For anyone going vegan, one of the toughest things to give up can be cheese. It's a double challenge of not only giving up some really tasty and common cheese options, it also means having to experiment with finding cheese-like alternatives, many of which don't even come close to being a suitable replacement.
When I decided to go vegan for environmental reasons, I threw a Farewell to Cheese party with friends. I delighted for the last time in six different varieties of favorite cheeses, and the next day I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of Vegetarian Times and see a fellow cheese addict lending some much needed advice.
Hillari Dowdle is a cheeseaholic who went vegan. For someone with such an affinity for cheese, vegan options could be extra unsatisfying. However, she held her own cheese-centric party with friends, this one a taste test for what vegan options are up to snuff for even the pickiest of palates. Here's what she recommends:
Cheezly from Vegan Essentials
She notes that this cheddar is good both cold or hot, and it melts well, even with a bit of stringiness. That's a big deal as some vegan options turn into a fairly disgusting mess when heated up, reacting to warmth nothing like its dairy-based counterpart.
Sheese from Cosmos Vegan Shoppe
This one is from Scotland, so there may be a bit bigger carbon footprint attached to it. However it comes in various styles from cheddar to blue. Dowdle says that the Blue Style is even indistinguishable from the real thing, which is saying something about the quality of this vegan option!
Teese from Vegan Store
Dowdle recommends the mozzarella option from this vegan cheese maker, saying it goes well as the familiar component of a tomato pesto baguette.
Cheeses from Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet
For vegan options that cook up well, Dowdle recommends Follow Your Heart options, noting that this mozzarella works well for pizza, and the Monterey Jack for nachos.
Cheeses from Galaxy Foods
This one didn't fare quite as well as the other cheddar option noted above. The tasters decided it was not one to serve cold, but to heat it up. It then can work well for enchiladas and casseroles.
So cheese-loving vegans, rejoice. Options that are satisfactory are out there, and newly improved options are always being released. While cheese can be a struggle, at least incredibly delicious vegan desserts are not difficult to find.