The Best Non-Dairy Cheese in the World
In honor of World Plant Milk Day we thought we would highlight the best non-dairy cheese in the world.
When my friends ask me how I like eating plant based, or vegan, I tell them I really enjoy it. I feel better, lost some weight, get compliments on my “glowing” face, and I’ve found that it’s much easier than I thought.
One of the first things they say is that they would miss the cheese. They can’t live without the cheese. I was speaking to a young gal one evening and she said she is a vegetarian but she didn’t notice all that much difference in how she felt health-wise. I told her “it’s the dairy”. Eating dairy is not exactly like eating meat, but it still has some of the negative side effects. It is linked to cancer and cheese has casein in it that causes us to crave it. It is linked to heart disease because too much cholesterol does that to us.
I have tried making my own cheeses and for the most part they are tasty. One of my favorites is a herb cheese that I served at Thanksgiving and it was a hit. Here is the link to a video showing you how to make it by The Mushroom Den.
I think if more people will consider changing their eating habits many diseases will be stopped before they are started. I especially think of my friends and family that are now near my age of 60. There is so much heartbreak and scare that comes when a loved one has a heart attack or has to have heart surgery to unclog arteries that can be fixed by staying away form meats and dairy.
So, I really did some research. I started ordering some meat and cheeses from The Herbivorous Butcher, located in Minnesota. They have created delicious plant based deli meats and cheeses. They have a great mozzarella cheese that I use in sandwiches and on pizza. It melts beautifully and is so creamy. Here is the link.
However, recently I found a local place in Los Angeles, and we struck vegan cheese gold!
Vromage – A nut based cheese shop in Los Angeles. The owner and brilliant cheese maker is Youseff Fahouri. I went on a Friday afternoon and I had Youseff to myself, LOL. It was a treat to taste all the different cheeses he had. It is amazing that he makes the cheese without using coconut oil or nutritional yeast. I told him I couldn’t believe he didn’t use nutritional yeast, and he said those who don’t know how to make cheese use it. I told him that’s me!! We both had a good laugh.
Youseff only uses the best organic herbs and nuts. All his recipes are in his head and hopes someday to teach others his recipes. But he only wants to teach those who are interested in changing the world.
It is amazing that he makes the cheese without using coconut oil or nutritional yeast.
Vromage is featured in the official Wedding Album of Meghan and Prince Harry, since he was asked to provide the cheese appetizers. (Meghan was a frequent customer to his cheese shop). Very impressive indeed.
The name of the shop, Vromage, is a French take on the word cheese. Fromage being French for cheese, but with a ‘v’ for ‘vegan.’
We ordered the sandwich, on an organic baguette and chose the “veganzola” cheese which is his take on Gorgonzola cheese. I had the spicy cranberry veganzola. It came with olive oil, marinated heirloom tomatoes and arugula. It was probably my favorite sandwich ever! And if you ask my daughters, they know how obsessed I am with sandwiches. Probably my favorite meal, but since becoming vegan they are hard to come by.
Since bringing home these cheeses, I have made the sandwiches like Youseff explained and using his cheeses they taste just like the real deal. So good, creamy, and smooth. I think better than a Gorgonzola, which tends to be quite tart.
Here are the cheeses I bought: Nacho Cheese. Spicy Cranberry Veganzela – tangy with a spicy bite to it and my absolute favorite so far. Veganzola – tangy and rich tasting, I think this is Bruce’s favorite. Ricotta – Made from organic nuts, I will be making lasagna soon with this, I cannot wait. I also put it in my freezer since cheeses you are going to bake with can be frozen, because freezing changes the texture. Brie truffle – so creamy and yummy. I am taking it to a friends birthday slumber party. Yes, my women friends who are in our 50’s-60’s still have slumber parties. I can’t wait for them to taste this with crackers.
I love Youseff’s story of how he began. He was a chef and was trying to impress a girl who had made some vegan cheese and asked him to try it. He did and thought he could do better. She loved the cheeses he made and a career came from it. Alas, he didn’t get the girl, but he got a new calling.
The prices are comparable to any upscale cheese shop and they are worth every penny. Plus, you are helping your body; his cheeses have no cholesterol to clog your arteries.
His shop is closed on Monday and Tuesday, that’s when he makes his cheeses.
Vromage is worth the drive just to sample the cheeses. But here is the good news: they ship anywhere in the world! It is my new go-to for cheeses. I feel so lucky to have found it. I know you will love it too.
Viva La Vromage!
Gratefully – Clara