Whenever anyone hears that we’re vegan, they always say “I could never be vegan, I’d miss cheese too much”. And I get it. Vegan cheese has a reputation and it puts a lot of people off, but veganism has come a long way in just a few years and there are so many amazing options for those wanting to reduce their intake of animal products.
My baby Indiana has a dairy and egg allergy, and as I’m breastfeeding, it was the push I needed to go full vegan from vegetarian. My son Ruben is almost 4 and has always been vegetarian (In fact he thought I was joking when I told him that some people eat animals!) and he has a lot of vegan options at home due to his brothers allergies. He has never once commented on the taste of vegan chocolate, ice cream or cheese being different to what he knows and it means that neither of them miss out.
So when Violife asked if we wanted to try some of their range, I jumped at the chance. We often pick up Violife cheese, but there’s some we haven’t sampled yet and I was excited to give them a go, especially as they have so many vegan recipes for their products. And thus began a very cheesy week.
This is such a go-to in our house. Whether it’s on toast, in sandwiches, or even just on a picnic plates for the children, we love this stuff. I don’t tend to eat any vegan cheese on its own, but the boys will both happily eat little strands, and I’ve even seen Steven stick his hand in the bag. This week I sprinkled some on top of a gnocchi Bolognese recipe. The recipe itself wasn’t great but the cheese was tasty. Vegan cheese doesn’t tend to melt as well as dairy cheese but it is still delicious on top of pasta dishes, so it’s worth it.
We LOVE the Aldi Ultimate Vegan burgers and these were the perfect topper to them. I find that on a burger you just don’t notice the difference and the consistency is perfect. We had them on soft white buns, lettuce, ketchup and Steven’s famous (at least in our house) herby wedges. The edible highlight of my week.
I tried this in a Quorn Ham baguette with Mayo, but it felt a little thick and overpowered the Quorn ham. However, I tried it later as a toasty and it was perfect. Steven made a sort of pizza toast, with garlic and herbs, on top of some tomato purée and it was delicious. I think it would also be perfect for a cheese board with some crackers too.
Indiana stole a slice off my plate and ate the whole thing happily so it gets the 16-month-old seal of approval.
Le Rond Camembert
I have a confession. I’ve never eaten real Camembert. I just feel like there have always been better options at a restaurant and I’ve not seen the appeal. However, I fear I made a mistake. Because if this is how tasty vegan Camembert is, I can only imagine what I’ve missed out on.
I popped it in the oven for 5 minutes with a drizzle of oil and some thyme (I didn’t have fresh so I had to opt for dried). I used it as an excuse for a bit of an impromptu date night and got some little bottles of red wine to sample, some crusty bread for dipping, some mini crackers, grapes, physalis, vegan chocolate & olives. What a fantastic little treat. Steven and I couldn’t get enough and I’ve already bought another for a vegan cheese and wine night with the girls this weekend. Would massively recommend!
Honourable mention goes to the Chocospread. We didn’t get sent this but I picked it up a few weeks ago “for the kids” and it was fantastic. We had it on toast with some sliced strawberries on top for a treat and it was utterly delish. I imagine it would be ideal for pancake day, or popped in some picnic sandwiches.
All in all, I’m glad I gave them all a try. I’m always anxious to buy new cheeses in case we hate them and have wasted it, but the Camembert has become a new favourite in the Wright household and I’d certainly get the cheese slices for burgers every time from now on. The cheddar has always been a staple but I think the Smokey cheese might only come out for special occasions.