Tag Archives: cheese

Babybel Plant-Based Cheese Review

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That’s right, everyone!

The vegan movement has gained enough traction that even Babybel is getting on board! They’re one of the biggest snack cheese brands so this is a huge win.

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Whether you think they’re doing it just for clout, or you believe they’re genuinely turning over a new leaf, there is no denying that this new vegan Babybel cheese is great. Not only is it a win for the vegan movement, but it also tastes pretty good!

Babybel says the vegan wheels are supposed to be mozzarella, and I’d say it’s true. Or at least, they taste like the other vegan brands mozzarella. Didn’t have that overpowering cheddar flavour, but you could also tell it wasn’t as ‘plain’ as Monterey Jack.

The cheese also had a good consistency – it wasn’t too hard or too soft – the texture actually reminded me of firm, uncooked tofu. I think it was a little weird the cheese itself had dimples in it. But I’m not sure if that’s something the non-vegan Babybels have as well.

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I don’t think the dimples affected the taste, mostly just the look. I wasn’t expecting the wheel to be dimpled, so it threw me for a minute. They were deep enough you could feel them with your finger, but not super deep.

The vegan Babybels also come in a paper bag that isn’t resealable. I didn’t have a problem with not being able to reseal the bag, I just folded the top over like a chip bag and left it in my fridge. Each wheel was also wrapped in plastic, and the iconic Babybel wax. Though since these ones are vegan, instead of the classic red, the wax was green!

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The Babybel website’s FAQ section unfortunately couldn’t tell me what type of wax the cheese was wrapped in – just that it was food safe. (Though they don’t recommend eating it)

Them calling the product Plant-Based even though they’re certified vegan set off a little alarm bell in my head, so I ended up reaching out to the company directly. Lucky the company got back to me (23.01.27) and told me “the green wax that wraps Babybel Plant-Based is the same as the one used on our other Babybel products and is certified vegan. The wax is made from a blend of paraffin and microcrystalline waxes and colouring, which specifically contains no Bisphenol A.”

So there’s no need to worry – the cheese and wax is certified vegan! (Though I do think it’s a little weird the wax on the non-vegan cheese is also vegan)

Another good thing about the vegan pack is they’re comparable in price! A non-vegan pack of 6 Babybels are $4.77. By comparison, the vegan one came with 5 wheels and was $4.47.

It sucks we get one less, but since they’re still pretty new, who knows? If there’s enough demand for them, Babybel might decide to eventually add a bigger pack to their line up!


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Main Vegan Deli Smoked Applewood Cheese Wedge Review

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Usually, I like sticking to cheese that has a pretty mild/tame flavour. I’ve seen some cheeses that have blueberries, and other odd things in them. While I’m not quite at that stage of trying new things, I did want to try branching out from my usual Daiya (and now Violife) cheese and see if I could be satisfied with a wilder flavour.

Enter: Main Vegan Deli’s Smoked Applewood Cheese Wedge.

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I decided to go with Main Vegan Deli because I remembered liking their cheese sample at one of the Vegandale festivals I went to, so I thought they would be a safer choice. (Instead of picking a completely new company) Also, their cheese is made out of cashews, and I haven’t tried very many cashew based cheeses, so I figured two birds.

Now, this cheese definitely has a… let’s say ‘bold’ flavour. Upon first taste test (done cold, right out of the fridge), it had the texture of soft tofu, and didn’t really have much of a taste, until you got to the red dust that was along one side. Once you got there, that’s when the flavour became apparent. It’s kind of hard to describe the flavour, but one thing I can say for sure, is that it made the back of my throat tingle after swallowing it.

I found out later, that it apparently has whisky in it, so I’m not sure if that would’ve been that flavour (I’m pretty sensitive to alcohol’s), or if it was something else, but it definitely didn’t make it fun to swallow.

That said, I had my (non-vegan) friend try it as well, and they absolutely loved it! They said, and I quote, “It’s as close as you can get without dairy. It melted the same and tasted great on burgers and sandwiches.

I also tried it in a cold sandwich, and it was definitely better when not eating alone, although I couldn’t tell if that was because it was disguised with other flavours or not. And, it still tingled my throat. I didn’t get a chance to try it melted, although I did smell it melted, and similar to a few other things, the flavour just seemed to intensify when it was heated.

