Saturday, November 27, 2010

Amazing vegan cheese "Sheese" review

In addition to being a chocoholic I am also a cheeseholic. I grew up eating tons of cheese, there were soft creamy cheese spreads that came in dozen of flavors (kind of like a cream cheese here), hard Emmental (Swiss cheese) with holes (as a kid I believed that the holes were chewed by mice), "moldy" blue cheese, brie, Babybel cheese wrapped in a wax coating, and smelly cheese that was aged on top of raw meat and had to be stored in a glass container or on the balcony otherwise it would stink up the whole house. One of my favorite cheeses was a blue cheese though. I used to eat it plain or shredded over hot potatoes or pasta. I would make creamy spread from blue cheese and butter.

When I first became a vegetarian at the age of 15, I would eat even more cheese and yogurts to make up for the missing meat protein in my diet. Back then I didn't know or didn't think that dairy was bad, gross, or cruel. Eating cheese and drinking milk was always a very cultural thing in Czech Republic. Czech Republic was not very friendly towards vegetarians or vegans back then. If you went to a restaurant and wanted some vegetarian meal, the only option was a breaded deep fried cheese with french fries. In fast food restaurants or at the street stands the only vegetarian option was a breaded deep fried cheese in a bun with tartar sauce or ketchup. My family rarely ate out so I would enjoy the deep fried cheese as a treat. Sometimes I would make it at home. I almost lived on bread and cheese. I haven't tasted a cheddar cheese until I was about 18 years old. I was working for an English family and they had cheddar cheese at home. I fell in love with the cheese. I could not get enough of it. I found out that I could buy it at a specialty store even though it was insanely expensive. The same family also introduced me to sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil and peanut butter.

When I moved to USA I continued eating tons of cheese and since cheddar cheese was cheap and easily available, I would indulge myself daily, plus I would buy snacks with cheddar flavors. Things changed dramatically when I found out that most of my beloved cheese contained rennet that came from calves stomachs. I was horrified and stopped eating any cheese with animal rennet. Unfortunately there were some companies that used a vegetarian rennet instead so I continued feeding my cheese addiction. Later I realized how nasty and cruel the dairy industry was and stopped eating cheese and drinking milk. That was the beginning of my veganism. I also stopped eating eggs and other animal by-products. The eggs I didn't miss at all, but I missed the cheese. I tried to find a delicious vegan cheese that would taste good, melt easily and that I could eat plain (not just added to food). Most vegan options were nasty, weird, waxy or had funky textures. Luckily I saw some European vegan cheese options online about 2 years ago. They were made in Scotland by Sheese company. I thought that this would be the last chance that I would give to a vegan cheese. I ordered the Blue variety and.......WOW! It was a love at a first bite. Until then I could not eat any vegan cheese plain the way I used to eat a dairy cheese. With Sheese I can enjoy it as it is. The taste is very similar (not exactly the same) to a real blue cheese. The color is white without any blue or green spots, but it smells like blue cheese and tastes wonderful.

This picture is from Sheese website, I like the presentation

The kind folks at Black Duck Imports (The exclusive importer of Sheese for USA) were so nice and sent me some other flavors of Sheese to try, including the creamy Sheese. I enjoyed my samples very much, eating them on crackers, with veggies, fruits, or by themselves. I also used them in meals and created a recipe for a yummy Olive Pizza with Blue Cheese and Walnuts.
Sheese cheeses taste great, they melt well and their texture is dense, buttery and smooth, unlike some other vegan cheese options. Over the last few weeks I ate Strong Cheddar (very cheesy almost smokey flavor), Blue (just like a blue cheese-the smell and taste), Smoked Cheddar (insanely great and surprising bacon like smell and flavor), medium Cheddar (yellow colored very cheesy like flavor), Gouda (very cheesy and authentic), and Mozzarella (mild cheese flavor but very smooth). Here are some examples where I used the Sheese.
I also tried the creamy cheese (almost like a cream cheese with amazing flavors). I tried the Garlic and Herb (very herbal and garlicky, excellent as a veggie dip or on crackers), the Mexican style (with chili, coriander, cumin, jalapeno peppers). I am still waiting to try the original version, because I want to make some vegan Tiramisu with it later. The Mexican style was bursting with spicy flavors and it made a wonderful spread on avocado and tomato sandwiches. If you like spicy stuff, this is great, not just spicy, but tasty, too.

I would buy more Sheese if it was available in grocery stores, or at least at Whole Foods. I don't mind paying a little bit more for Sheese compare to other vegan options, because it is worth every penny and it lasts a while. Plus the taste is more then convincing. So far I have to buy it online, but there are several stores in USA that carry Sheese products. There is a flyer online that I printed out and brought it to my local Whole Foods market. I gave it to the store manager with a request for the products. The flyer has all important info included so all you need to do is print it out and bring it to your local stores if you want them to carry these vegan cheese options. I am still waiting for a response from the manager. Here is the link to the flyer. Please, check it out.

Garlic and Herb Creamy Sheese and Strong Cheddar Sheese with crackers and cranberries

Gouda style Sheese with kalamata olive

Mexican Style Creamy Sheese

Chili with Strong Cheddar Sheese

Black beans, avocados, rice, red onions, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, taco seasoning and Gouda Sheese

Pasta with tomato sauce and Mozzarella Sheese

Pasta with Smoked Cheddar Sheese and peas


  1. that is a lot of cheese! haha! it is nice to hear the stories of Czech :)

  2. Yes! Cheezly is also good! And also European.

  3. Wow. I live in Scotland and have heard and tasted some of the che 'cheese' from Sheese company, but I am astounded at the variety you have from to choose from. At the supermarkets here, you can only get one version. I think vegan sheese (and vegan diets)are more popular in places like America than Scotland. Good to read your review though and as a veggie I may give them another try, as my first taste of 'sheese' was not the most welcomed. My husband did not mind it though.

  4. I'm glad you liked it. I once ordered the "Strong Cheddar Style" and had to throw it out. It was so awful! And it's so expensive. I can't really afford to order more and try them out, so I'm done with them. But maybe the other flavors are good...I'll never know.