“ Brand: Redwood / Type: Cheese „
I've been a vegetarian for twenty years but I recently decided that I'd like to try and cut down on the dairy products I eat because of my concern about the welfare of the animals we get our milk, eggs and cheese etc. from. One food item I've always eaten a lot of is cheese and I knew right away it'd be difficult to replace with a non-dairy alternative. After researching vegan food on the Vegan Society website I discovered that a lot of vegans eat this Redwood Cheezly 'fake' cheese which is completely dairy free. I had a look around my local supermarkets but none of them sold this and I ended up having to trek into my nearest city (Newcastle) and find it at the specialist Deli at Fenwicks. They sold this in a special section with other veggie/vegan food and it was surprisingly reasonably priced at £1.99 for a 190 gram piece. You can also buy it at the Redwoodfoods.co.uk website for £1.96 although the shipping costs are astronomical! Health stores may also stock this.
Redwood Foods make Cheezly in a variety of flavours including cheddar, mature cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Mozzarella (especially for melting), 'Nacho' flavour and one with added 'fake' bacon pieces. I particularly liked the sound of this Garlic and Herb flavoured Cheezly though, as I often eat strong and spicy cheeses.
The product comes in a plastic wrapper which seems as though all the air has been sucked out of it so the wrapper is incredibly tight around the Cheezly. The product is a round chunk and you need to either cut into the edges of the plastic and peel the wrapper back or stick a sharp knife into the packet and slice it open. Either way it's quite difficult and messy and once it's opened it's still hard to get a knife into the wrapper to cut the Cheezly. I have ended up wrapping mine in a layer of cling film too to keep it fresh.
Cheezly is totally free from anything derived from animals. It therefore contains no milk and no eggs and instead it's comprised of potato starch and soya protein blended with vegetable oils and fats. This particular variety also contains garlic powder, onion powder and herbs. Being dairy free and lactose free means it's perfect for vegans and vegetarians (the product carries the official stamp of the Vegetarian Society and the Vegan mark. It's also great for those who are lactose intolerant. The product also has many great qualities such as it is cholesterol free and it contains no hydrogenated fats, artificial colours or artificial preservatives. It also doesn't use genetically modified foods.
The Garlic and Herb Cheezly variety is a mushroom off-white colour and it has flecks of black and green chopped herb leaves running through it. It smells very garlicky and delicious although I do think it smells a bit meaty too - perhaps like cooked chicken. I thought the texture of the Cheezly would be really hard and rubbery, a bit like Cheese Strings type of cheese but in actual fact it's really soft and squishy. Texture wise it's not really like real cheese at all but the closest cheese I can think of with a similar texture is something like Feta. It's incredibly soft and your knife just slides through it. It's similar to Quorn or Tofu but it also reminds me of the soft stuffing centre that you can get in the middle of your sandwich meat (sorry if this is description is vague as I haven't eaten any real meat since I was a kid!). I'm a picky eater and I often struggle with new textures and consistencies but I find this Cheezly to be lovely in that sense. It's creamy and melts in the mouth. I mean, you have to realise that it's nothing like real cheese though (at least this particular flavour of Cheezly isn't). It can be used the same way you might use cheese but it's not an identical but fake substitute.
The Cheezly has a strong garlic flavour which is undercut by a milky soya flavour. As a person who eats soya based products on a regular basis I can definitely taste soya in the Cheezly. It has kind of a grassy flavour which I enjoy but which may be an aquired taste for some people. I have been using Cheezly in sandwiches for a week or so and find that it's tasty and filling. It goes well with a number of other food items such as salad, peanut butter, tomato, you name it really. It can be part of a satisfying meal.
Nutritional values for this Cheezly are per 100 grams. There are 249 calories per 100g and 17.30g of fat. The Cheezly is a good source of fibre, protein and calcium.
I definitely intend to eat more of this variety of Cheezly and also hope to try the other flavours soon. I just wish it was more readily available in local stores!
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