The difference between a vegan and a vegetarian usually comes down to cheese. It’s a hard leap to make. For the longest time, it was the only thing standing between me and being a vegan. All my comfort foods revolved around cheese: grilled cheese, mac’n’cheese, pizza.
As a vegetarian kid, these were my go-to entrees in a meat-oriented world. It was hard to give them up.
Other vegan items were easier. Vegan butter: early adopter. Vegan milk: yes, I prefer it. Vegan ice cream is amazing. Vegan yogurt took a while, but I got there, too. Even vegan cream cheese: sold.
But shredded cheese often fell short. Sliced cheese for sandwiches was meh at best. Vegan mac and cheese was hit or miss.
I’m not sure when things shifted, but vegan cheese is now markedly better than it used to be.
- It melts.
- The texture is right.
- The flavor is good.
- I have favorites, even.
- Cheese slices I can eat straight out of the package.
So if you are vegan-curious and cheese is what is holding you back, it’s time to try again. You may be surprised.
Artisan vegan cheesemaking is in my future. Or artisan vegan cheese eating, at least!