Vegan cheese has always had a bad rap – and for years, it probably deserved its reputation. The first vegan cheeses looked like ear wax, smelled off-putting, and tasted like, well, nothing at all. It had a closer resemblance to tofu than it did to real, delicious, dairy-based cheese.
But with an increasing number of people attempting to lower their meat consumption – whether for climate change, health or animal welfare – companies have put a lot more time and effort into making vegan products that adequately replace their animal-based counterparts. And just as faux meat has recently jumped light years ahead in terms of both flavor and texture, vegan cheese has also made huge strides when it comes to successfully imitating cheese.
Here are three vegan cheese makers changing the game:
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Just like a fine wine, our Black Ash is a captivating blend of notes and undertones. You may detect the fermented oregano or spot a hidden touch of plum. This cheese has so much personality that dining with it can almost count as a date. Almost. We suggest savoring slowly and by candlelight. . . . #datenight #candlelight #dinnergoals #delicious #vegancheese #vegan #phenomenallyvegan #fig #figs #agavesyrup #cashewsnotcows #govegan #tasty #snackgoals #vegancheeseandwine
Miyoko’s Kitchen has raised more than $12 million and taken the interest of Ev Williams (founder of Twitter and Medium) and other noteworthy venture capitalists who all have the common interest of taking this cult brand to the next level.
Miyoko’s pleases the cheese lover in all of us. The fresh VeganMozz shreds and melts perfectly for pizza, and if you’re craving an indulgent bite of a French cheese, Miyoko has you covered there as well.
Her vegan cheese wheels are all made with cashew milk. They all look like the real thing, and some are even wrapped in fig leaves or coated in black ash. The Classic Double Cream Chive is salty, yet creamy, and would pair perfectly with a Sauvignon Blanc.
Co-founded by one of Oprah’s past chefs, Kite Hill sets itself apart in the vegan cheese market by using the same culturing process used in real cheese making.
Kite Hill creates artisanal almond milk foods, including cheese, yogurt, cream cheese and pastas, so whatever dairy you’re craving, Kite Hill has it in almond form.
If fresh goat cheese or ricotta is your kryptonite, try one of Kite Hill’s specialty fresh cheeses. The ricotta is almost indistinguishable from dairy–based ricotta and the cream cheese spreads are great for bagels and toast.
With the motto of of “Dare to be dairy free,” Treeline Treenut Cheese urges consumers to look more closely at how their dairy and meat actually gets to the table. The company’s anti-dairy movement also speaks to how unnatural it is for humans to be consuming cow milk and the diseases linked to consuming dairy products. By educating consumers, Treeline aims to shift the consumption of dairy to a healthier alternative.
Treeline offers a variety of fresh and aged cheeses, all made from cashew milk. Its Herb Garlic French-Style soft cheese is the perfect spread to add to your party’s cheese plate. While the consistency is a bit more like hummus, it’s spreadable and not too salty. Not to be overlooked, the Classic Aged Nut Cheese is firmer, creamy and smoky. Treeline’s aged cheeses also work for your vegan-friendly cheese plate, and they’re perfect to melt into pasta or risotto as well.