The newest contender for the ultimate vegan blue cheese.
I’m a big fan of many different vegan cheeses, but I recognize the fact that some of them are pretty terrible. I remember the first time I tried vegan cheese, about three and a half years ago. I won’t disclose the brand that I tried, but I remember it tasting so terrible that I actually cried. I mean I literally cried. I thought that I had condemned myself to a life of plasticky, bland garbage. About a week after that, though, I tried a genuinely delicious vegan cheese. Since then, I’ve tried, chalky, creamy, slimy, gooey, grainy, rubbery vegan cheeses – good and bad, authentic and weird. I’ve even tried that very first brand again, and while I can’t say whether my tastes have changed or whether they’ve improved their recipe, it’s now one of my favorites.
Probably my favorite cheese back in my pre-vegan days was blue cheese. The stinkier and vein-ier, the better. And blue cheese dressing was always my no-brainer choice. My first dabble into vegan blue cheese was the Daiya Blue Cheeze dressing. It has a great flavor, but it has a distinct lack of blue cheese chunks. You can usually find a bottle of it in my fridge. I’ve also tried the Violife Just Like Blue Cheese wedge. Again, the flavor is great, but it has a harder, crumbly texture compared with dairy blue cheese, and I found I really wasn’t enthusiastic about it. I’d probably get it again if I saw it in stores (it’s not currently sold anywhere within a few hundred miles of where I live), but it’s not something I’m likely to order again from Vegan Essentials.
Just last week I was shopping at my local Wegmans when I spotted the MozzaRisella Blue Cheese Alternative. I had previously used their classic mozzarella in an insalata caprese, and it was absolutely fantastic. I found it to be for more authentic than the Miyoko’s Creamery Fresh VeganMozz (though I still love that in my pizza rustica). I reasoned, if they made such a beautiful and delicious mozzarella, it was worth spending $7.99 to find out if their blue cheese was just as good, right?
Both the mozzarella and the blue come in a white plastic casing, similar to how sausage is sometimes sold. I cut open the casing, and this is what came out:
Now, to be fair, it is described as a “spreadable” blue cheese, but what poured out of that casing was essentially a cottage cheese texture. With bits of seaweed, which I can only presume is to simulate the look of blue cheese veining. I was certainly take aback by it, but I was still willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. What I really cared about was the flavor. to make a long story short, it was a bit of a disappointment. It had that distinctive blue cheese flavor, but it was incredibly mild. So much so that, when I tried it a couple of days later with some vegan buffalo wings, it was totally tasteless. Bummer.
And so, with all things considered, I have to give the MozzaRisella Alternative Blue Cheese:
I could totally justify the price and even the strange texture and appearance if it weren’t for the virtual absence of flavor. I don’t know, maybe I’m just ignorant and maybe there is some obscure type of blue cheese out there that this is a dead ringer for. But I’ve eaten a lot of blue cheese in my time, and this just isn’t one I’d want to have again.
Do you know of any vegan blue cheeses out there that I haven’t mentioned? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!