For those of you who haven’t got a fucking clue what I’m on about, New Roots is a Swiss company that does fan-fucking-tastic nut based artisanal cheeses. They previewed at VegFest 2017 and it was the first stall I dragged my pal Yas to (I had already made it damn clear that my VegFest 2017 mission was to find and eat all of the cheese).
Their camembert has gone down as a bit of an urban legend because it is just that damn good, so for them to bring their stuff to Planet Organic stores is basically a fucking Godsend.
At VegFest I managed to snag one of their ricotta style goat cheeses, and I have had this draft sitting on the blog for basically 5 months now, hiding the cheesy goodness from you all, but back the fuck off, I am busy af.
The “Free-the-Goat Cheeze” is one of the creamiest vegan cheeses you can try without it coming spreadable from a tub. It’s got that tang that is essential when you’re emulating goat cheese , and the texture has a light airiness about it that makes it a dead ringer for ricotta.
I am not even ashamed that I ate the entire thing in one evening, it was fucking phenomenal. If I can get my hands on everything New Roots has to offer then I can die happy.
I wish I hadn’t been such a greedy bitch and wolfed it all down like a cracker-wielding maniac, because one thing I have missed since going vegan is spinach and ricotta cannelloni/ravioli. I have no idea if attempting such a thing with New Roots’ cheese would even be a good idea, so don’t blame me if your dinner goes tits up and you’re left with a gooey carby mess… but I do wish I could’ve exercised at least the restraint of a five year old and attempted to make my long-lost favourite dish with this because it is such a good ricotta clone.
Now I have no idea what their pricing will be when they crash land in Planet Organic stores, but currently their online store sells the Free-the-Goat Cheeze for around £6.50 which, as artisanal vegan cheeses go, is pretty average. Yeah, it’s not your £2.50 Tesco vegan cheddar, but that’s because it is so much better.
My advice: Get your ass to Planet Organic, get ready to max out your credit card, buy one of everything from New Roots’ range, and have the damn best cheese feast of your life. Get swanky and throw it on a cheese board or just fork it straight into your mouth like the trash human you are. Either way, New Roots cheese will blow your mind.
It’s no secret that I love mac and cheese more than life itself. I’ve already tried Tesco’s Free From Mac and Cheese and I was less than impressed. In fact, it fucking offended me. The bar was pretty damn low when I picked up Wicked Kitchen’s mac from my local Tesco, but literally anything could’ve surpassed the absolute shit show of the free-from monstrosity.
Maybe I’m just a purist when it comes to mac and cheese, but my first impression was that it was just TOO DAMN DRY. WHERE IS THE CHEESY SAUCE? This shit should be dripping, gooey, mouth watering. Instead it was kind of… clumpy? At least the pasta was cooked properly… Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t BAD, it just wasn’t GREAT. It still kicks the absolute ass of Tesco’s Free From mac and cheese, but that’s like trying to brag about beating a toddler in a fist fight.
The BBQ mushrooms were a bit of a saviour here. They really packed a punch flavour- wise which means the sauce was a bit overpowered. Not a bad thing, just something to consider if you’re expecting an oo-ey gooey cheesy party in your mouth. The BBQ mushrooms are the big flavour here, and even if (like me) you hate the texture of mushrooms, they are tasty enough to make you forget that cooked mushrooms feel like tiny chunky slugs in your mouth.
The red cabbage… I have so many questions. Most of them “why?”. They are peppery and actually quite tasty but why the sweet fuck are they slapped on top of my mac? Save this shit for a quinoa salad or some other healthy crap. I came here to eat pasta and carb the fuck up. Get that veg away from me.
Overall, this was filling, non-greasy, and better than your average ready meal. A non-vegan could eat it no problem, but I totally expect them to have the same cabbage qualms as I did.
It also cost FOUR FUCKING POUNDS. FOUR!!!! FOUR!!!!!!
