Phew! This post is a long time in the making. This is in no way a sponsored review however I was gifted a few varieties of Violife and wanted to write a full review about it! This is huge news because Violife just started selling in Korea, which makes it the first vegan cheese to be available here (at least as far as I’m aware, if you know any differently please comment!) Now I usually avoid vegan cheese because it’s typically highly processed and usually full of processed soy. However, Violife is different because not only is it vegan, it’s soy free, AND gluten free! It also claims to not contain any preservatives. The ingredients common in each variety that I had were: water, coconut oil, modified starch, salt, and flavouring. I’ll list the varieties I had and their ingredients (taken from their website) with each review. Here are the four varieties I tried:
I would like to preface this by saying that it’s been a really long time since I’ve eaten cheese. I stopped drinking milk about ten years ago, and although I did still eat cheese after that I eventually slowed to a complete stop around 5 years ago. Even when I did eat it, I very rarely bought it and so I just never cooked with it at home. It’s never been a staple for me so to all of a sudden have so much cheese again (in so many varieties no less!) was a bit baffling for me. Also since I don’t eat gluten, pizza isn’t exactly a regular thing for me as well as sandwiches and other gluten-based things that typically go well with cheese. Whenever I make something that would normally require it, I pretty much always use a nutritional yeast based sauce and it does the job! Anyway, I tried it an as many variations as I could manage.
Violife Prosociano with Parmesan Flavour:
water, coconut oil. modified starch, starch, sea salt, rice protein, vegan parmesan flavour, olive extract, colour: b-carotene
First impressions: AMAZING! The first flavour I tried was the prosciano or their version of parmesan. I was so impressed by this cheese! It has amazing flavour and the texture is very very similar to that of hard parmesan. Even the smell brings back memories of eating parmesan as a kid. This cheese can be grated, thinly sliced, or I suppose if you wanted, eaten as is. I did prefer it warm or topped on rice pasta as opposed to eaten by itself. I ate it on pasta, salads, and pretty much anywhere else I thought it would be appropriate. Grated and mixed into hot pasta it’s a dream come true! All this violife was actually my motivation for trying more rice pasta as well. It was the first time I’d eaten it since coming here (over a year ago) but that deserves it’s own post! This parmesan also melts or I will say gets-so-hot-that-it-softens-enough-to-seem-like-it-is-melted and that is all I need! I recommend topping pasta with it then popping it back in the oven to get it a bit melty 😀 I will also note that this cheese lasts forever!! In fact it was the first I opened (over 6 weeks ago) and I STILL have some leftover. It is a very generous block and is worth every penny! Will definitely purchase again and again. Loved it! 10/10
Violife Cheddar Flavour:
water, coconut oil, modified starch, starch, sea salt, Cheddar vegan flavour, polyphenols, colours: paprika extract, b-carotene
I think this was my second favourite following the parmesan although it was much easier to eat up and it only lasted me a few days! It’s so yummy eaten as is and reminds me a lot of the real thing. I think I ate almost half of it just out of the package. It has good flavour and texture. I enjoyed the rest on pasta and on some rice bowls and it MELTS! Like, more so than the parmesan. It actually gets so soft and stringy and wowza is it good. Perhaps if you regularly eat the real thing it may seem a bit weird to you but for someone who has gone without cheese for a while I thought it was really delicious and I would definitely purchase it again. I wish I had enough leftover to make a gluten free grilled cheese or pizza. Talk about comfort food! Perhaps it’s my own fault but I do wish there was more so that it lasted longer. Guess I’l have to order more 😛 9/10
Violife Mozzarella Flavour:
water, coconut oil, modified starch, starch, sea salt, Mozzarella vegan flavour, polyphenols, colour: b-carotene
Sorry, no photos! This is their version of Mozzarella which was the second flavour I tried. It comes in slices whereas the cheddar comes in a block. This was the most difficult for me because of my lack of ideas when it comes to using cheese. It’s a bit awkward to just put this one on top of things, especially becomes it comes sliced, so I ate it in gluten free sandwiches mostly. I tried to melt it and it doesn’t get as stringy as the cheddar flavour although it does soften pretty much to the point that it’s melted. In sandwiches, it’s flavour gets a bit lost so again perhaps it’s my own fault but I just wasn’t blown away by it. Unless I really have a hankering for something that needs mozza (maybe a future gf lasagna?) then I wouldn’t order it myself. 6/10
Violife Smoked Flavour:
water, coconut oil, modified starch, starch, sea salt, vegan flavour, smoke flavour, olive extract, colour: b-carotene
Again no photos, oops! The texture is very similar to the mozzarella. It’s also packed in slices. The flavour however is different (sorry to state the obvious – it is smoked flavour) but for me it was stronger and more cheese like than the mozzarella. I enjoyed eating on it’s own actually and I really enjoyed it in sandwiches. It softens the same way that the mozzarella does although I have a suspicion that if you were to really sandwich it in-between two slices for a grilled cheese that it would be more melty and make a really good replacement. Overall, better than the mozzarella for me although I can’t see myself regularly ordering it. 8/10
And there you have it! The parmesan clearly takes the lead. I think it’s versatility and value really make it a stand out, not to mention the fact that I thought it was the most delicious. To be honest if I had the choice, I would choose a more nutritious dairy-free cheese sauce over a processed cheese any day, but Violife is a delicious replacement and I think those who miss cheese a lot will really love it. It’s the first vegan cheese I’ve seen to also be soy free and gluten free so I’m impressed enough by that to keep ordering from them! Next time I order, I’ll be better at coming up with more ideas for how to use these. Would you be interested in seeing recipes? If so, let me know!
If you’re in Korea and would like to order from Violife, here is their website!