I was a huge cheese eater before going vegan. As a former vegetarian for five years, I swore I could never go vegan because I could not give up cheese. Then, I learned about the atrocities of dairy farming (organic does not mean humane either folks), and the realities of forced impregnation and lactation on mommy cows while their babies are stolen from them. After that, saying goodbye to dairy was easy peasy. I do not ever want to be a part of that – no matter how good the cheese tastes.
Up until this year, I had modified my diet so cheese deprivation was not really an issue. When I needed melted cheese in a recipe, Daiya was and is my go to for that special ingredient. I had pretty much accepted that the days of a fruit and cheese platter with crackers were over unless I wanted to make my own cheese (which is easier than you think!). That was until recently when an abundance of non dairy cheese options have become widely available at grocery retailers, online, and at local restaurants. The marketplace is changing and the demand for good, natural vegan cheeses is on the rise and artisan cheesemakers are responding with delicious products. Below is my top list of favorites, all made from nuts.
Hands down, this is the best cheese I have ever had – dairy or not. With 10 varieties, including Herbs de Provence (Oh! My! God!), Double Cream Chive, and French Style Winter Truffle, there is literally something for every occasion. They are based in Northern California and worth every penny of the shipping cost.
This new Los Angeles cheese shop is getting rave reviews. I visited earlier this month (stay tuned for more details in my Where To Eat post in March), and am a fan. They are soft cheeses with varieties like Brie and Manchego. Their mozzarella is creamy and delicious in a caprese salad.
This is another nut based cheese (cashews) and it is available at Whole Foods. I love it. It is creamy and flavorful and they have some fun varieties.
Do you have a favorite non dairy cheese not listed above that I should try? Please let me know your favorite in the comments section below.