This is a review that I’ve wanted to share with you guys for ages. When Vio Life was first available in our area, we purchased the two flavors offered and decided to do a side by side comparison. When kids are involved, there’s only one real way to compare cheese: pizza 🙂
I baked up a gluten free pizza and topped half with Vio Life Mozzarella and the other half with Vio Life Parmesan.
While there are several other dairy free cheese options on the market, I love seeing new companies come out, and of course, which ingredients they’re using. This is where Vio Life really took me by surprise. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like I was reading a science experiment.
Now, that doesn’t mean I want the kids to eat this every day. The labels read very nicely, but it’s still a little science-y, yet, not as science-y as some of the other brands. If you’re looking for simple and clean dairy free cheese, a lot of the nut-based cheeses have the cleanest ingredient labels.
But What About The Taste?
Sometimes the experiments are there to make sure everything tastes as it should. However, I’m going to throw out an idea: what if we were to create products that taste like what the are… I’m sure that over time, a high consumption of alternative (processed) products aren’t that great for you.
I digress. Back to the taste. Given that this alternative contains coconut, Karlton wasn’t able to try it. Given the fact that I’m allergic to everything, I didn’t try it either. That left us with the three musketeers of food sampling.
Here’s what was so interesting. The kids preferred the parmesan uncooked, and the mozzarella cooked. They said that the flavors were distinct from one another, and nothing really stood out to them (in a good or bad way). It didn’t seem that the two who can have dairy were in love with either of the cheeses, but seemed more willing to eat it because it was there.
Our child with a dairy allergy was ok with both flavors, and didn’t have anything bad to say. He didn’t have a huge preference when it came to cooked vs uncooked like the other two. However, it’s always so important to remember that he has a biased opinion. Yet, he has the most accurate as well…
You see, the other two musketeers have a point of reference. They eat cheese regularly. Kid Two has NEVER had (any form) of dairy based cheese in his life. He will never know, and he can only compare a product like this to other dairy free options. I say biased because he can’t compare and I say accurate because he can’t compare.
What About Its Cooking Properties?
Personally, I wasn’t impressed by the ability of this cheese to be baked as a pizza. You can clearly see (in the photo above) what happens when baked at 425… there’s barely any melt on the paremsan, and the mozzarella formed some weird clumps. Other brands of dairy free cheese do have them beat in the oven melting competition.
What Are My Final Thoughts?
Overall, I’m happy that Vio Life is an option. For some people in the food allergy world, this is their only option for safe cheese, as they aren’t using pea protein. For that reason alone, I’ll support their project when I can.
This is a wonderful cheese for blender cheese, and instances where it can be broiled or hit by the culinary torch. At the end of the day, there is no perfect end all be all for dairy free cheese. Each company is creating a solution and with each attempt, the options seem to be improving. Truth be told, this market is HUGE thanks to the vegan community, and I’m grateful that food allergy community overlaps and everyone benefits.