I figured since I didn’t really like the flavour, I probably wasn’t gonna like it with an intensified flavour.

While this cheese wasn’t my cup of tea, I would still say it was good, and if you’re someone who looks for bold flavoured cheeses, I’d definitely recommend you try it out!

Another good thing about this wedge, is that it was a lot bigger than I thought it’d be! It’s actually the size I thought the Violife Parm Wedge was going to be. Since I tried the Violife wedge first, I had lowered my expectations on size when I bought this one, but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised! Especially because it was listed at $15.

If I had ended up liking the flavour, I would’ve been over the moon at how big of a wedge it came with. I ended up giving it to my friend, who was really happy with it’s size. Though they did agree with me that $15 still seemed a bit too steep. We both thought if it was closer to $10-12 it would’ve been better.

Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here, when I say ‘big’, I don’t mean it was ‘big’, I mean it was bigger than the Violife wedge, but was still relatively small. The whole wedge was roughly the size of my hand.

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The wedge went from the tip of my middle finger, to my wrist, making it about 6 inches long. It was also about 2 inches wide (pointer to ring finger).

Definitely not big enough to be $15 in my eyes. But! I want to say thank-you to Main Vegan Deli for not making it ridiculously small.

If their other cheeses are the same size, I definitely can’t wait to try one of their tamer flavours!

Have you tried Main Vegan Deli’s Applewood Smoked Wedge? Let me know what you think about it in the comments below!


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Daiya Monterey Jack Style Block Review

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Since I did a chocolate review last year, I thought cheese would be a perfect pairing for this years’ Valentine’s Day.

Because let’s face it: everyone wants to try fondue at least once in their life, because it just seems pretty darn romantic! And what better day than to show off your romantic side than Valentine’s? (Daiya even has a dairy-free fondue recipe on their website!)

I want to start by saying this is my absolute favourite cheese, vegan or otherwise.

I honestly don’t know why Daiya gets such a bad wrap in the vegan community, yes it can be a little…. stronger than other cheeses, but that doesn’t make it bad!

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This was the first vegan cheese I ever tried, and – after years of eating nothing but goat cheese – this was a very welcome break from that game-y taste. (If you’ve ever had goat cheese, you know what I’m talking about)

I also like the texture of the block – they’re perfect for cutting up into slices and eating cold! You could of course still shred them up and use them on pasta, hot sandwiches, or whatever else you put melted cheese on. My favourite way to eat any of the blocks though is by itself in cold sliced form. (Sometimes with crackers)

Speaking of the texture, I have noticed it’s changed. It’s almost the same, but I’ve noticed the last few times I’ve bought them, when I went to cut slices off the block, they’ve been sticking more to the knife, and seem more almost-melty. Like they used to get if you carried them home from the store in the summer and they got a bit melted but were still firm. I’m not sure if they changed the recipe, or if there was just a less stable batch or something that went out, but I have to say, I don’t like the new texture as much. I don’t want to have to peel off pieces of broken slices from my knife.

Now, I don’t know what ‘real’ Monterey Jack cheese tastes like, but this one has a pretty mild taste. I used to think Mozzarella was the ‘plainest’ cheese taste, but this beats it by a landslide. Mozzarella has a bit of a like, twang-y taste to it (yes I know ‘twang isn’t a flavour), that I don’t like too much. This one is the plainest of cheeses I’ve tasted – it’s a pretty neutral taste, which is why I think it’s the perfect flavour.

I don’t know all those typical cheese descriptions – nutty, earthy, etc. I don’t know what any of those mean, so the best description I can give it would be it’s like the water of cheese flavours: you can pair it with anything and it won’t be weird. (Unless you pair it with like, mints or something)

One thing I can say I definitely don’t like about this, and all the other blocks: They’re $5.99 each! With how small the blocks are, (I can usually finish a whole block in one day and a half [or less]) you’d think they wouldn’t be so expensive.

At one point, I was buying them in 4’s just so I’d have enough for 1 week – that’s $20 on cheese alone! Who has that kind of money?

