The Stink Meets…the vegan-cheese-eater
Anita Kolchoy, 23, has been a vegan for three years. Before, she used to eat cheese by the barrel-load, but since being diagnosed with lactose intolerance she had to cut back on the dairy. Now, she gets her cheese fix from cashews, yoghurt shakes from soy and looks to the Middle East for cheesy alternatives.
How much cheese did you get through before becoming vegan?
I would eat at least one 400g packet of mature cheddar a week and would live off breadsticks dipped into garlicky Boursin.
As a vegan, do you miss cheese?
Yes! I became vegan because I became lactose intolerant first. I miss eating cheese so much. There’s no real replacement for a good Cheddar.
What do you eat instead of cheese?
There’s this vegan stuff called Cheezly which looks like American cheese but I think tastes a bit like soil. It’s not amazing but I’d love to be proved wrong. Otherwise I just use a lot of pastes and spreads like hummus and tapenade. You can also get cheese made from tofu. Tofu is an incredible find for vegetarians. I eat ice-cream made out of tofu, too.
Which cheese do you miss the most?
I miss mozzarella. There is no substitute for tangy, sweet mozzarella on a pizza. Other than that, gorgonzola is incredible too.
What types of vegan cheese are out there?
Well apart from cheezly, people at Saf (a vegan, GF restaurant) have started making nut-based cheeses like Cashew Cheese. Because they’re fermented they actually do taste a little like cheese, but the texture is impossible to replicate. They’re also really expensive. £5 for a tiny pot.