With Christmas just around the corner it would be a crying shame not to write a blog post about arguably the best festive food there is – cheese! Yes, I for one LOVE a good cheese board and I am always on the lookout for new cheeses to add to the mix. This year I am a little excited because I have had some extra special cheeses sent my way courtesy of Violife.
*This post contains gifted products. All thoughts are my own.
Violife produces 100% vegan cheese. As a vegan alternative to dairy cheese, I am expecting that the taste and texture may be something that I am not quite used to. However, with that being said, I have had plenty of vegan food before that has included dairy alternatives, such as vegan pizza, and I haven’t been able to taste the difference at all. I’m excited to give these cheeses a go and I’m really thrilled to have such a huge variety!
So I invite you to come along on a taste testing journey with me. I’m going to try out each of these Violife vegan cheeses and review them. I know that, at first, they may take a little getting used to, so I am willing to try each product a fair few times before committing to anything! So let’s get started…
Violife Original Flavour Slices
First up we have the Violife Original Flavour Slices. These are meant to replicate cheddar cheese slices that often go really well in sandwiches, toasties, burgers, and nibbly bits like crackers. As you can see, I chose to have mine on crackers as I was really keen to run with the whole cheese board theme. So what are my thoughts?
Upon opening the packet you are hit with a smell that is very similar to a more European cheese, such as gouda or edam. If you’ve had gouda slices before, I would say that the texture is very similar. You can easily tear the original flavour slices in half or stack them up for delicious sandwich combos.
To me, this vegan cheese reminded me more of a continental cheese than a traditional English cheddar, however, I think in this case it is due to the vegan cheese being served in slices, as opposed to in a packet where you cut it yourself.
Ultimately though, this Violife vegan cheese is really good. I would happily have it in a sandwich or on crackers any time. You really cannot tell that it is a vegan product which is great, as I think many people worry about trying alternative dairy products for this reason (me included!).
Violife Smoky Cheddar Flavour Slices
Next up we have a vegan alternative to one of my favourite cheese slices – smoky cheddar. Smoky cheddar is definitely a flavour that I adore, and I can’t tell you how pleased I was when I bit into this vegan alternative from Violife. The smokiness definitely hits you straight away, even when you first open the packet. The smell is smoky, unlike the smell from the original flavoured slices.
For me, this vegan cheese from Violife hit all the boxes. On the flavour side of things, the smokiness was just right. It was very similar to dairy smoked cheddar and if I hadn’t been aware of the fact that it was a vegan alternative, I definitely wouldn’t have noticed.
The texture is a little plastic-y again, similar to the original flavoured slices, but this isn’t something that you would notice in a sandwich or even better, a toasted sandwich with lots of Christmas trimmings.
The Violife smoky cheddar flavour slices get a thumbs up from me!
Violife Epic Mature
The Violife Epic Mature vegan cheese was the product that I was most looking forward to trying. I didn’t know what to expect from a packet of cheese such as this because traditional cheddar cheese can vary in taste and texture so much. Very often you find that a strong cheddar cheese will crumble when sliced, and I wondered if the Violife epic mature cheese would be similar, or if it would follow in the steps of the two sliced vegan cheeses I had already tried. I also wanted to see just how ‘epic’ an epic mature vegan cheese would be.
Upon slicing open the packet, the smell was very similar to that of the original flavour slices and I noticed that again, the cheese looked very plastic-y and processed. Obviously, this is down to how the vegan cheese is manufactured, and we cannot judge the food product by this as it’s not the same as a block of dairy cheese.
The texture was pretty much the same as the original flavour slices and the taste was similar too. This epic mature vegan cheese definitely had a little bit more of a kick to it, but it wasn’t similar to traditional mature cheddar cheese in any way. Having said that, it wasn’t unpleasant and would be great for use in sandwiches, on the cheese board, or in some vegan recipes.
Having tried the vegan cheese cold, I thought it would be a good idea to use the epic mature cheese in some cooking to see what it was like when heated up. I was told when I received these vegan cheeses for review that some of the cheeses do not melt in the way that we are used to normal cheeses melting, so I was unsure whether heating it up would work but I gave it a shot anyway.
I made myself something quick a simple – an epic mature vegan cheese, tomato, and basil toastie. The Violife cheese actually melted really well and I think it was definitely tastier when warmed up as opposed to cold on crackers or in sandwiches.
Violife Original Flavour Grated
The original flavour grated vegan cheese was just very similar, in my opinion, to the original flavour cheese. I think they’re all great choices to use in cooking or serve in sandwiches or on cheeseboards. The grated cheese is obviously really great for melting, so we decided to use it on pizzas. This was a really fun way to get the kids involved in the cooking and they loved making the pizza dough and sprinkling the cheese on. Once cooked and combined with other flavours, such as pizza base, it’s really difficult to tell that the Violife cheese is vegan and not dairy. In fact, I don’t think my kids noticed at all, they were just happy to be having pizza!
Violife Le Rond – Camembert Flavour
I have to say, the Violife Le Rond Camembert flavoured vegan cheese had me very intrigued. I really had no idea what to expect from this as well all know that camembert is a very strong flavour. I wondered how well they’d be able to replicate the taste and texture of this famous and well loved cheese.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the camembert warmed up, but it was really simple and easy to do – you can even heat it up in the microwave! We opted to heat ours up in the oven but we weren’t too sure if you were meant to keep it in the container or not, so we popped it in an oven proof dish. This wasn’t very instagrammable, hence the lack of pictures!
We heated the Le Rond Violife vegan cheese up and tucked into it with some crusty bread and, once we’d run out of that, we dunked crackers in. The taste is definitely akin to France’s famous cheese and is soft and creamy, with a little hint of something that gives it that special smelly cheese taste.
I do think it’s amazing that Violife is able to replicate camembert in a 100% vegan way. It is such a unique flavour and it’s incredible that such a popular cheese can be used for vegan cooking, as well as for starters and cheeseboards etc.
Overall thoughts on Violife Vegan Cheese
I was genuinely expecting the vegan cheeses from Violife to taste drastically different from their dairy cheese counterparts! I expected them to not really taste like cheese, well at least, cheese as I know it. Therefore I can only say that I was absolutely thrilled to discover that, for the most part, these vegan cheeses were very tasty and easy to use in recipes, as well as in sandwiches and snacks.
The cheese slices were my favourite from the selection of vegan cheeses that I was sent. I especially loved the smoky flavoured vegan cheese as I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell that this wasn’t even dairy cheese if I was served it.
I do think that it’s amazing how tasty vegan food is these days. I grew up a vegetarian and when I was younger, there was only a tiny portion of food that catered to those with dietary requirements like vegetarianism. Knowing that there are now so many great tasting vegan foods out there is a real game changer and I can definitely see myself purchasing more vegan products in the future.