Groundhouse's Vegan Burger
For the majority of my life, I've experienced the bitter taste of lactose intolerance in my gut and in my soul. As a result, I simply avoided milk and cheese at all costs. Unfortunately, the siren song of a juicy burger with a hearty slice of cheese or a piping hot pizza straight from the oven would often haunt me.
As many coworkers have pointed out when I mention how much I miss cheese, we now live in an age where plant-based cheese alternatives are bountiful. Some are developed enough to just hit the spot, while others are so close that you actually can't tell the difference between them or the real thing.
Check out some of the top vegan cheese brands currently in the market, each accessible through the click of a mouse or a trip to a speciality store. Going to make a bucket list to get my hands on each and every one of these. Stay tuned for a follow up with my thoughts!
Follow Your Heart
While Kite Hill is probably best known for their yogurts, they also produce almond milk-based cheeses such as ricotta. According to fellow Foodbeast, Constantine Spyrou, their plant-based ricotta is probably one of the best vegan cheese substitutes he's had.
The passion project of award-winning vegan chef Miyoko Schinner, Mikoyo's Creamery is believed to be one of the first brands to bring vegan cheeses into the mainstream. Mikoyo produces high-quality cheeses from nut milks that even include artisanal vegan cheese wheels.
The first time I got to try Violife cheese, it was at a Natural Food and Products Expo. Violife makes a variety of vegan cheese options like cream cheese, parmesan, feta, smoked provolone, and cheddar. However, their take on queso was truly a mouthwatering experience.
Good Planet Foods
Good Planet Foods prides themselves in a variety of tastes that tailor themselves to the consumer. What draws me to their brand of cheese is that the slices come in a bevy of unique flavors such as garlic and herb, hot pepper, and tomato basil.
Parmela Creamery draws from the subtle flavors that come from cashews. The company utilizes a slow-aging process for their nut cheeses that unlocks rich authentic flavors. Products include cheese spreads, meltable slices, cheese sauces, and meltable shredded cheese.
A good smoked salmon bagel is something I'll never turn down — even if the lactose gets the best of me for the rest of the day. Fortunately, Wayfare Foods specializes in dairy-free cream cheeses (with flavors like onion chive, green olive, and jalapeño) that may be the perfect solution to my bagel predicament.
Foodbeast's Analiese Trimber, a fellow lactose-intolerant soul who's tried nearly every iteration of vegan cheeses, told me that Bute Islands was one of the best vegan cheeses she's experienced.
"My favorite was the Greek style," she said. "It was fashioned after feta cheese and their rendition was super creamy and slightly tangy, just like a good feta."