Excuse me while I actually get off my ass and make my own mac and cheese from scratch because £4 is fucking extortionate.
Wicked Kitchen is making big waves in the vegansphere and for good reason – It’s a fucking blessing to have so much choice suddenly dropped into our laps. To find a vegan spagbol boxed up and ready to go makes me almost *almost* drop the resting bitch face and crack a smile right there in the ready meal aisle. For context, the last time I did that in Tesco a 55 year old man tried to chat me up, so this is no small thing.
It doesn’t look as impressive as their Muay Thai Curry but it smells incredible fresh out the microwave (just like Nana intended). It’s got a great texture, which I thought was impressive considering mushroom mince has always sounded like something that was destined to be a disappointment.
Work with me here and ignore the pathetic foliage smushed on top… The sauce is actually fucking awesome. It’s rich and flavoursome, and everything fits together perfectly to be a proper good hearty meal, which is way more than I thought I’d ever say in favour of a ready meal. Sad leaves aside, it ticks all the boxes for a classic bolognese that would only slightly insult everything an Italian grandmother stands for.
As I was tucking in (read: shovelling pasta into my mouth like a crazed woman) I had the shock of my fucking life when suddenly there were CARROT NOODLES IN MY MOUTH. CARROT. NOODLES. COODLES (?).
What. The. Fuck.
Okay I totally did not read the packaging properly… when it said “carrot” I thought it meant ittybitty chunks in the sauce not STEALTH COODLES LURKING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BOX.
I feel personally attacked. Mostly because the coodles (I’m officially making this a thing) were basically raw. Raw veg is not my jam. We are the junkfood punks for a reason. Coodles are not that reason. On the other hand, the spinach was actually a nice addition. Possibly because it was fully cooked and completely expected. Fuck you, stealth veg.
Let’s wrap this up before the coodle rant gets out of hand (yes, this is me being restrained). Overall, this was filling and tasty and totally passable as an actual meal. Feed it to an omni and there will be minimal bitching, but the mushroom mince is by no means identical to meat mince so they will just have to accept the fact that an actual vegetable has entered their body. (The SHOCK, the HORROR!)
Let me just start by saying this: Holy shit, Tesco, you absolute babe.
Who would’ve thought we’d be kicking off 2018 with a tsunami of vegan ready meals and on-the-go foods flooding our supermarkets? I sure as shit didn’t, and when I heard about the 20 piece range from Wicked Kitchen that was being introduced in 600 Tesco stores across the nation, I had a teeny tiny orgasm.
Which means before I even tried any of their food, Wicked Kitchen was already doing way better than some previous gentlemen callers.
Muay Thai wasn’t the first ready meal I tried from Wicked Kitchen but I figured we should kick things off with hands down the best ready meal I have ever eaten.
I am not even mildly exaggerating. This thing was fucking incredible.
I’m not really a ready meal kinda gal, mostly because I love to cook and my mum always instilled in me the mentality of ready meals being greasy shit masquerading as actual food (I am paraphrasing, my mum is nowhere near as foul-mouthed as I am).
The first thing you’ll notice with the Muay Thai is that it smells AMAZING. It totally hits you with that lemongrass and lime as soon as you take it out of the microwave. And it tastes just as good as it smells. It is beautifully spiced – mild enough to enjoy buy spicy enough to make a weak-ass white girl like me go “oh my god, this is spicy, get me water, my nose is running”. It’s coconutty, fragrant, filling, and just an all-round beautifully balanced fucking fantastic easy meal.
The fact that it’s vegan wouldn’t even cross the mind of a meat-eater once they took a bite of this glorious feat of quick culinary genius. It doesn’t need meat. It doesn’t need ANYTHING else. It is completely and utterly perfect as it is. If they whinge about a lack of something dead in their little plastic tub it’s because they’re complaining for the sake of complaining and they were brought up to think a meal isn’t complete without a carcass. Fuck off, Dave, and eat your curry quietly, you absolute weapon.
