For any person new to the vegan diet or considering the lifestyle change, one of the most common things I hear is ‘but I’ll have to give up cheese.’ And I won’t lie, it’s arguably one of the most difficult hurdles to get over, especially for any cheese lover.
Cheese is in pretty much everything and it’s a great additional ingredient to most meals. That creamy, oozing, gooey stuff has us all under its thumb, and as far as goodbyes go, it’s the toughest.
It isn’t exactly made any easier by the fact that picking a great substitute can be quite the effort too.
Meat substitutes are everywhere you look and for many of the options out there you can barely notice the difference. That melty cheesy goodness however is a little harder to replicate.
Harder, but not impossible.
Now, the taste of your vegan cheese will depend entirely on the kind and brand that you choose. Much like regular cheese, vegan cheese comes in many different types and styles, and the change will vary from product to product.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the popular vegan cheese options out there and we’ll walk you through exactly what you can expect out of them (read here to find out the best places to buy vegan cheese). Ready? Let’s get to it then.
What Does Vegan Cheese Taste Like?
1. Vegan Parmesan
Typically, you can expect vegan parmesan cheese to have a salty taste, though just how strong this taste will be can vary depending on the brand. Generally, it will have a very similar scent to that of standard powdered parmesan cheese.
I won’t lie, you will notice a difference in the taste overall. Without the use of dairy products, it can be a struggle to replicate that really creamy taste that standard parmesan has. With that being said though, it doesn’t taste bad, just a little different.
It’s still the perfect sprinkling over a delicious pasta dish!
2. Vegan Ricotta
Your standard ricotta has a very rich, sweet, and creamy taste. It’s a pretty distinct flavor that can be hard to replicate perfectly.
However, many vegan cheese brands do a pretty good job of it. Made from mostly olive oil and tofu, you’ll still get that moist and crumbly texture of ricotta cheese.
In terms of taste, it actually does a pretty good job too. It doesn’t taste exactly like ricotta cheese, but that is to be expected when you are interchanging ingredients.
It tastes as close as you could possibly ever make it though. It’s still creamy and sweet and is very enjoyable.
3. Vegan Cheddar
In most cases, vegan cheese will come in slices as opposed to blocks or shredded bags. It isn’t impossible to find these other forms of vegan cheddar cheese, but they’re just not as common (see more about buying different types of vegan cheese here). These slices work amazingly well for sandwiches and burgers though.
Typically, vegan cheddar contains water, coconut oil, salt, and a variety of flavorings. Along with a little b-carotene to give that typical yellow cheddar color.
I’d go as far as saying that vegan cheddar is probably the best-tasting option out there so is a great choice for those new to the diet.
Uncooked, this vegan cheddar is almost identical to cheddar in terms of texture. It’s very close to the original version in terms of taste too. It’s quite sharp and a little salty too.
Many of my non-vegan friends have even said before that they couldn’t tell the difference between my vegan slices and the real deal!
4. Vegan Mozzarella
Everyone enjoys the gooey melty goodness that comes from mozzarella, and for those looking for an animal-friendly alternative, vegan mozzarella won’t disappoint.
Made from tapioca and arrowroot flour, along with several other vegan-friendly oils, proteins, and additives, you’ll still get that satisfying cheese-pull from vegan mozzarella. It tends not to be quite as stringy but it still melts in that ooey-gooey way.
It doesn’t have quite the same taste as standard mozzarella. Many people say it has a more salty punch to it but overall its a great substitute that still tastes good.
Vegan Cheese Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Vegan Cheese Taste Like On Pizza?
Life without pizza sounds abysmal, right? Well, luckily thanks to vegan cheese you don’t have to give the good stuff up.
It’s not quite as creamy as mozzarella and has a slightly more noticeable nutty taste, but overall it still has that melty stretchy texture.
Does Vegan Cheese Melt Like Real Cheese?
Unfortunately, a lot of vegan cheeses won’t melt in the same way that regular cheese does. If you’re looking for stringy and melty vegan cheese you’ll want to opt for cheese slices and shreds that are specifically produced to melt.
Is Vegan Cheese As Good As Normal Cheese?
In health terms, vegan cheese is actually much better for you. In most cases, it’ll have a lower saturated fat content and additional vitamin B12 which helps keep your nervous system nice and healthy.
For those thinking of converting to veganism, giving up cheese for good can be a daunting task. It is a staple of so many different meals.
However, as you can see, there are many cheese substitutes that taste great.
I won’t lie to you now, if you’re a cheese lover the transition may be a little difficult at first since the substitutes available can not perfectly recreate the taste and texture of regular cheese. With that being said though, they do a pretty good job trying.
It is definitely worth giving these options a go and seeing how you find them. And remember, if you are new to the diet, any steps you take are better than none at all.
If to start with, you want to cut back all other animal products and byproducts but keep the cheese for a while, that’s okay too.
You can always push yourself further into the diet at your own pace. And you’ll still be making a massive impact by giving up all other products. I hope this has helped you, and I wish you the best as you move into your new lifestyle.
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