So in an unplanned expansion into the realm of vegan eating from a previously content vegetarian state of being, I've found myself sampling soy, nut and rice cheeses, as well as their milks, creams (sour cream and the like included), and butters.
The good news is, there are definitely options that don't rob any of the taste experience one would be used to as a dairy consumer.
And as a very adept maker of Baked Macaroni and Cheese, you can trust that I know my cheese. Cheese has been a staple in our house, making me, I think, a very good judge of who is on the mark and who is not in their creation of soy cheeses, nut cheeses and rice cheeses.
Though there is plenty of Green Soulfood info waiting for you in the Purple Mag mini cookbook coming in the Fall/Winter Modern Myth issue, I couldn't resist dropping some gems in the form of faux cheese ratings. The faux cheeses we're rating here today are casein-free and GMO-free. Casein is a milk protein that is used in some soy cheeses (always check the label to be sure your not sabotaging your chosen green path).
GMO means "Genetically modified". It's a horrid food experiment you want to avoid, we're sure. If a package does not read GMO-free, claim to be free of genetically modified ingredients, or list their soybeans/ingredients as specifically Organic, write to the company to ask if they are GMO-free before you buy. You don't need to grow a third ear. The two you have are quite nice already.
Q. also chimed in to give his assessment.
PZ rates it: A
Q rates it: B-
Cheezly smells at tastes like cheese, seriously. It also melts in vegan empanadas (see the Fall/Winter Green Soul mini cookbook in PurpleMag) like nobody's business. We recommend the White Cheddar. We plan to give word on other Cheezly flavors. Rest assured you can make baked mac and cheese with this flavor of Chezly and swoon over it. You will have to find an egg substitute for the recipe though, and we recommend steering clear of Morningstar's genetically modified products in addition to using rice milk or almond milk in the recipe as dairy substitutes.
PZ rates it: C-
Q rates it: C
Okay... I had a strong reaction to the smoked gouda version of Sheese. I spit it out.
Feeling bolder later I tried it again. This time I could chew it and see that it's not really terrible, just... different and strong in a weird way. You might want to try other flavors. Q dislikes the aftertaste. I just think it's... a little off in a currently undefinable way.
PZ rates it: D
Q rates it: C
Teese Cheese melts interestingly but it's bland and tastes like buttered popcorn. Teese does not taste remotely like cheese. I don't know who decided to lie and say it does. Trust us. It doesn't.
Galaxy Rice Slices
Tofutti's sour cream is off the chain and very authentic. We believe it's made with non genetically modified soybeans, as we read it in their FAQ. If you know otherwise, please drop us a line: purplemag at gmail.
Non GMO brands we love:
Dixie Diner Faux Meets
Silk brand Soy Milk
EarthBalance Butter (Tastes JUST LIKE BUTTER)
These cruelty free, non-toxic items can be purchased at: Veganessentials.com
Nut-based and rice-based vegan-dairy items and even flour, can actually be made at home (this includes soy actually-- and tofu can be made form other beans), recipes forthcoming in Purple Mag's Fall/Winter issue.