Violife – Vegan Cheese Alternative
I was recently asked to review some Violife vegan cheese alternative products. For clarity, we’re not vegan, or even vegetarian for that matter. In recent years our household eating habits have changed and a lot of our diet is now plant based. But we still love cheese, so we were keen to try out these products.
Violife the Brand
We’d not come across the brand Violife before. Violife started life in Thessalonica, Greece during the 1990’s. They now sell products in over 50 countries around the world. They produce vegan cheese alternative products that are also free from dairy, lactose, GMO, gluten, nuts, soy, preservatives and cholesterol. Their award winning products are made from coconut oil of all things!
Although Violife have a strong vegan ethos they don’t come across as a judgmental brand, rather they want their products to be tried and enjoyed by everyone.
Onto The Review!
The five products that we were sent to try were:
1. Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour Block
2. Original Flavour Slices
3. Original Flavour Grated
4. Smoky Cheddar Flavour Slices
5. Le Rond Camembert Flavour
The products are packaged in the same way you’d expect cheese products to be packaged. However, the brand looks a bit more contemporary with their stylish charcoal grey branding.
Le Rond Camembert Flavour
My family love baked camembert so the first product we tried was Le Rond, the camembert flavoured product. The first thing you notice when you open the package, is that there is a distinct camembert smell but not quite as overpowering as real camembert. Also there is no rind to the cheese. It actually looks like a round, white, solid block of fat.
We removed all the outer packaging and placed it in a shallow Pyrex dish. As per the instructions, we lightly drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with thyme. The instructions said to bake for 5 minutes but in my oven this was not long enough as the middle was still solid. I cooked it for about 15 minutes in total.
As you can see from the photo, the outside became quite melted and the inside still retained its shape.
Texture wise it wasn’t as gooey and stringy as the camembert we usually have but flavour wise it was very similar. The overall consensus is that everyone would definitely eat it again.
Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour Block
We’ve been blessed in the UK with some very hot weather recently. My go to dinner when it’s too hot to cook, is my adaptation of the classic Ploughman’s Lunch. It was the perfect opportunity to try out the Violife Epic Mature Cheddar .
My Ploughmans isn’t so much a vegan recipe as a lot of ingredients placed on a big platter where everyone can pick and choose the bits they want to eat. It’s minimum effort and maximum flavour! We usually have a combination of the following: lovely fresh crusty rolls or bread, mature cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, pickle or chutney, apple, grapes, almonds, walnuts, pickled onions, coleslaw, potato salad.
I made our usual platter, and without telling anyone else in the family, I swapped out our usual cheese for Epic Mature Cheddar. The whole platter was gobbled up (whence not being able to get a photo!!) and no one mentioned that they noticed a difference so I’ll take that as a win. We usually eat quite a mature, crumbly cheddar so I noticed that the Epic Mature Cheddar seemed a bit rubbery and didn’t have the same real cheese tang. But it was still a very tasty alternative.
From a mum’s point of view, I love this type of dinner as there is something that even the fussiest of eaters will eat. There’s nothing nicer than making one dinner everyone will and even better when it doesn’t break the bank.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and taste of all the products we tried. We’re keen to try more products so watch this space.
I was kindly gifted the products to try and paid for my time to review the product. All views are my my own.