Why the Demand for Vegan Cheese Continues to Skyrocket

A recent Science Friday article highlights the rise in demand for quality vegan cheeses.

Many vegans say cutting dairy is the hardest part about going vegan. Even famed artisan vegan cheese maker Miyoko Schinner agrees. But a recent surge in small crafted creameries has made becoming vegan easier—and tastier.

These new products are much different from the first commercial vegan cheeses of the 1990s. Early manufacturers took what Schinner calls a “Kraft single approach, mixing oils and starches with stabilizers and thickening agents, resulting in products reminiscent of something “made more in a lab than in a kitchen.

Schinner says the new methods are different, as these new cheeses are less for a sandwich or a veggie burger and more for “a Friday night with a glass of wine.

While all cultured nut cheeses are created using the same basic approach, manufacturers will often refine the process to “improve the flavors, textures, and richness of their products. A simple tweak can change the taste completely, giving us flavors from buttery to sharp. Schinner explains that the possible varieties are nearly identical to those of dairy cheese.

Crazy for cheese but don’t want to support the cruel dairy industry? Check out our definitive guide to vegan cheese.