Seriously, feed me this shit forever and I will die happy… Just don’t make me pay for it because £4 a pop hurts my very soul (but if you can afford it, it is SO worth it).
Let’s not fuck around – one of the only selling points of living in a country where the air physically hurts your face is the fact that you can come indoors, put the kettle on, and make the most diabetes-inducing hot beverage and no one will question you.
You want a drink that’s chocolaty, milky, piled up with whipped cream and covered in sprinkles? You do that shit. But you would be a damn fool to exclude these marshmallows from your winter warmer.
They melt beautifully, so shove a whole fistful into your hot chocolate and you will get a gooey vanillary (?) topper that takes your drink to the next level of sugar-coma comfort.
If hot chocolate isn’t your thing and you’re one of those rogues that just pops marshmallows into your mouth like a MONSTER then these are perfect for that too (though seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? Who raised you? Wolves??? Why did the wolves let you do that?!?!).
They have a sugary outside and are less fluffy than non-vegan marshmallows, but they literally melt in your mouth and before you know it you have eaten through a whole pack in one sitting (totally not speaking from experience here…).
These ‘mallows are perfect, with my only criticism being that they’re a bit small. So while they will definitely do the job as a hot chocolate topper they’re not quite right for shoving in a s’more (sorry, Americans).
My Rating – 4/5
Omnivore Score – 4/5
Overall – 4/5
Find this product at: alternative food stores, online, and some Sainsbury’s.
If I’ve gotta slave over the oven and an actual meal to prove to you fuckers that this roast is the god damn best thing to grace the Christmas vegan scene THEN I FUCKING WILL.
I know that Ryan and I are absolute Linda McCartney sluts, but hear me out: Fry’s Family Food are knocking it out of the park AND they are completely vegan so there’s no risk of picking up one of their products, shovelling it into your mouth, and then later finding out it contains milk/cheese/honey/general non-vegan sadness.
I even made roast potatoes to prove my fucking point. This. Shit. Is. DELICIOUS.
It’s not supposed to be a mock meat, but the closest thing you can liken it to would be meatloaf. OKAY, OKAY, I KNOW, BUT BEAR WITH ME HERE.
It is super moist and doesn’t have any weird chewiness or questionable texture, and is very flavoursome on its own which is impressive for what is essentially a brick-sized slab of soy.
It is meaty enough to throw back to the omni days of roast dinners (if you had them) but not too meaty as to be so questionable that it’s off putting. It also goes super fucking well with cranberry sauce and gravy, and rest assured I smothered that shit all over my meal because there is no dignity in how to properly consume a roast dinner. Pile it high, gravy it the fuck up, and eat like it’s your last meal. It is the only way.
The roast costs about £5 and serves three normal humans or two greedy bastards (a.k.a 2 of me) which is pretty fuckin ace considering other vegan roasts such as Tofurky are way more pricey, and the quality alone is a massive payoff.
Would I feed it to my omni pals? I mean, I could. It quite clearly is not meat but it’s nowhere near the realm of being branded as “weird vegan shit”. It’s the kinda thing you could serve them if you’ve gone to effort of cooking them an entire meal and they literally have zero right to be an obnoxious pain in the ass. Eat the roast and shut up, Alan, you fucking prick. (I don’t know an Alan, but I feel like if I did he’d be one of those “where-do-vegans-get-their-protein” assholes)
Do you want to try a cheese that will punch you square in the fucking face? No? Me either. But I did. Because SCIENCE. And also because it is the latest addition to the free-from coconut alternative cheese range at Tesco, so how could I refuse?
This is a different cheese than the ones we have come to know and love (or hate… the jury seems to be hung on Tesco cheese). It is much softer, creamier, and a little bit wetter than the cheddar or blue block cheeses that Tesco has to offer. It reminds me a hell of a lot of goats cheese, but without the offensive sour tang that I used to fucking despise.
