It had been a while since our tester had eaten dairy cheese, but a taste of this luxuriously creamy, flavourful plant-based alternative transported them back to their pre-vegan days. The texture of this cashew and macadamia nut product is that of a rich, soft cheese, and is perfect for spreading on crusty seeded bread. The cheese comes in generously sized cubes, marinaded in a blend of extra virgin olive oil and cold-pressed rapeseed oil with garlic and thyme. It’s also studded with tangy black peppercorns, which are delicious. Another plus is that macadamia white comes in a glass jar, making it kinder to the planet than cheeses that come in plastic packaging.
How many times have you heard someone say they couldn’t possibly go vegan because they love cheese too much? Dozens, we imagine.
There was a time when those people could have been excused. Makers of plant-based cheese alternatives have taken a while to perfect their wares, which were not always the most appetising to eat. But now vegan cheese lovers are spoilt for choice.
Today, countless brands offer cruelty-free fromage of all varieties imaginable. You can find cheddar, smoked, chilli, spreadable, grated, sliced and blue alternatives even in standard supermarkets.
Until recently, most vegan cheeses available on the high street were made from a coconut-oil base, which is fine and does lend itself to a good texture, but sometimes the coconut flavour could be a little overpowering. Now there are a number of options made from nuts, and many coconut-based recipes have been refined for a far superior cheese.
How we tested
We tested a wide range of plant-based contenders, including those from mainstream supermarkets and brands from more-specialist suppliers. We looked for those made from nuts and those from coconut oil, and aimed to include an assorted range of cheese styles. With all these options, you’re cheddar off without dairy.
The best vegan cheeses for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Nettle macadamia white, 150g: £12.50, Planetorganic.com
- Best soft cheese – Nush natural almond cream-cheese-style spread, 150g: £2.33, Ocado.com
- Best for spice-lovers – Mexicana vegan block, 200g: £2.40, Thevegankindsupermarket.com
- Best for cheese boards – Honestly Tasty the full collection: £31.50, Honestlytasty.co.uk
- Best smoked cheese – Applewood vegan smoky cheese alternative, 200g: £2, Sainsburys.co.uk
- Best cheddar alternative – Ilchester vegan melting mature, 200g: £2.40, Thevegankind.com
- Best in salads – Bute Island Sheese Greek style block, 200g: £2.69, Thevegankindsupermarket.com
- Best luxury buy – Mouse’s Favourite camblue, 130g: £9.99, Planetorganic.com
- Best organic brand – Palace Culture organic almond ricotta, 130g: £9, Abelandcole.co.uk
- Best sliced vegan cheese – Cathedral City plant-based dairy-free large slices, 150g: £2.30, Tesco.com