Welcomingly Parisienne, the packaging of this cheese should have been a sign of what was to come. Each cheese medallion beautifully wrapped and placed in a circular box; of the kind made iconic by Brie, Camembert and ‘visit France’ television adverts, you know the one: strategically positioned on a red checked table cloth, next to a baguette and a bottle of du vin with the Eiffel Tower a blurred outline in the far distance. The cheeses I had the pleasure of indulging in were a ‘Soft Macadamia’ and a ‘Garlic’- the latter of which blew my mind.
Full of anticipation, I removed the packaging and examined the small ball of heaven and whilst I was overwhelmed by the garlic scent that wafted through the room I was disappointed by the unappetising beigey colour, which did not stimulate my taste-buds. Despite this, I eagerly sunk my knife into the centre of the soft cheese and spread it upon a slice of vegan sourdough.
As far as vegan cheese goes, there is nothing out there, especially on the high street, that has any resemblance to the dairy cheese we all know and love. Commonly the texture of vegan cheese is sticky and gooey in the worst way you can possibly imagine; with the flavour not quite cutting the mustard. However, Tyne Chease has broken a mould. That garlic cheese was absolutely fantastic; tasting, I’m sure, as close as humanly possible to garlic and chive Boursin. If nobody told me it was vegan, I wouldn’t know.
Made from organic cashew nuts, organic garlic, probiotics and pink Himalayan rock salt; there is no holding back when it comes to the quality of the ingredients in this garlic cheese. Whilst the ‘Macadamia Soft’ is void of garlic and replaces the cashew with Macadamia as its main ingredient, there is no shortage of flavour in this cheese either. A slightly nuttier texture, this cheese is your perfect alternative to lovely cream cheese, although I would say it is too good to be put in a cheese sandwich. Save it for a rendezvous, an indulgent moment or for a party where you have an impression to make. Use it to convert all your friends and family to a herbivorous lifestyle. Eat it when you want to feel incredible. Allow yourself an epiphany as you query where this cheese has been your whole life.
I just cannot fathom how, if this couple can make cheese of this quality, experimenting in their own kitchen, nobody else can seemingly do the same. Ami, one half of the brands creators, grew up in India, Ethiopia and Afghanistan, where she made vegan cheeses for her family. When she moved back to the UK for university, she found there was nobody out there who made high quality, tasty vegan cheese. The idea behind her brand, was to make artisanal cheese that could be shared with a bottle of wine or upon a cheese board complete with grapes, crackers and chutneys. Created using ancient and traditional methods, the entire range is cultured, matured and of course hand made. Quite clearly made with love, the cheeses are a result of years of experimentation and trial and error, until Ami stumbled upon the perfect recipe and has since, thankfully, shared it with the world. In 2016 they won the best vegan cheese award and are seemingly expanding as this year unfolds.
With an extensive range to choose from, this cheese is undoubtedly one of the best I’ve ever tried as an experimental, part-time vegan. They are exquisitely presented, and flavoured to perfection and are therefore an honourable prize for a dazzling occasion.
For the full variety and more information, visit their website: www.tynechease.com
Prices start from £6.95
Photo credits: Ami from www.tynechease.com