When I was originally introduced to veganism I was very much against the concept of dairy-free cheese. No matter which I tried nothing could compare to the creaminess of a Brie or the saltiness of an aged Cheddar. Fast forward two years and I have selection of vegan cheeses I’ll recommend to newbies or those with an allergy to dairy. You can find my Top 10 Recommendations here.
It seems producers are wanting to capitalise on the interest in vegan products and are churning out (no pun intended) a host vegan cheeses with different flavours and properties. One of the biggest vegan food releases of last year was Violife’s Mediterranean Block, a cheese I’ve missed dearly since my transition. While it was a decent dairy-free option in its own right, it didn’t successfully replicate the salty flavour or the slight rubbery chew of Halloumi (see review here).
New to the market is Violife’s Greek White Block, an alternative to the famous cheese which usually forms the basis of a Mediterranean Salad. Its texture works well with olives and the taste will transport many back to summer holidays. How does the vegan alternative compare to the sheep’s milk cheese though?
There appears to be a briny solution in the packaging which is a promising start. The smell is pungent on opening which is usually the case for a lot of dairy substitutes.
Violife’s Greek White Block reminds me of a Brazilian cheese called Queijo Fresco. It is creamy and soft too, with a mild flavour. This will work well on crackers as part of a cheese board or in a salad as likely intended. It lacks the salty punch needed to replicate the original, however, but it will still make a nice addition to meals if used in a similar fashion to its dairy alternative. I wondered if it needed to be drained and/or dried before use to get the crumbly texture needed to emulate a good quality feta? There didn’t seem to be any instructions for us on the packet.
It is a shame some of these substitutes miss the mark for me, but if you don’t compare they are decent products in their own right. I look forward to seeing what else is released by Violife in the near future.
Thanks for reading,