Vegan flavouring? What do vegans taste like?

Ever eaten a vegan? No me neither. I don’t know what they taste like but I’d probably be allergic to vegans since they consume a lot of nuts to get protein into their diets.

Joking aside, this new dairy and soya free cheese from VioLife, discovered in my local Morrisons, is probably the best freefrom cheese I’ve ever tasted.

I have always been of the opinion, having eaten real cheese before, that if you’re allergic to cheese the freefrom fake cheeses are best avoided. I’ve always found them very disappointing when compared to the real thing.

With the exception of a few. I love Mozzarizella but cannot find it anywhere in the shops and only available on vegan websites which have delivery charges and I don’t want to order enough to make the order worth my while.

So to discover a dairy free cheese in the Morrisons near where I work has been a godsend. I really enjoy it. It tastes a bit like a very mild cheddar or Edam cheese to me. It’s not your mature cheddar by a long way but it’s pretty good on crackers with chutney or even just scoffed from straight from the pack…

Dairy and soya free vegan cheese - VioLife

Dairy and soya free vegan cheese


I have tried the VioLife Original’ which is the only one I’ve seen in the shops. You can find it in the cheese section in Morrisons and I think Holland & Barrett stock it in stores and online too.

Visit the VioLife website to find out what other vegan cheese and products they make.

So how do they make it and what are the ingredients?

VioLife original contains: Water, coconut oil (23%), Modified starch, starch, sea salt, vegan flavour, polyphenol, colour – b-carotene.

Not a massive ingredient list but two things worry me. The vegan flarour and polyphenols.
I have asked for feedback on what exactly their vegan flavour is made from, apart from real vegans.

And if you’re wondering what polyphenol is, it’s a generic term for the several thousand plant-based molecules that have antioxidant properties. The health benefits of antioxidants are well known and polyphenols are also helpful for regulating enzyme function and stimulating cell receptors.

I’m not sure I’d recognise a polyphenol if I came across one and I do live by the general ethos, if Granny wouldn’t recognise it, don’t eat it, but I don’t seem to react to this cheese.

I am treating it like a special reward. I am not eating it all the time, though you can buy a few at a time as the shelf life is fairly good. Is this good or bad? I’m not sure, though cheese lasts fairly well when wrapped in the fridge.

But most of all, do try this dairy free cheese. It’s pretty good just eaten from the pack and also melts on toast. Not cooked with it so far but I’m a lazy cook.

Have you tried this cheese? Have you ever tried a vegan? What are they made from and what do they taste like? I will be updating this blog with an explanation of what vegan flavouring if I can get hold of VioLife to find out.

Enjoy!

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.

Comments

  1. Debbie Clarke says:

    Vegans taste quite meaty, I’ve been told. Very pork-like, hence the name ‘long pig’ 😉
    More seriously, I love the Tesco Free From cheese which I think is free from dairy, wheat and gluten, and is vegan too. They do a range hard cheese substitutes including my favourites, the smoked cheese and the strong cheese. I think they also do medium and mild, which are also nice but perhaps not quite so authentic tasting. The texture is perfect and even a fussy friend of mine agreed it tastes like cheese.
    This is all excellent. They are, however, like the Violife, made from coconut oil, which some people seem to think is a good thing to ingest and some think otherwise. Unfortunately the Tesco one doesn’t contain much protein, so while it works as a substitute for cheese from a taste point of view, it doesn’t really replace the protein in real cheese.
    The things on the Violife ingredients list that worry me are the starch, modified starch and flavouring. Without more details a coeliac (or person intolerant to wheat and gluten) cannot tell if these ingredients are safe, which is a shame.
    I think the Tesco one is made by a well-known non-dairy ‘cheese’ brand name, but I don’t think it’s Violife. It may be.
    Thanks for the interesting post, Ruth. I would love to be vegan but find that so difficult to achieve with my food sensitivities and allergies 🙁

    • I will ask them if this is gluten and wheat free. An interesting question. And regarding being vegan, if I couldn’t eat meat and eggs where would I get my protein? It would just be too hard. And I quite enjoy meat and eggs so I can’t even begin to think about giving them up too. With so many forced restrictions, like you it’s not a choice I fee comfortable with. Not tried the Tesco one but I’ll have a look out for it. Mozzarizella do a sausage cheese and a smoked version, you know the kind of thing I mean? Absolutely delicious. I must get some when I next visit with cake for you to try.

