Violife Vegan Cheese

Violife- Parmesan-1

Violife Vegan Cheese is widely available throughout the UK and offers vegans a great range of everyday cheeses. They offer five spreadable cheeses, part of their ‘creamy’ range, along with a range of hard cheeses and cheese slices. More than 20 different products overall. The Violife range is not just vegan, but also free from gluten, soy, palm oil and nuts, instead using coconut oil as the ‘fat’ in their cheeses. This is really great for all those who have the added problem of finding suitable products when they are both vegan and have allergies or intolerances that are not always catered for together. It makes it a particularly good brand for families, especially as they have lots of different flavoured cheese slices, perfect for packed lunches. Because of this and the availability, we find this our go-to vegan cheese brand and it has, deservedly, become quite popular in the vegan community.

We’ll be reviewing their Prosociano with Parmesan Flavour, the Smoky Cheese Slices and the Mozzarella Flavour Slices.

Prosociano-450x450Violate Prosociano, Parmesan Flavour.
Our favourite of the entire range, that we have tried, intended as a parmesan replacement, this is a really good hard cheese with intense and delicious flavour that can be used exactly as you would dairy-based parmesan. It is a proper firm block of cheese, so you can grate fresh ‘parmesan’, which is a big improvement on the bags of grated vegan cheese that I hate! This is quite salty and strong in flavour, perfect to grate on top of pasta, as part of vegan cheese sauces, or my favourite, freshly grated on top of beautiful vegan mushroom risotto. It has quite a dry texture, keep it well covered in the fridge to prolong its life. We estimate ours lasts for about 2 weeks, maybe slightly more if we look after it and keep it in an airtight container. I have to say, I find it incredible you can get something so close to that distinctive parmesan flavour- and smell! It ranges in price, but you’re looking at about £4.85 in most stores.

Taste: 5 / 5

Sharpness: 5 / 5

Texture: 5 / 5

Visual Aspect: 4.5 / 5

Price: 5 / 5

Violife_slices_smocked-200g-450x450Violife Smoked Flavour- Slices
This is another winner for us, a very good smoky flavour and a fantastic sandwich cheese. It has a slight spicy kick to it, nothing too intense at all, but I love smoky flavoured anything and this didn’t disappoint. I particularly enjoyed this on some wonderful homemade bean burgers, slightly melted under the grill. Does it melt well? Well enough. It bubbles a little and melts to a soft consistency, but it wouldn’t be my first choice for pizza, for example, better used as you would any pre-sliced cheese. Apparently you can get this in block form, which I haven’t yet seen, which would be interesting to see if grating it would improve its meltability! It’s a good price too, averaging around £2.60 for a pack of 10 slices.

Taste: 4 / 5

Sharpness: 3.5 / 5

Texture: 5 / 5

Visual Aspect: 5 / 5

Price: 5 / 5

Violife- mozzarella- 1Violife Mozzarella Flavour

A mild, creamy cheese, this is a very good likeness to traditional dairy based mozzarella. The big question of course is, does it melt? It does! But it doesn’t melt quite like you want it to, although it certainly does the job and is another good slice for adding to your favourite vegan burger, or wonderful in a sandwich- kids will love this one. It has a slightly rubbery texture, but not at all unpleasant and we can confirm it is lovely just on its own! It looks authentic too, with even the colour looking like the non-vegan version. The flavour is bang-on, just mild enough for our tastes, yet not bland or unconvincing. I think they’ve produced an excellent vegan mozzarella -style cheese here that is affordable and easy to find. It’s around £2.69 for a pack of 10 slices in most places. You can also get this in a block, which is better for grating and using on pizza. In fact they call it ‘ Violife for Pizza mozzarella flavour’ and you’ll pay around £1.89 for a 200g block.

Taste: 4 / 5

Sharpness: 3 / 5

Texture: 5 / 5

Visual Aspect: 5 / 5

Price: 5 / 5

We have tried a few other products in this range and overall they’re all great and I think perfect for vegan families with young children, but us grown-ups will love the creamy range and the parmesan style as well.

Stockists: Waitrose, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Holland and Barrett, Green Bay London. To find your local stockist, see their website and use the search function:

Find Violife

Happy White Vegan Cheese by Happy Cheeze

Happy Cheeze Vegan CheeseHappy White is a Vegan Camembert style cheese produced by a German company called Happy Cheeze. Made from cashew nuts and containing no artificial ingredients, this is purely fermented, raw, vegan cheese. It is fairly pricey, but you get what you pay for. It is a cut above the standard supermarket bought vegan cheese options, by some distance. This is a little block of cheese heaven. Every last detail is thought about, including the appearance and packaging. If you’ve ever heard someone say they would miss cheese as a vegan, then you really need to share this with them. There is literally nothing to miss.

Happy White, Vegan CheeseThe taste is so authentic, so similar to a traditional dairy based camembert that you could almost fool your friends and family with this. That wonderfully sour cheese taste synonymous with camembert isn’t missing and you’ll definitely smell this one too, although it doesn’t have quite the same pungency as french camembert, you still won’t be disappointed.

This cheese has a creamy texture, with a decent firmness that means the cheese holds its shape relatively well and is a pleasure to serve. The best bit is it actually looks like a proper round of camembert, complete with a nice firm rind. It was very exciting to open and cut into. They have done remarkably well to achieve this standard.

The only problem is the price and availability. At €12. 95 this is going to be one of the special occasion splurges, or a nice gift for your favourite vegan. From the UK your best bet is to order online directly from the friendly folks at Happy Cheeze, but be warned you’ll be stuck with a hefty postage cost of €16. 99 to the UK as well. I suggest teaming up with friends and ordering a bunch of cheeses together to split costs. If you’re in Germany, lucky you. A list of current stockists is available on the Happy Cheeze site, here, and this includes a few stockists in Austria, Switzerland, France and Belgium. I’m hoping to see them supply to UK stores one day soon.

Chorizo 2, Happy CheezeWe were lucky enough to get to sample 2 other delightful cheeses from this company that fully deserve a mention. Their ‘Chorizo’ was my favourite of all of them. It has an undeniably strong smoky, spicy taste that surprised us with how closely it resembles actual chorizo. It has a good, reasonably firm texture, it was delicious with crackers but really stood out when we used it in small chunks with pasta too. I would rate this almost as highly as the Happy White and well worth ordering them together, for very different cheese experiences!

Classic 2, Happy CheezeThe other ‘Classic’ cheese we sampled was a strong cheese, big on flavour, a softer texture than you might expect but it held its shape well when cut. While slightly outshone by the other two, this would be a cheese I would have regularly if I could. I liked the intense ‘cheese’ flavour behind this one.

Back to our favourite and the star of our review, the ‘Happy White’ is an outstanding cheese both in flavour and texture. The only let-down is the price and availability, both understandable from a small artisan company, using only natural ingredients.

Rating for Happy White Cheese:

Taste: 4.5 / 5

Sharpness: 5  / 5

Texture: 5 / 5

Visual Aspect: 4 / 5 

Price: 3 / 5

Available: online at http://www.happy-cheeze.com, throughout Germany and in selected stores in Austria, Switzerland, France and Belgium.

Price €12.95 ( plus postage if bought online )

Keeping Time: this kept in our fridge for about 7 days, we probably should have wrapped it up better as I am sure it would have lasted longer, we missed the last little bit!