The cheese itself has a nice peppery undertone but HOLY MOTHER OF GOD the peppercorn crust will kick you in the teeth and spit in your bleeding mouth. It is so ridiculously intensely peppery I can only imagine that the food techs of Tesco sat in a room and said “let’s fuck em up”. The worst part is the crust is at the BOTTOM of the packet… hidden… waiting… ready to strike.
I won’t lie to ya, I manhandled my cheese. I grabbed that fucker and scraped off as much of the godforsaken crust as I could. Only then did I actually get to enjoy it without fear of my tongue being turned to ash.
This is one of those things you would buy if you were putting together some fancy-ass cheeseboard at a dinner party you’re hosting to fool yourself and your friends into thinking you’re some sort of upper-class twat.
“Oh Deborah darling do try the peppercorn cheese… it’ll blow your fuckin tits off.”
I think the fuck not. There are peppercorns in my teeth that will be there til I die.
However, I will say that despite the satanic crust the cheese itself is top notch. It would be awesome if Tesco released a range of new cheeses based on this style to add a bit more variety to their already kick-ass free from aisle. It’s one of the few cheeses on their shelves that I would confidently say you could feed an omni with next to no complaints or comments about “real cheese” (seriously, fucking spare me).
So, it’s a bit of a tough one to score this week, so I’m gonna go on the average of how impressive the cheese is and how much peppercorn related regret I have.
I found Raw Food Rosie’s stall at VegFest London 2017 and it was hands down the best find of the whole festival.
I tried EVERY. SINGLE. CHEESE. (because I am a shameless and broke student) and not a single one disappointed. Seriously, the Vampire Slayer spreadable cheese blew my fucking brains out it packed such a punch.
I bought the original cashew brie because I’m a sucker for the good ol’ classics and it is one of my favourite vegan cheeses ever (if not one of my favourite cheeses ever in general).
JUST LOOK AT IT. LOOK AT THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE. THIS SHIT IS FANTASTIC.
It’s solid, but creamy. Apply a little pressure or let it sit at room temperature and it will spread like butter. It’s thick and rich and filling and literally everything you could want in a cheese. It makes it so diverse – you could eat this on crackers, in sandwiches, in a pasta dish… or you could sink to my level and just hack at it like a mad woman and eat it straight from the wrapping.
Price-wise it’s one of the more reasonably priced ‘artisanal’ vegan cheese at £5.50 a wheel, and it can be frozen which means you have no excuse to not dedicate an entire freezer drawer to fulfilling your cheese needs (just me? alrighty then…).
If you wanna crack this out for your omni friends and family (if you have the willpower to part with it) then it would go down pretty well compared with supermarket takes on vegan cheese. It’s much more flavoursome but in the right way, and the texture is fucking perfect.
My only issue is that I wouldn’t necessarily call this a “brie” because that makes me think of a thick white rind and soft gooey centre, which this cheese definitely does not have. As a generic mild, semi-creamy cheese though you will struggle to find anything better than this and definitely not at a better price.
Overall, it’s fucking ace.
My Rating – 5/5
Omnivore Score – 4/5
Overall – 4.5/5
Find this product at: http://www.rawfoodrosies.com/shop/
Contains: a shitload of free samples and a fuckload of people
Free From: You’d think it’d be free from meat eaters but some dude selling soup chatted to me about how he went back to being omni so there’s that
VegFest London 2017 had the biggest turnout to date, and it was fucking awesome.
There were international vendors set up throughout the exhibition centre, selling everything from pizza slices to lamps made from Himalayan salt.
Being a poor student I obviously went with the intention of scoring as many free samples as I could, and good GOD I was not disappointed. I managed to eat so much free shit I didn’t need to buy food to eat while I wandered around – which I was actually disappointed about because the food hall was INCREDIBLE … though this did save me from the ridiculous waiting times that hit around midday (the queue for Jake’s Vegan Steaks was easily half an hour long the whole time I was there).
