Can you imagine life without cheese? Dairy is such a cultural staple in households all across the world. Yet many of us people don’t consume dairy products for various cultural, health, religious or ethical reasons. #Sadtimes. Fortunately, it’s an exciting time for vegans, lactose intolerant cheese lovers and allergic turophiles as a number of amazing companies have come up with a variety of 100% vegan cheeses that are completely free of milk or animal-based enzymes. Whether you prefer to eat your cheese with crackers or use it in your cooking, chances are, there’s a dairy-free version available. Taking into consideration the overall flavor, creaminess, melt, and stretch, here are the best vegan cheeses to buy in Hong Kong.
Well loved among vegan cheese lovers, popular dairy-free cheese alternative, Sheese, has been around for 30 years and counting. Made on the Isle of Bute just off the coast of Scotland, the soya-based cheese is made with coconut oil and corn starch. With an exciting range over 20 flavors of Sheese like cheddar, mozzarella, Gouda and blue cheese, the magic truly happens when you melt the cheese – it truly tastes like the real deal! Try it yourself at one of our new favorite restaurants, Mirror & Vegan Concept, which uses Sheese on their fantastic salads and pastas.
Deliciously dairy-, gluten-, and soy-free, Canadian-based Daiya Foods makes one of the best lactose-free milk products we’ve had the pleasure of tasting (so good in the Beyond Burger from Green Common and Butcher’s Club Burger). Made with coconut oil, potato and tapioca starch, it smells like the real thing and when melted, has the appropriate creaminess and ooey-gooey texture we all know and love about cheese. Available in American, cheddar slices and shredded at your favorite green grocery stores across the city, we’ve got six words for you: Daiya grilled cheese and tomato soup – swoon!
Daiya Cream Cheeze
In addition to their vegan cheeses, Daiya also offers a spread of dairy-free cream cheeses. Free from gluten, soy, peanuts and tree nuts, Daiya Cream Cheeze Style Spread are made with coconut oil, tapioca starch and non-GMO expeller pressed (an old world method of removing oil from the seeds which preserves the naturally occurring antioxidants in the oil) canola or saffron oil. We’ve yet to try all the flavors, but have only good things to say about the Chive & Onion spread.
Find Daiya Cream Cheese at Just Green.
An artisanal vegan cheese brand based in California, we are crazy about Miyoko’s Kitchen! Handcrafted and aged like traditional cheesemaking techniques, their dairy-free cheese line uses organic cultured nut products (cashews, to be exact), organic rice miso and organic coconut oil as their foundation. Their Classic Double Cream Chive had us totally fooled the first time we tried it- creamy, smooth, tangy and easily spreadable- perhaps better than the real thing! Be sure to also check out their Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic and the decadent French Style Winter Truffle as well.
Find Miyoko’s Kitchen at Green Common.
Another popular artisanal plant-based dairy product from nut milks (almonds, this time) using conventional methods, Kite Hill is a Silicon Valley-based startup founded by acclaimed vegan celebrity chef Tal Ronnen, French cheesemaker Monte Casino, and Stanford biochemist Dr. Pat Brown. Made with all-natural ingredients like almond milk, salt, and vinegar to create a complex flavor with velvety smooth texture, each batch is cultured to add depth, sweetness and a subtle tang with every serving. Smear it on a bagel or serve it alongside fresh fruit or veggies.
Find Kite Hill at City Super.
Handcrafted in California, Nutri Alley’s Nacho Nutcheese are made using traditional cheese making techniques. Using cultured cashew milk, coconut oil, modified food and potato starch, just heat up and drizzle over nachos, top off a taco salad, or dip with your favorite veggies. Available in two flavors, original and chipotle, Nacho Nutcheese are non-GMO and free from gluten, dairy, lactose, soy and cholesterol.
Find Nacho Nutcheese at Nutri Alley.
An award-winning producer of certified organic raw fermented sauerkrauts and kimchi, Brisbane-based Kehoe’s Kitchen also features a tasty cream cheese dip, perfect for dipping or spreading onto sandwiches! Using organic raw cashews, organic onion and natural sea salt, the family owned operations soaks their cashew nuts in reverse osmosis remineralized filtered water to break down the enzymes inhibitors (that means taking out the ‘bad’ stuff in water like pesticides, heavy metals, and remineralizing the water adds back the ‘good’ stuff like calcium and magnesium) before fermenting and blending with various organic produce and spices. Available in beetroot, pesto, and regular flavors, they’re great as a creamy dressing in salads or wraps, or spread on a pizza or dip in with carrot and celery sticks!
Find Kehoe’s Kitchen at SpiceBox Organics.
Images courtesy of The Food Market, Daiya Foods, Nutri Alley, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Kite Hill, and Keyhoe’s Kitchen.