15 May 2023, 11:22 AM
  • Plant-based cheeses are a huge growth category, but it’s the performance on your palate that might surprise you about new wave alternatives

Have you ever wondered about the parallels between the dairy cheeses you might stock and the plant based alternatives that have seen demand soar? “We designed a novel manufacturing method that draws on the processes of making dairy cheese,” says Mike Moore of Honestly Tasty, who founded the business after a life-changing crack at Veganuary alerted him to a huge gap in the market for good dairy-free cheeses.

“The majority of our cheeses are hand-flipped daily during maturation. Our Blue has a distinctive and familiar bite thanks to Penicillium Roqueforti, and our Shamembert behaves as Camembert does in part because of the Penicillium Candidium responsible for the rind.”

And as you can imagine, great care is taken to develop recipes that really deliver. “The ratio of specific starches against the fats in the cheese is important,” says Mike. “It’s key to making sure we achieve different textures and mouthfeels at different heats… We want to make sure our cheeses perform as you’d expect, whether squished on a cracker or swirled into a sauce.”

This attention to detail could be why Honestly Tasty’s cheeses have garnered widespread acclaim. “For ages, vegan cheese didn’t taste good,” says co-founder Beth Moore. “It got a bad rep for good reason, but we plan to change that! Our mission is to make tasty cheese to change perception and ultimately to drive a change in behaviour. ‘No dairy? No compromise.’ That’s our motto, because people are looking for ways to reduce consumption (e.g. are affected by the rise in dairy intolerance) but need some help.

It’s a significant portion of the market that’s not currently being served with a high quality product. With our award-winning plant-based alternatives everyone can share and enjoy.” With a more affordable, nut-free cheese, Cheddar-style and smoked Gouda-style cheeses in the pipeline, there’s plenty to chew on.