Perhaps you’ve been vegan for years. Perhaps you only jumped on it recently. Maybe you’ve been taking part in your first Veganuary. Either way, you’ve definitely come to the realisation that vegan cheese, without a doubt, sucks. It really does. I had a vegan cheesecake once, and it was literally like eating rubber.
Considering the fact that studies have found 45% of people would go vegan but would miss cheese too much (yes, this was actual research)…well, you see the dilemma. Never fear, vegans and vegan cheese enthusiasts! One professor, from Malmö University, Sweden, is embarking on a quest to develop a new nutritious vegan cheese-making process.
Marité Cárdenas, the aforementioned professor, agrees with our stance on vegan cheese, “Cheese is a very important food — it certainly is on my table — and if you want to eat the vegan cheese which is currently available in the supermarkets, you might be disappointed.”
As for why vegan cheese is disappointing in the first place? As we all know, cheese comes from milk. Milk, according to Cárdenas, “is a difficult material to mimic”.
Currently, vegan cheese options on the market don’t mimic dairy cheese production — the production which sees bacteria or enzymes react with the proteins that make up milk, forming curd (which forms the basis of cheese). Nope, the current options do “something completely different” because of “great technological limitation.”
So how is Cárdenas changing this? She’s going back to the milk. More specifically, she’s using her knowledge as a physical chemist to formulate milk from plant-based proteins. “If we’re going to make it from scratch, we don’t need to do it the way nature does it. We can make the perfect milk for cheese making.”
Oh, not only is she aiming to successfully mimic cheese, she’s aiming to improve on its nutritional elements. More specifically, adding “vitamins and minerals which are lacking in a vegan diet”.
No word of when the vegan cheese-making process will be complete, but we look forward to the day when vegan cheese actually tastes good.