Putting 'em to the test
There’s been a lot of buzz around town about vegan cheeses so we took a trip to our local market and tried some for ourselves.
Here’s the skinny on the taste, smell, and texture of all the products we could get our hands on:
Lisanatti Foods produces many different cheese products from almond, rice, and soy bases. They come in a variety of familiar flavors like Cheddar, Jalapeno Jack, and Garlic + Herb, and different styles such as block and shredded. We decided to give their Original Almond Mozzarella a try.
The Verdict: Our team had mixed feelings, but on the whole found it odorless and a bit bland. The texture was similar to dairy-based cheeses and went well with crackers, but it had bit of an artificial aftertaste.
Follow Your Heart has many products including non-dairy cheeses, vegenaise, dips and dressings. We decided to try their Provolone Style Slices.
The Verdict: At first impression their product smelled very close to the real thing, but we found the texture extremely rubbery and flaky. The taste unfortunately was too strong and left an unpleasant aftertaste.
Field Roasts’ Vegan Chao Slices are coconut based and flavored with “chao,” a vietnamese style fermented tofu. They come in a variety of flavors including tomato cayenne, coconut herb, and original creamy. We opted for the latter.
The Verdict: Upon smelling and tasting the slices, coconut comes through immediately and is a bit overpowering (if you’re a fan of coconut you may actually prefer this product to others!) Compared to the other two block style “cheeses”, Chao has the best texture by far. Word on the street is these slices melt the best.
Heidi ho produces a line of dips and spreadable non-dairy cheeses in a variety of flavors. The cheeses are flavored with real vegetable blends and can be served hot or room temperature.
The Verdict: As a whole, our team thoroughly enjoyed the Creamy Chia Cheese from Heido Ho. The texture was smooth and pourable, and had a good flavor from the blend of peppers and spices mixed in. However, we did not find it reminiscent of cheese in any way, despite the good taste – more of a cheese flavored dip, if you will.
Treeline’s products range from hard aged varieties to soft cheeses and come in a variety of flavors like Scallion, Chipotle-Serrano Pepper, and Green Peppercorn.
The Verdict: We opted for the French Style Soft Cheese in the Herb Garlic Flavor and unfortunately found the smell and taste to be overly pungent and tangy. However, the texture was spot on with dairy-based soft cheeses and would go well spread on a cracker or crostini.
Kite Hill is revolutionizing the plant-based food industry. Their products range from cheeses and spreads, to yogurts, ravioli and more.
The Verdict: We tried their Cream Cheese Style Spreads in Plain and Chive Flavor and found them both to be pretty darn close to the real thing. The textures were perfectly soft for spreading and dipping, and although we found the plain a bit bland, the chive flavor more than made up for it.
LET’S GET REAL: Kite Hill is the real deal in our books! However, we will continue our quest for the BEST dairy-free vegan cheeses. If you have any favorites, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our bellies are eagerly awaiting your suggestions!