When vegan cheese first moved into the mainstream marketplace, a Facebook user from Great Britain posted an epic rant that nearly resulted in its being called “Gary”.
I’m not that bent out of shape about vegan cheese, and I don’t even mind that we call it “cheese.” Our cultural lexicon has grown to include many off-label references, I think the word can bear up to the strain.
But it’s not really … cheese.
I feel the same way about soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk … all the non-milk milks. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll pour any one of those on a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and call it good.
But they aren’t really … milk.
That said, if you are committed to vegan cheese for moral or ethical or health reasons, your options have widened well beyond the first (let’s face it) disappointing creations of the 1990s. Check out this interview with Miyoko Schinner, author of Artisan Vegan Cheese and founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen, which turns out an awesome Double Cream Chive spread:
Ask an omnivore-turned-vegan which food was most difficult to surrender, and the answer might well be cheese. “It’s really the hardest thing for people to give up,” says Miyoko Schinner, author of Artisan Vegan Cheese. “I hear this all the time, wherever I go across the country.” Schinner understands the reluctance.
“Whether or not [a vegan cheese] tastes exactly like, let’s say, Gruyere, you know, that’s debatable. And I don’t even know if, ultimately, that’s important,” says Schinner. “I think what’s important really is, just like there are thousands and thousands of small dairy creameries that are introducing new styles of cheese, the same can be done with vegan cheeses.”
Amen to that.