Wednesday, 11 September 2013

An Alternative to Cheese and Alternative Stores

Meet Violife - the latest in my quest for a decent dairy free cheese alternative. 

It's here!
I've been after this cheese for some time and have heard nothing but good things about it. Not currently available in any shops near me, I turned t'Internet for this one and found it on the Alternative Stores website. This is a Vegan site that I've been stalking on Face Book for quite a while (in the hope of laying my hands on said cheese). However, every time I've tried to order Violife, its been out of stock!! 

Noting (from a recent update) that Violife was back in stock, I hot-footed my way over to their site this week, so I could get my order in before the cheese vanished. I was in luck, it was in stock, so I decided to make the most of any shipping charges by ordering some Vegan choccie bars too. Bonus!! Even better - if you order three of any items, you get 10% off the price if those free items! Needless to say, I took advantage of that offer with the choccie bars, but not so the cheese. After all, if it turned out to be disgusting, I didn't want to be saddled with a whole load of it, did I?

I have to say Alternative Stores service was excellent! The order arrived next day during the allotted time that they said it would appear, and what's more I received several text messages during the intervening period to let me know exactly what was going on. Can't fault them for that!! 

Also, I loved that their packaging was recycled.
So, Violife - back to the 'cheese'. There was a whole raft of choices - Violife with this or that added, but wanting to do a straight comparison with the cheddars I used to know and love, I opted for the 'cheddar' version. I received a pack of 'cheese' slices resembling what I (when I was still eating dairy) used to refer to as 'plastic cheese'. 'Plastic cheese' was, I'm afraid not something I was terribly keen on - it couldn't compare to the English cheddars that I used to love. 

Ready to roll!
Unfortunately, for me, that is pretty much what it tasted like - plastic cheese. In other words it did have a cheesyish taste, but not as much as you'd get from a good cheddar. If you like the flavour of plastic cheeses, like Dairylea, then you'll probably enjoy it a lot more than I did. I tried it first in a sandwich, with a BFree roll. As that didn't appeal, I decided to do what I always end up doing with Vegan cheese - toast it. 

'Cheese' on toast - 'scuse the burnt bits!
Toasting definitely improved the flavour for me, but (if I'm perfectly honest) would not be enough to tempt me to purchase it regularly. I think I'd rather stick with dairy free soya free Cheezly, from Redwood Foods, whose flavour I prefer - especially since Cheezly is cheaper and more readily available (Holland and Barrett).

'Melted' on omelette - didn't really melt!
So, although I know of other people who do love it, Violife didn't rock my dairy free world, but Alternative Stores I'd definitely try again. As an online store, with good stock control, speedy delivery and great communication with their customers, (both on FB and by text) they rock!

Update: Have since tried another Violife and much preferred it to the one pictured (although it's still best toasted). As they have so many different varieties now, it's worth experimenting - to find one that suits you!

Update: Violife Original Cheese (not featured here) and Violife Creamy is now available in two major supermarkets - Tesco and Asda. Great news for dairy free shoppers!!


  1. We're always looking out for that dairy free cheese that is just going to hit the spot too! Working our way through as and when we find them and agree with you that Cheezly from Redwood Foods is top of the list so far - the quest continues!

  2. Try Violife melted over a (veggie) burger while you fry it. The Cheddar flavour is one of the more disappointing ones, as it doesn't have that tangy cheddar taste. The original flavour tastes like gouda or emmental and the texture is more like those cheeses than cheese 'singles'