  2. Debbie Clarke says:

    PS – Tesco also do a soft cheese substitute, which looks as if it’s meant to taste like Philadelphia cheese but actually tastes and looks more like putty 😉 It’s good that they’re trying, but I didn’t really like it. In general, though, Free From food has improved massively in the last 20 years.

    • I will ask them if this is gluten and wheat free. An interesting question. And regarding being vegan, if I couldn’t eat meat and eggs where would I get my protein? It would just be too hard. And I quite enjoy meat and eggs so I can’t even begin to think about giving them up too. With so many forced restrictions, like you it’s not a choice I fee comfortable with. Not tried the Tesco one but I’ll have a look out for it. Mozzarizella do a sausage cheese and a smoked version, you know the kind of thing I mean? Absolutely delicious. I must get some when I next visit with cake for you to try.

  3. Violife cheese is gluten free – it says so on the front of the pack. It’s also available in larger branches of Tesco in Original flavour and in its cream cheese version. I love being able to pick it up in my weekly shop. It doesn’t melt all that well on the top of pizza but if you get the pizza version it does. Unfortunately you can’t get the pizza version from Tesco but you can buy it online from Goodness Direct & also Alternative Stores I think.

  4. The Tesco cheese is made by Scheese I believe,everyone almost loves Violife,compared to most other brands .Vegusto is also popular but only seen in hfshops.
    I have been vegan a long time and so many people panic about protein,a recent study found the average vegan eats 70% morethan needed.you find it in lots of plant based foods,just google vegan protein sources and you will see!
    Will be interesting to see what they say about the flavouring lots are enjoying that joke,but then on most items it just says flavouring these days!
    You would be amazed a how many allergies you can get around on a vegan diet ,if you look for help online there is tonnes of it nowadays.

  5. Debbie Clarke says:

    Thanks Sarah. I’ve been working on finding vegan foods I can safely eat for about 8 months now and have found quite a few, but it is tough on my diet (forced by intolerance and allergy). I eat loads of soya and have soya milk, soya yogurt, tempeh (tho’ tempeh is annoyingly hard to find) and soya mince. Jury still out on whether tofu upsets me – I’m going to try again. I seem okay with nuts apart from peanuts but I can’t have pulses and most beans. I can’t have wholegrains and I have to peel vegetables (I’m on a low fibre diet for medical reasons). I think the protein most vegans ingest without trying is usually because they eat a lot of fruit and veg and wholegrains and beans… so I do need to consciously think of protein since many of those things I cannot eat. Unfortunately most vegan pretend meat is made with wheat gluten so those are not an option either. What I’ve decided to do is not become vegan but just build up my repertoire of vegan meals that I can eat and eat vegan quite a lot, but not exclusively. I am careful to choose high welfare meat and fish when I eat it. I eat nut loaf a lot 🙂

  6. Debbie Clarke says:

    Dairyfreebabyandme, Goodness Direct was where I found tempeh so I’ll order some Violife next time. Nice to have a recommendation for DF cheese, because I tried another make (not the Tesco one) and ended up throwing it away. I don’t think they sell Violife in our Tesco and I just checked on Ocado – don’t think they do.

  7. Hi! I’ve messaged VioLife to ask what Vegan flavour is! Emailed… Still no reply. This is peeing me off! I’m worried that this flavouring is yeast. Have you found out??

    • Hi. Violife does contain yeast as part of the vegan flavours according to the FAQ section on the website. Sorry. As for any further info on what the “vegan flavour” actually is…pending!

  8. Laura Pattenden Hunt says:

    Any news on what the vegan flavouring is please…?!

  9. I buy Violife from http://www.alternativestores.com as they are really good for advice on allergies and they are cheaper with bigger blocks than anywhere els, even the supermarkets.
    Plus they have the whole range including the lovely smoked and lots of other foods for my son and us. Do check out the grated melty pizza cheese as its the best for melting.
    Violife! Yes it has yeast and the flavouring also had MSG but I was told they were removing it some time back along with the preservatives. The flavourings are kept secret but are not known to cause allergy reactions, I am told.
    I will ask ALt Stores again on this & post back

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