Throughout the years, the number of omnivores who pouted their lip and drew up salty reminders of regret in their eyes while explaining their inability to be a vegan has really broken my heart. Not because they have sad tales to relay, but because I’m sad that people are so annoying.
If you don’t want to be a vegan, don’t be a vegan. Shut up. On the other hand, if you know why you should be a vegan, and you claim to “care”, yet, you’re not one, you’re just a twit. There are not many physical excuses. Unless you’re allergic to everything non-meat, and you cry every time you eat a vegetable, and your skin burns and your brain melts and people throw nougat at you…. Maybe then I will say, “Well, you did your best.”
Whatever the reason is that you’re not a vegan, own it! However, if I hear, “But I like cheese too much” one more time, I’m going to start throwing grenades at people. What you mean to say, in a complete sentence is, “I prefer claiming that I love cheese, because it sounds amusing, to saving animals from being horribly abused.”
Just say it. Use your words. Don’t cover up what you’re doing here. Not because I’m a heartless monster who doesn’t understand your cheese-woes. No, no, I’m as understanding as they come! I get it- cheese alternatives were disgusting once upon a time. I wouldn’t eat “vegan cheese” if you paid me… about 4 years ago. Maybe even up until 2 years ago, that stuff was horrible.
Lately, though, cheese action is happening. The magic is real. If you don’t believe me, I’ll need you to try some of my favourite cheese alternatives. Admittedly, some are better for certain purposes than others. Use them incorrectly, and you will be displeased. I wouldn’t leave you hanging, though. I’m going to help you. Here’s the major cheeses for your needses!
5- Cheese Slices – These are the bottom-of-the-barrel options. If you just need a cheese-ish, kinda, sorta, maybe option, these are for you. They have something of the right saltiness and flavour, but they’re not very good. Especially on their own. Use these with discretion. They’re good if you’re making a sandwich with lots of other flavours. They’re like a filler. You’ll be disappointed, but a) They’re healthier than cheese. b) They’re less abusive than cheese. c) After awhile, you won’t really notice. d) They’re cheaper than cheese (usually cheaper than dairy cheese or other vegan cheeses.)
Still, this is a last option.
4- Vegan Gourmet – If you’re a cheese-snacker, (as I can be late at night when my body is just waiting for me to fill it with things it can immediately turn into thigh and stomach fat) then this one is for you. I don’t love how it melts and cooks with other things, but it’s sort of like the string cheese equivalent. It’s not really stringy, but if you break off a piece of the mozzarella, you can nibble and be happy. It’s best cold, I think. Great flavour! Now that they make it shredded, I’ll have to try it out. In the meantime, snack away!
3- Other dairy – I realize you won’t just miss the usual cheeses. There’s also sour cream, cream cheese, parmesan cheese… and what about butter and mayonnaise? Do not fear, my children, for there are options! By now, you must realize I am a skeptic. I don’t guide others to eat things I wouldn’t eat, nor tell you things are edible that are not. Vegan cheeses have a long journey ahead of them, I cannot deny this. However, other non-dairy dairy products are KILLING IT (ironically….) Here are just a few of the goodies that will satisfy your dairy tooth.
Note: Soy yogurts like “Almond Dream” are the more “sophisticated” types, but I find their yogurt clumpy and kind of gross. The cheaper brands are actually much better!
2- Ice Cream – Oh, I know this is necessary. You can’t always make your way to a fancy vegan ice cream parlour. That’s a lot of effort and, yeah, money. Fortunately, I’ve yet to taste a vegan ice cream pint sold OTC that wasn’t delicious. And, seriously, you can serve these to anyone, even your kosher friend who just ate meat (the heathen!) or your lactose intolerant friend who will probably be SO excited to eat ice cream! Just look at all the options!!
1- Daiya – I so do hate to jump on the bandwagon, but what can I say? The reality is- Daiya cheese is THE vegan, dairy-free, cheese alternative that wins at life. It’s good for anything and on anything that needs to be cheesed. It’s not as good for snacking (though, it definitely does the job…) but for every other purpose, it takes the blue ribbon. It’s melty and stretchy, it blends well, it tastes and feels and does what cheese should do to the best of the abilities of something that is not cheese. It’s pretty mind-blowing and they make all types of cheeses!
BONUS: There are also a bunch of “artisanal” cheeses out there which sell for more than a human heart. Maybe they’re worth buying if you’re inviting the president of Vegansville to your home, or you’re trying to impress Jesus or something, but I don’t have the money or enough desperation to purchase these things. Go, though. By all means, spend your entire paycheck on vegan cheese. We wouldn’t want to suffer ANY longer without your precious brie or “bacon grease” or whatever moldy stuff you’re into.
Did I leave out your favourite in-store vegan dairy product? Let me know!