Friday, January 11, 2013

Faux Cheese: Not Even Once.

Whether you're a vegetarian, vegan, or just looking to make a typically-meaty meal into a dairy or pareve one, meat and dairy alternative products can be great. There are flavorful and healthy veggie "burgers" made of an assortment of delightful nuts and grains; there's perfectly decent dairy alternatives that can be used in baking or just on their own, like soy milk. But there's one thing that the world's fakeologists have never managed to successfully replicate: cheese.

Over the years, I've tried so many cheese alternatives. From soy, to rice, to unidentifiable synthetic polymer, they all have one thing in common: they are disgusting.

To be more specific, I'm talking here about faux-cheese products that are meant to replace large amounts of regular cheese, such as on a pizza, grilled cheese sandwich, etc.

So, what's a person to do if they can't find any kosher cheese in their area, or want to eat a pareve or vegan meal? Here are a few ideas:

  • On a tofurkey sandwich (or a turkey sandwich, if you swing that way), try guacamole or avocado slices in lieu of cheese.
  • Replace the cheese on a pizza with marinated tofu.
  • Top a salad with nuts instead of shredded cheese. Candied pecans are great on a pear and arugula salad with a sweeter dressing; walnuts go well on a simple romaine salad with a more savory dressing.
  • Instead of crackers and cheese, why not Zoidberg crackers and hummus?


  1. Have you tried rinotta? I had it on vegan pizza at Pizza Luce in Minneapolis, and sometimes I dream about it. It's made with cashews. I've been meaning to try the recipe but am lazy.

    1. Oh, I haven't ever tried that; I will see if any place around here has it! It sounds promising-- I love cashew butter.