I have been waiting to share this review for weeks now! To start, this is one of the few reviews I will do where the product isn’t available in WY. The amazing folks over at Violife America wanted me to try some samples so thats how I acquired the cheese. It was actually a cool story! They somehow found me on Instagram and started messaging me. They told me about what they wanted to do, and without hesitation I knew I wanted to try their products. The only bad part was that their nearest representative was all the way in Boise, which is a 10 hour drive for me. Luckily he was willing to send me the samples in a cold pack! About two weeks later, I received a package with two different kinds of their cheese. They sent me the “Mature Cheddar Slices” and the “Gouda for Pizza”. I’m not sure why they decided on those two, but I was in no position to complain. It isn’t everyday that I am mailed free products from vegan companies!
I had very high expectations for this cheese. I have seen people on Instagram review and try this cheese for the last year or so, and I have been very anxious to try it for myself. When I opened the package, the cheeses smelled so real it shocked me! I had never had that experience with a vegan cheese before. I knew I had to try it cold. If it tasted good before cooking and melting, then I knew I had a winner! By far this was the best vegan cheese product I have had cold. I had it on crackers with some jam and it was amazing! I seriously didn’t want to stop eating it. I tried both the cheddar and gouda and they were both great cold! At that point I really didn’t have a preference, they were both equally cheesy and delicious.
Next, I knew I had to test both cheeses in a grilled cheese sandwich. For me that is the best way to test how a cheese melts and pulls. I took some slices of sourdough I had leftover and started my test. Both cheeses melted fairly quickly, which was nice. Some vegan cheeses take forever to melt and the bread gets burnt before the cheese melts. That wasn’t the case at all with both kinds of Violife. Of course, I had to separate the bread to check on the cheese pull. I found that the gouda had a way better melt and pull to it. The cheddar melted but there wasn’t much stretch to it. So for grilled cheese, the gouda definitely came out on top.
Immediately after trying the grilled cheese, I was messaging with Violife. I found out that they wanted me to be an ambassador for them. I thought it sounded really important, so I was pretty excited. Really all that meant was that I would try to get more people to try Violife and that I would try to give suggestions for stores that may be willing to carry their cheese. I don’t even care if it isn’t that big of a deal, but I feel honored to be one of the people advocating for their incredible products. I was also very excited to know that I am probably the first person in the state to try Violife.
As I went about my week, I got to cook with it more and was able to try it in sauces and melted on top of some of the dishes I was cooking. I was never disappointed. The cheddar and gouda made perfect sauces. They were super cheesy and had great texture. I used the cheddar in a spicy pumpkin mac n’ cheese and I used the gouda on top of spinach artichoke dip and in a cheese sauce for vegan Philly wraps. I am already totally addicted. I couldn’t stop eating the cheese cold as I was waiting to add it to my sauces!
After so many successful tests with the Violife samples, I had to wonder what went into the stuff to make it so perfect! Their cheeses are coconut oil based with some added starches to maintain the structure. I was happy to know that there weren’t a million ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, unlike some vegan cheese products. The strangest thing to me was when it said “gouda flavor (vegan sources” and “mature cheddar flavor (vegan sources)”. I’m not sure what that means. Honestly, I know it’s vegan and I know it’s better than what goes into processed meat products!
Anyway, I feel very lucky to have tried Violife, mostly due to how the company reached out to me personally. I feel like I already have an emotional attachment to them, which is kind of silly, but thats the kind of person I am. I can’t wait to try more of their products! Unfortunately since they don’t sell it here in WY, I will have to order it online. For those of you who are curious, they sell it on Vegan Essentials and it is seriously worth it. All of their products are super affordable too. Each cheese ranges from $4-$6, so it isn’t any more expensive than other vegan cheese products. I would highly recommend the Violife “Mature Cheddar Slices” and the “Gouda for Pizza” to anyone, even omnivores! They are seriously life changing. I haven’t had a single vegan product have such an emotional and profound effect on my life!