What are the most realistic vegan cheeses?

Rory17

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Hello 👋,
I’m an ex-vegan-turned-veggie looking to possibly go back to vegan at some point...
My main culprit is dairy cheese. I eat vegan cheese, too, but I would like vegan cheeses that are ultra-realistic.
What are the most realistic alternatives to vintage cheddar, goats cheese, mozzarella, other cheddar and Babybel? NOT Violife please - It is nice enough, but it doesn’t really taste like proper cheddar and even with the mozzarella, I can still taste the difference. I’m not just looking for vegan cheeses that you like or think are the best, but ULTRA realistic vegan cheeses.

On a side note, how would you answer a non-vegan who asks “If you are a vegan, why would you want to eat something that looks or tastes like meat (etc)? I would say that being vegan or vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t like the taste of meat (etc), it just means that you have given it up because of the animals, the environment and/or health reasons. Besides, meat, egg, dairy and fish alternatives can go well in veganized versions of recipes, can help people transition, can be used in social eating, where the rest of the family/group of friends will be eating the real thing and you simply eat the vegan version to not be left out. They also make eating out less stressful and less depriving. Why would a vegan who used to love MacDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, bakeries, other chain restaurants and other restaurants want to have to stop due to their being vegan? Unless they were trying to eat healthier, why would they want to deprive themselves of that MacDonald’s vegan burger, or KFC vegan meal*?
* Did you know KFC now do vegan food? I’ve not tried it - what’s it like?
Thanks 😊.
 

KLS52

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Sorry but I haven’t found a vegan cheese that I find to be ultra like dairy cheese. If I had to pick one, I’d say Chao slices are closest to kraft singles.

You said no Violife but I find the feta to be amazing especially if you freeze it first. It crumbles like real feta.

Anyway I find Daiya cheddar and mozzarella
to be very satisfying when used in recipes. Good enough that I can live without dairy cheese.
 
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silva

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I don't like Chao-
I love Daiya farmhouse blocks--specifically the blocks. I even tasted a piece of dairy cheddar because I was so intriqued to compare. I liked Daiya better

I haven't found a comparitive mozzerella--though Follow your Heart parm is my sub for that
 
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Veganite

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@Danielle

I have to agree that Miyokos is the best that I've personally tasted, especially her mozza style for pizza. Although, there's a couple places locally where I can get in-house made vegan cheeses, which are pretty tasty and cheaper. Sadly, Miyokos is a bit on the high-priced side, and even more so once it gets to Canada.


*
 
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Raven

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I like Violife (especially the feta) and Vegusto the best.
 
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PTree15

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I like Follow Your Heart smoked gouda slices the best, though I agree, that none of the vegan cheeses I've tried come close to dairy cheese. That said, the vegan gouda satisfies me cheez-wise. I also like the Daiya cheddar blocks. The Daiya pairs really well with crackers, and I'll even put a hot pepper on top as well, just like my pre-vegan days. :) I waited a good three years before I tried any vegan cheeses because I was such a cheese-aholic. I think I've tried Violife once, and it was very good. It's just hard to find in my area.
 
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PTree15

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I haven't tried that yet as it very expensive here. I should try it.
It's not cheap here, either, but it's less expensive than Violife and Myokos in my area. I haven't tried Myokos because I despised their vegan cream cheese, which also was pricey, so I'm loath to spend the money on something I might not like :D
 
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Lou

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It's not cheap here, either, but it's less expensive than Violife and Myokos in my area. I haven't tried Myokos because I despised their vegan cream cheese, which also was pricey, so I'm loath to spend the money on something I might not like :D

I haven't tried Myokos products because they are expensive but their cream cheese and their mozzarella are at the top of my list of things to try.
I think Daiya's mozzarella is awful. But I find a lot of the brands of cream cheese are OK. Kite Hill might be my favorite. Tofutti is pretty good too. Mostly I just use hummus on my bagels instead of cream cheese. I almost always have hummus in the fridge because I use it with pita chips as an afternoon snack.
 

Hog

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I am still a vegan n00b. About 8 months ago, I had a crisis when my wife had a two-week hospital. My sons looked like they were losing weight. So I feared that my boys would need to eat dairy products. Nobody seemed to judge me as unworthy because I might need to return to dairy cheese. I thought there was no way that I could afford vegan cheese. In addition, I feared that they would never accept vegan cheese. While the fear was completely unnecessary and blown out of proportion, the fear seemed very real to me.

I was wrong. Affordable vegan cheese is readily available. Moreover, if you mix even the cheap vegan cheese with other stuff nobody can tell the difference. For example, my family went wild over the grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches. The trick was adding a little cooking oil when grilling the sandwiches.

I personally choose to avoid vegan cheese for myself because it reminds me too much of the real thing.

I wish I had some words of wisdom to help you. But, I do not.

Still, I will say that Lou and KLS52 are excellent sources of advice.
 

PTree15

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I haven't tried Myokos products because they are expensive but their cream cheese and their mozzarella are at the top of my list of things to try.
I think Daiya's mozzarella is awful. But I find a lot of the brands of cream cheese are OK. Kite Hill might be my favorite. Tofutti is pretty good too. Mostly I just use hummus on my bagels instead of cream cheese. I almost always have hummus in the fridge because I use it with pita chips as an afternoon snack.
I think my distaste for vegan cream cheese is that I wasn't the biggest fan of the dairy version. :D. I get a yen every now and then for it, so that's why I tried the Myokos. I had tried Tofutti, but I didn't like that one, either.

I, too, always have hummus. I make it weekly. In fact, I'm having some now with celery and carrots. :)
 
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silva

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To me the best sub for cream cheese (which I don;'t know how well I recall) is straining soy yogurt through cheesecloth or a coffee filter, or paper towel, over a wire sieve. Add some sweetener of choice and vanilla.
I make my own with soy bean and water soy milk, and 50 billion probiotic. I find that works for making so many dips, dressing, sauces and desserts

It is really good to get used to subbing other foods for cheese. For me that was olives (esp), sauteed mushrooms and onions, artichoke hearts.
Vegan mayo paired with some lemon, salt, and nutritional yeast. Maybe a touch of dijon is good as sandwich spread, or the basis of sauces
For many foods you need just a little vegan cheese. Like pizza- less is definitely better!
 
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Veganismo

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It’s amazing in grilled cheese.

Yes it is... Chao rocks for grilled cheese. That orange peppery one?! Daaaaaang.... Super melty and oozy.

Myokos products taste fabulous but I wouldn't say you would confuse them with dairy cheese.... although their butter is a dead ringer for dairy butter.

If you're rich and live in a big city on the west coast there are some artisanal vegan cheese shops popping up that look great but are out of reach from here in Montana.
 

Lou

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Yes it is... Chao rocks for grilled cheese. That orange peppery one?! Daaaaaang.... Super melty and oozy.

Myokos products taste fabulous but I wouldn't say you would confuse them with dairy cheese.... although their butter is a dead ringer for dairy butter.

If you're rich and live in a big city on the west coast there are some artisanal vegan cheese shops popping up that look great but are out of reach from here in Montana.


Myoko has a cookbook you can buy on Amazon and make your own artisanal vegan cheeses.