All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015 (except some here I took from Vromage’s site)
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
OK – so – I am about 75% vegan – in that I eat vegan about that often or more. I have not had a hard time giving up meat or fish (except for sushi) but the one thing that I still occasionally indulge in is cheese. I have been experimenting extensively with vegan cheeses with mixed results. I reviewed these cheeses below HERE.
NOTE – THIS LISANATTI CHEESE (below) IS NOT VEGAN! IT CONTAINS CASEIN!
And these from Miyoko’s Kitchen.
You can read that blog post for my opinions of those cheeses but if you live in LA and you are vegan – have I got news for you!
(PS – Vromage SHIPS – so you can get it – even if you are not in LA – VROMAGE online store.)
I had long heard there was a vegan cheese store in West Hollywood but I always imagined it on Santa Monica Blvd in an area with heavy traffic & non-existent parking. While I wanted to try the cheeses – I loathed the idea of driving west of La Brea & circling West Hollywood for hours – looking for some non-resident parking.
Then, last Friday, I had a photo session for a 90210 interview. Here I am with the make-up artist, Noa Bolozky, and alone in a selfie in my bedroom afterward. Noa does the MOST beautiful make-up!!!! I will show some images from the session once the article runs.
Anyway – as I looked out the window from the photo studio – I spotted Vromage! It is in the strip mall – a block east of the mall at Sunset & Crescent Heights – the one with a Crunch. It is in that plaza on the left (NOT The Crunch mall) – and it nestled near the elbow of the mall.
So – as soon as I got out of that photo session – I headed directly to Vromage! Noa beat me there & left swinging $70 worth of vegan cheese & a wearing a huge grin. I braced myself for what promised to be a vegan adventure.
My mom & I were greeted by Youssef (seen below – in a photo I took from his site).
Isn’t he cute? He was so excited to let us try his cheeses – it quickly became overwhelming. In a good way! If you look at the second picture from the top – that was the selection he had available that day & we still must have tasted 7-8 cheeses. Once I had that many flavors going on – I lost my ability to keep them straight. I THINK – I left with a mozzarella, a truffle brie, a pepper jack and a Gorgonzola (Veganzolla below).
I added this video so you can see how outrageously creamy & spreadable Vromage’s cheeses are. The truffle brie (the top picture – first in this post) came the closest to matching both taste & texture (as this Gorgonzola was way creamier than real Gorgonzola – but I am not complaining!). The mozzarella – seen center, below – was mild & light & creamy & Youssef advised that, if I was making a pizza, to add this cheese at the very end & just flash-bake it. I did not make a pizza but I will soon & I will report back.
The pepper jack is the yellow cheese with the red on it – not sure what spice(s) that might be but the cheese is peppery & yummy!
Those are kiwi berries, by the way. They are about the size of large grapes & are just like tiny, hairless kiwis. I recommend trying them if you ever come across them.
Youssef also offers sandwiches etc. See below. My mom tried the caprese sandwich & raved!
Because my photos do not do Youssef’s whole situation & products any justice – here are some photos I nabbed from his site.
So – for my money – Vromage has produced the best vegan cheeses I have tried, to date, and by a wide margin. Most will not fool a real cheese eater (though the brie really might) but these guys are SO fucking creamy & bursting with flavor – I think they really hold their own. And if you are a long-time vegan – these cheeses will make you lose your shit. They truly are creamy & decadent & just BEG to be spread on a crusty baguette with some jam or veggies & basil. Treat yourself and run – don’t walk – to Vromage. And be sure to engage with Youssef – the owner. He is kind & accommodating & very proud of his product & will let you sample anything you want.
And remember! Vromage SHIPS – so you can get it – even if you are not in LA – VROMAGE online store. Whatcha waiting for? Get your ass some cruelty-free cheeses!