I complain about this in a lot of my reviews of vegan products, but I’m gonna continue to complain until something changes. Either lower the price (even 4.99 would be better), or make the products bigger. How can we expect more people to go vegan when the ‘transition’ products are so anti-family sized and expensive? (Like the Beyond Burgers – 2 in a giant plastic container that could easily fit 4-6 for $20 – and that’s the raw ones!)

And I know, I know, I don’t know how much it takes to produce the blocks, and that may be as low of a price as they can make them for the company to make a profit, but guess what? If you drop the price, more people will buy them, because they’ll be actually affordable and it will (most likely) even out. I know I’d definitely buy way more of them if the price was lower (or they were bigger). Especially because you can put them in the freezer! You could go on a stock up trip and throw them in the freezer to keep on hand.

If you do put the blocks in the freezer though, I recommend you only use them to be melted or in a hot dish. Once they go in the freezer, the texture gets ‘snowy’ and they don’t work as well as cold slices for a snack. Once heated, they retain the flavour and melt-y/stretchy texture.

That’s pretty much all I think I can say about this block. It’s my favourite, even though it’s a bit on the expensive side and small. (But all the blocks are the same size/price)

If you haven’t tried it yet, I definitely recommend it, and I recommend trying it cold first before you throw it into a dish. Just so you get an untainted flavour of the cheese. If you don’t know what it tastes like by itself, how will you know what to put it in?


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Chao Tomato and Cayenne Review

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It’s April, and although good weather has yet to happen, I’m gonna go ahead and pretend it’s getting warmer, and closer to BBQ season, and hope Mother Nature will get the hint.

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I have seen this cheese a lot in vegan shops, but I never wanted to give it a chance, I always stayed with the familiar. (Daiya) I finally took a chance and bought it, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

It’s not as… strong as Daiya. You know when you have Daiya in your mouth, and you know you have Daiya in your mouth, because it’s so overpowering? (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Daiya cheese! But when you’re making a dish, like, say, a quesadilla, you want to taste the other foods you put in there, not just the cheese) This cheese doesn’t give you that distinctive taste, it blends better into the background.

While milder in that respect, the cayenne gives it a nice little kick of heat. It’s not overly hot (I can’t handle spicy food very well at all) at all. I have to say though, one ‘con’, would be that I didn’t distinctly taste tomato. It was more of just cheese and spice. I don’t know if I would’ve liked it very much if it had tasted like tomato (I’m more of a fan of them if they’re in something, I don’t like them by themselves), but, if you’re gonna call the flavour tomato and cayenne, I expect a bit of that. Or, maybe it did taste like tomato and I just didn’t notice/realize? This was the first flavoured cheese I’d had, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I actually thought I wasn’t gonna like it at all (the concept of flavoured cheese still seems a bit odd to me), so it fared better then I thought.

If you do decide to try this cheese, (which, I recommend) you should definitely melt it on something. I tried a piece cold so I could get a taste of it alone, straight from the pack (it’s harder to decide whether or not you truly like a product without doing so, I think) and it wasn’t that good, I have to say. I definitely wouldn’t want to eat the slices of it as a snack, like I do with Daiya Monterey-Jack blocks. (Which I also recommend you try, if you haven’t already. I’ve started having to buy them in fours just so I have enough for a week. I can eat a whole one in a day)

After trying it cold, and finding it ‘meh’, I melted it in a quesadilla and it was amazing! Even though it did that classic vegan cheese ‘puddle-melt’ thing, it was still good. It gave the quesadilla a nice flavour, and it faded into the background well, not over-powering the other flavours (like Daiya would have).

Also, I don’t know why, but this cheese reminds me of summer. I don’t know if it’s the colour or the flavour or what, but it just kinda… does. Maybe it’s because I think it’d go good on a Field Roast burger (I haven’t tried them together yet, but I know it’s gonna be good) or, maybe I’m just getting impatient and want BBQ season to start. Either way, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I definitely recommend trying this cheese (melted) if you haven’t tried it already, and, if you get a chance, put it on a burger, or in a quesadilla, etc. I also think it might make a good nacho topping. (Keep your eye on my Instagram so you don’t miss when I try that!)


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