Product Review: Follow Your Heart Parmesan Style Shredded Cheese Alternative

This week has been a very exciting week for vegan products here in Casper! Natural Grocers just got in a ton of new products by Kite Hill, Miyoko’s Kitchen, and of course, Follow Your Heart! It will take me a few weeks to get through all of them, but this is a start. I have wanted to try this FYH Parmesan for over a year now, and I am so excited that it is finally available here! I’ve liked some FYH cheese products, but others haven’t been good at all. For that reason, I was a little skeptical trying this one, but I figured I wasn’t losing much by just giving it a shot.

First of all, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it coming pre-shredded. I have been used to the Violife brand that comes in a block. There is something really satisfying about breaking off a nice shard to have with crackers or finely grating “cheese” over pasta with a microplane! Despite that, I was excited. I like that it is in a container that can easily be resealed. I am frequently irritated at the amount of plastic wrap, Tupperware, and zip top bags I use to keep all of those vegan cheeses I’ve been testing fresh. When I looked over the ingredients, I wasn’t overly thrilled. There are some weird ingredients, like bamboo fiber. I’m not sure what that is, but it doesn’t add any fiber to the actual product. There are also things like “organic vegetable glycerin” and “organic palm fruit oil”, which are highly processed ingredients as well. I had higher expectations for the ingredients since I am so used to Violife, which has almost half of the ingredient list. I suppose my expectations can’t be too high since it is a processed vegan cheese product.

The cheese itself looked and smelled real. I think… I honestly don’t know what real dairy parmesan is like. I am pretty sure it is close though. I tried a few shreds cold to see if it passed that portion of the taste test, and it was surprisingly good. It wasn’t quite as salty or dry as I expected, though. I suppose it is like real cheese when different brands are aged differently. This “cheese” had much more moisture and it wasn’t very salty, while the Violife had a lot less moisture and had a deeper, saltier flavor. After I tried it cold, I decided to melt it on toast to see if it actually melted. I spent the better part of an hour debating whether dairy parmesan melted or not, and I’m still not entirely sure. I determined that it sort of melts because people make parmesan crisps, but that’s as far as I got. Anyway, the cheese sort of melted on toast like I expected, which was good. It tasted really good that way and made for good garlic bread!

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Overall, I was really happy with this product. It actually exceeded my expectations. I definitely didn’t think that it would be as good as it was. It was yummy cold as well as hot. I would highly recommend this product for those who are looking for a decent cheese alternative. It is much better than most products that are available here in Casper!

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