The Best Vegan Artisan Cheeses for Your Holiday Cheese Board
A common sentiment you hear when talking about going vegan, or shifting to eating primarily plant-based is “Ah, but the cheese.” The good news is, vegan cheese has had a glorious evolution over the years and earned itself a seat at the cheese-tray table. Finding the right cheese, especially one you are sharing with friends and family, can be tricky; and let's be honest, some miss the mark. So, we hunted down some of the best artisanal vegan cheeses that you’ll feel confident serving to vegans and non-vegans alike at your next shindig. The great thing about all of these non-dairy cheeses is their ingredient list–void of any fillers, additives, soy or gluten–so these are about as ‘clean’ as you can get. They also make for a great gift and are all available for purchase online, so you can easily send direct to that chef, vegan, or veg-curious person in your life.
Jule’s Foods somehow found a way to impersonate the traditional Brie, one of the most beloved cheeses of them all. There is nothing quite like that hard exterior with a creamy interior. Jule’s cashew-based version does not disappoint. While it is discernible from the dairy-based version, its mild, nutty flavor is quite smooth. They come in two flavors, Cashew Brie and Cashew Truffle Brie. If you love truffle, go for the latter. While some may find the truffle overwhelming, if you’re a fan of the flavor it will be tough to stop eating!
Available online and select retail locations.
Treeline’s soft ‘cheese’ spreads will steal the show on your next cheese board. While not exactly reminiscent of a cheese wheel since they are more like a creamy spread, their flavor is spot on and one of the favored items in our taste test. Treeline’s made from fermented cashew nuts, and as a bonus, they also contain a healthy probiotic, known as L. Acidophilus. The Scallion Soft French-Style is a clear winner. With a creamy consistency and smooth texture, it is quite honestly perfect. The spreads come in little containers that you can flip upside down on a tray for a nice display. All Treeline cheeses and spreads are natural, without any added preservatives, stabilizers, gums or thickeners. Plus, they are pretty easy to find in-store with nation-wide distribution.
Available nationwide at Kroger and select Whole Foods.
Reine makes small-batch artisanal cashew-based ‘cheese’ rounds out of Ventura, California. This is a ‘cheese’ you will be 100 percent confident to put on a display; and trust, vegan or not, your guests will go back for seconds. Reine has perfected its fermentation process and consistency while using high-quality, organic ingredients free of soy, GMO, dairy and gluten. They have eight flavors to choose from, but at the top of the list is the Fauxgonzola, which was the top pick from all the ‘cheese’ rounds in our test. It’s made with organic blue-green spirulina (which research suggests has antioxidant and inflammation-fighting properties) and its blue striations make a beautiful display. Some other recommended flavors are the Trufflehound, and the Chipotle Cheddar.
Available online and select retail locations in Southern California.
Since 2009 Vromage Founder Youssef Fahouri has been perfecting his cheese recipes—which are secret by the way. Made from a variety of nuts and seeds, the cheeses were so good he opened the first dairy-free cheese shop in LA in 2014. Of all the brands, Vromage might be the one that is most reminiscent of a dairy-based cheese. There are many eclectic flavors, all coming in different shapes and sizes. While you can’t really go wrong with any of them, the Pepperjack and Mozzarella are both impressive. You also might recall the name, Vromage, since Prince Harry and Meghan Markel had the cheeses served at the royal wedding.
Available online and at Vromage cheese shop in West Hollywood, Calif.
Did we miss any great vegan, artisan cheese brands? Let us know in the comments below!