Vegan Cheese - The Lowdown

Vegan Cheese - The Lowdown

Becoming vegan is an admirable moral commitment, but if you are a self confessed carnivore, it can be tough to completely cut meat from your diet. Equally for vegetarians, giving up eggs and dairy produce can be really tough. Perhaps the most difficult thing to give up is cheese - at least, that has been my experience as a lifelong vegetarian who is steadily reducing his consumption of dairy produce. The trouble is,cheese tastes so good, and exists in such infinite variety, and practically all my favourite savoury snacks involve cheese of one kind or another, and so many of my favourite recipes involve various types of cheese - mozzarella, parmigiano, feta, halloumi, cheddar, stilton - the list is endless. Another problem until fairly recently is that the various plant based vegan cheese substitutes tasted awful.

“Traditionally, vegan cheese has been thought of as bland and ‘plasticky’,” says Charlotte Stevens, who is the co-founder of La Fauxmagerie, a vegan cheesemonger in London – and purportedly the first of its kind in the UK. “While these cheeses, which are often made with oils and starch, are certainly cheaper and more accessible, many customers complain that the flavour isn’t quite right for them.”

This was the inspiration behind La Fauxmagerie, which opened in February 2019 and offers a range of plant-based cheeses from small artisanal producers across the UK, such as Tyne Chease, Honestly Tasty and I Am Nut OK. These brands usually favour ingredients like cashews, almonds and soybeans, which create a creamy texture that emulates the rich mouthfeel of cheese.

Stevens acknowledges that the faux cheese industry has some way to go. “Vegan cheese is still at a nascent stage. There are a few cheese types we’ve not quite nailed yet – for example, cheddar. We sell a few cheddar-style cheeses, one of which has a cheddar-like tang but the texture of brie, and another that has the right consistency but lacks that tang,” she says.

“But our suppliers are always experimenting with new ingredients, new bacterial cultures and new cheese ageing environments, so every month we’re seeing improvements.”  

At Hamper Lounge, we stock a Range of vegan cheese substitutes, and include them in our Vegan Cheese Hamper. We particularly like the small artisanal producer Tyne Chease.

We also love the produce of Violife, a vegan company based in Thessalonica in Greece, who produce a wide range of vegan cheese substitutesfree from: dairy, lactose, GMO, gluten, nuts, soy, preservatives and cholesterol.

Whether you enjoy them sliced in your sandwiches, spread on your bagel, sprinkled on your pasta or melted on your pizza, Violife is the vegan alternative to cheese that tastes and cooks great!

Here are a few of our favourites from Violife:

Smoky Flavour Cheddar Slices
Smoky Cheddar Flavour Slices with a hickory smoky rind promises to deliver!
Pairs ideally with your sandwiches, melts to perfection in your toasty and adds a smoky twist to your late-night snack with a glass of red wine!

Creamy with Garlic & Herbs
Garlic, chives and parsley finely combined to create a specially delicious freshness. Spread on a couple of gluten free crackers and indulge with a glass of red wine.
Mediterranean style Grill Me!
The unique texture is perfect grilled with a Greek salad for an alfresco lunch or tapas style snack.
Greek White Block
Toss in a crispy salad with olives and cherry tomatoes or melt into a Portobello mushroom for a delicious snack.





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