Saturday, 2 February 2013

New cheese on the block - meet MozzaRisella!

You know what they say about buses? Well sometimes I find that about the products that I mention. No sooner have I 'covered' a subject, then something else comes along!

When I wrote my recent post about dairy free cheese and followed that with a guest post by Sarah (@Sugarpuffish on Twitter) I really thought I had covered the subject pretty definitively, BUT it appears not!! Browsing the fridge in my nearest health food store, recently, I came across this little beauty: MozzaRisella

Dairy free Mozzarella!
Basically, as its name suggests, it is a Vegan alternative to Mozzarella - made with rice, as opposed to cow's milk. Reassuringly, it is an Italian product. When I saw this, I thought to myself, "Italians invented Mozzarella, didn't they? That means it must be good!"

Then I realised that the packaging states it is lactose, gluten and soy free. "Yippeee!!" I thought, "that means I can eat it!!"

The actual ingredients, are as follows:
Biosurice (water, germinated whole rice, lemon juice, apple vinegar, salt), cold pressed coconut oil. 
Thickening agents: agar-agar, gum arabic, xanthum gum, carob flour.
Flavourings: natural flavouring

To me, the most obvious way to use Mozzarella, is as a topping on a pizza. Having heard a lot about gluten free pizza, on Twitter recently (it seems to be cropping up everywhere) I couldn't wait to give it a go!!

Poised and ready for action!
In case you're interested, my base of choice was Sainsbury's Free From. Instead of puree, I used this Seeds of Change sauce (I can't eat tinned food).

Easy to slice
I've never used real Mozzarella myself, so I've no idea how it should handle, but I thought the MozzaRisella sliced well. 

A common complaint, in the dairy free community is that dairy free cheese doesn't melt very well. MozzaRisella did, when I used the Sainsbury's base - which was cooked at 200 degrees C, for about ten minutes. 

Et Voila!
However, the next day, when I tried to repeat my pizza experiment with a different base that cooked at a slightly lower temperature (180 degrees C) it didn't look as though it melted quite so well, but did seem gooey enough, when I ate it.

Pizza number two!

Now it's a long time since I've tasted real Mozzarella, but I have to say that I enjoyed this pizza perfection (see what I did there). It was gooey and creamy and off-set the strong tangy tomatoey layer, really well. The Hub thought that it tasted okay (ie. good enough) with the pizza, but that it wasn't stretchy, like real Mozzarella. He thought it definitely had a cheesy taste but tasted more like Dairy Lea, when eaten by itself.

I have to say, I definitely want to buy it again, to top my pizza, but there's only one place I know locally, that sells it. Today, when I went back for more, and it was all gone!!

MozzaRisella have another dairy free cheese in this range - Creamy Risella. It describes itself as a 'spread', which I believe is intended for eating with crackers. I tried it with Barkat's gluten free crackers (which, by the way, I love).

Cheese Number Two!
The ingredients are as follows:
Biosurice (water, germinated whole rice, salt, apple vinegar), water, cold pressed coconut oil, rice syrup, lemon juice.
Thickening agents: agar-agar, gum arabic, xanthum gum, carob flour.
Flavourings: natural flavouring.

Personally speaking, Creamy Risella did not rock my boat in quite the same way as MozzaRisella, but as people respond differently to products, in terms of taste (The Hub thought it tasted pretty much the same as the other), I would urge you to try it for yourself and make your own judgement. I might, however, be tempted to try using it in making dishes that require a soft cheese.

Like the MozzaRisella, I found it in my health food store. Unfortunately, it's not cheap (£3.99) but then dairy free products are often niche and expensive to produce - it kind of goes with the territory! 

If you want to buy it, the current list of stockists can be found here.

Update:  On Facebook, Jennifer and Hannah mentioned that they have contacted Mozzarisella and discovered that you can buy it direct - £3.70 per cheese, minimum order of £10, postage £6.99, grand total £18.09 (cost of package probably because it needs to be kept chilled). Mozzarisella indicated that they are just beginning to roll-out their product in the UK and that we can help, by inquiring at our local health food shops. Also there is a new product to follow - Pizzarisella gluten free, so keep your eyes peeled and keep pushing those doors!!

Other posts about dairy free cheese:


  1. oo exciting! not sure how we are with carob, but.. maybe it's possible to make at home? Might be worth having a go : )

    1. Hey Sian! I have found various vegan cheese recipes online, one I'm tempted to try is linked in to a previous post (Cheese Please! -linked to the post above). If you give it a go, then you're braver than I'm feeling right now :) but let me know how you get on!!

  2. Thankyou! I never thought it possible to get excited by yeast flakes : ) We're not quite sure about coconut (if it's the taste or he's sensitive to it) so it's on our list of foods to test when we see the consultant next, but..... yeast flakes are go! I find it difficult to source things in our local shops so will order online.
    I MUST read all of your back posts!

    1. It may be possible to buy Engevita yeast flakes at Holland and Barrett (if you have a good one near you)but I can't remember. I get mine from a good independent health food store. I have heard that you can get them from Amazon, but The Vegan Store definitely have them!