Tesco Free From Jalapeno and Chilli Cheese Alternative£2.25
If you’ve read the last few posts you’ll know that I’ve had an unsuccessful time finding a passable vegan “cheese”. From a paint-smelling alternative destined for the bin, to overly artificial Quaver tasting offerings, it hasn’t been a great start. However, I noticed this in Tesco and saw it had a favourable review in The Guardian so thought I’d give it a try. At £2.25 for 200g it is priced competitively with the other alternatives so would it be any good?
First off, looks. It was a good, orangey colour similar to a Double Gloucester; with flecks of red and green running through it from the peppers and Jalapenos. It also cut/crumbled well. Smell wise, it was OK; I could still detect that artificial cheese aroma but this was masked somewhat by the small of peppers.
On to the taste and this was a pleasant surprise; it tastes really good (and not just good for a vegan “cheese” but good anyway). There is a strong pepper flavour on a cheesy background and then a nice and spicy chilli hit from the Jalapenos. The family agreed – this was definitely the best alternative we had tried so far. I even got a “it’s nice this one” from Catrin.
I tried it on a cracker with chutney on top and I reckon you could fool someone into thinking it was ordinary cheese served like that. We also tried it grated on to some baked beans (Cheeezy Beanz – mmm). It melted well and the flavour was good. I’ve also had it grated over a tomato pasta sauce and again, it gave that bit of cheesy flavour I’d been looking for; without overpowering the whole dish like some of the previous “cheeses” I have tried out.
This is a coconut oil based product like most I have tried. I’ve mentioned before that nutritionally I don’t think these alternatives have much to offer and this is no exception. It does say they’ve enriched it with Calcium but even if you ate the whole block in one go this would still be less than 40% of your recommended daily amount. Best eaten as a treat rather than an everyday food and get your Calcium from another source instead!
So in summary, I might be tempted to buy this one again if I want a vegan alternative. Tesco have a number of other varieties in the range including a blue cheese, smoked and a Wensleydale and cranberries alternative. On the strength of this one I may check them out.
To see another review click here