness. It has a little bit of a margarine taste to it, which is slightly odd.
This is a great cheese for those wanting a very mild cheddar alternative and I’d imagine it would go down well with children. It tastes like a cheap and cheerful mild cheddar and would lend itself to being sandwiched between two pieces of white bread and being cut into squares.
Violife melts brilliantly on pizzas and has a fantastic mild cheesy flavour that is a perfect pizza topper.
Ingredients include: A coconut oil base with modified starch and added B12.
Best for: A cheese sandwich or pizza.
Rating: 8/10 in its melted form.
My top 3:
1. MozzaRisella – Organic Original Vegan Cheese: the perfect mozzarella dupe, no one would ever know!
2. Bute Island – Sheese Mature Cheddar Style Grated: a great all rounder and tastes the most like cheddar. It’d make the perfect cheese toasty!
3. Tyne – Chease Artisan Organic Vegan Cheese in Cashew Truffle: something a little bit special, with fantastic, natural ingredients.
Prices correct as at 1/2/18.
This is an honest review and not a sponsored post – all opinions are a result of me personally taste testing each cheese. If there are any other vegan cheeses that you’d like me to taste test for you, just send me an email (I don’t need much persuading!).