As a self-proclaimed cheese connoisseur, I knew the moment I saw the Dairy Free Cheddar, Mozzarella and Ricotta Kit that it had to be mine. Melty mozzarella, creamy ricotta, tangy cheddar: say no more, you had me at melty. (Editor’s note: Morgan loves the Fondoodler, so her predilection for meltiness comes as no surprise to us.) I’ve dabbled in the realm of vegan cheese before, but as a non-vegan, I’m much more familiar with the dairy varieties of my favorite delicious treat. I decided to go to my local grocery store and sample their vegan wares and I was a little disappointed. The consistency and flavor just didn’t meet my exceptionally high cheese standards. Alas.
This is when I decided I was up for the challenge of creating a vegan cheese even the most dairy-loving person could enjoy.
As a former research scientist, I hypothesized that my laboratory skills could help me concoct this vegan cheese masterpiece. I knew there were challenges, based on my prior vegan cheese sampling and dislike for its odd texture, but the images on the box of this kit looked delightful and I decided to judge a book by its cover.
Once I opened the box, there was a direction sheet for each different kind of cheese (with cute illustrations!) and I decided to choose a personal favorite: cheddar. I quickly realized that while a good amount of the ingredients are included in the box, there are some you have to provide yourself. The main one I didn’t have was almond flour, so I ended up grinding my own in a food processor which MAY have lead to some issues down the vegan cheese road. You will need some sort of food processor or blender to make these cheeses, too!
The mixing of ingredients was really easy—you just put them all in the food processor and if you want a solid cheese (yes, you can also make amazing liquid cheese sauces with this kit!) you add in a bit of the provided agar. After it was all good and mixed, I realized that I needed to peel my almonds before making the almond flour. BIG MISTAKE. My mix had millions of tiny almond peel bits, but I decided to continue and pretend this would add a fun flavor.
The mixing of the cheese in the pot was my absolute favorite part. First, it turned into a glistening, beautiful molten liquid. Then, it quickly started getting solid and even had REAL CHEESE STRINGS. I was in cheese heaven. I decided to sample my wares at this point and was pleasantly surprised that it was smooth and actually tasted a lot like white cheddar! The “sharp” taste came from adding apple cider vinegar—which also wasn’t provided. I then poured it into a “mold” (AKA a random small container I found in my kitchen) and put it in the refrigerator to set overnight. The next morning I tried it. While the consistency was a bit off, most likely due to my mass amounts of almond skins I inadvertently added, the flavor was actually great! I ate the entire block before breakfast and had absolutely no regrets.
My vegan cheese was a success! I’d recommend using the cheddar as a sauce because the liquid consistency was amazing. Even though I may still be partial to my dairy milk cheeses, I’m less wary about their animal product-free counterparts. I’d definitely recommend this kit for vegans and non-vegans because vegan cheese just means there’s an entire other world of cheeses to eat and love—and that’s the best news I’ve heard in a while.