Fortunately there was also booze. Booze with no queues. A no-queues booze cruise. (Don’t be deceived, there was no cruising. I only had half a mango-flavoured cider because someone – cough, RYAN, cough – passed his plague on to me.)
So here’s a little roundup of the vendors that stood out based on the free samples I snagged and those that coerced me into buying their wares. Fair warning, there may have been a bias towards cheese-related goods…
A fucking incredible online store (with an actual shop based in Newcastle) that sells damn near anything and everything you could dream of. Whipped cream to tofu presses, Quinoa Puffs to shoes – you name it they’ve got it (and the people that run it are the SWEETEST HUMAN BEINGS ALIVE).
Marshmallows and biscuits and everything smothered in chocolate… holy fucking shit I swear to god this stall was heaven. I picked up four of their Round Up biscuits and I wish I’d bought the whole damn table because they are fucking ace.
Yas (my long-time friend, fellow vegan, and the person who stopped me spending my entire life savings at VegFest) and I tried some of Conscious Chocolate’s free samples and they were hands down the most flavour-intense, gorgeously rich chocolates we had ever tasted. You’d be a fucking fool to not try these (and an even bigger fool to not remember to go back to their stall and buy an actual bar GOD DAMMIT).
I fucking love how their tagline is “probably the best seitan in the world”. It’s like, “we don’t wanna brag, also there’s a fuckload of seitan out there so I mean statistically maybe not but like we’re pretty damn good so at least top ten. Definitely top ten. Stretching for top five.” Taglines aside, their seitan is pretty fucking awesome, especially the chilli and italian flavours. If, like me, you’re a lazy motherfucker and every time you get off your ass and attempt to make seitan it turns out like a chewy leathery catastrophe then you should definitely check these guys out.
Anyone who knows vegan sweet treats knows Ms Cupcake. They are some of the damn finest cakes, cookies, and bakes the vegan world has to offer. I picked up one of their red velvet cookie sandwiches (on the right in the photo) for my omni sister and holy shit it was good. You could feel the cavities forming, it was that full of sugary goodness.
New Roots is a Swiss company that do bloody INCREDIBLE cashew cheeses. They’ve got a camembert, cream cheese, and a ricotta as well as loads of other flavours of classic cashew cheese to choose from. I tried their brand new Free the Goat Cheeze which is their take on ricotta and holy shit they are killing it. Definitely a company to keep an eye out for.
I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I think I’ve found my favourite vegan cheese. Raw Food Rosie’s cheeses are jam-packed full of flavour that kicks you in the teeth, punches you in the throat, and keeps you coming back for more. Their Vampire Slayer cream cheese? Holy fuck. I went away with one of their original classic bries which I will definitely be reviewing soon. For an artisanal cheese their prices are RIDICULOUSLY GOOD and if Yas wasn’t with me to drag me away I would have gladly spent all my money on every flavour of cheese they had to offer.
Now I think I only ever tried real caviar once in my life and knowing what it was made the whole experience pretty fucking unpleasant. But THIS I can get on board with. It’s made with sea weed and looks like the real deal. I tried the “salmon” and Yas tried the “wasabi” and both of us were pleasantly surprised by this stuff. When I get good enough at making sushi that it doesn’t end up looking like a bastardisation of those ridiculous instagram “buddha bowls” splayed across my kitchen counter then I will definitely grab a jar of veggie caviar to finesse my sushi rolls.
Yas had the joy of going to university t’up North so she had already tried Tyne Chease before VegFest and told me about how bloody good it is. She was not wrong. I basically stood at their stall for a good 10 minutes tasting EVERY. SINGLE. SAMPLE. Tyne Chease has literally mastered integrating flavours into their cheeses. They are iconic. My only qualm was that a wheel of their cheese was almost £3 more expensive than some of the other cheeses around (eg. Raw Food Rosie) and as a student that pinches just a little too much to justify it…. especially as someone who could easily eat one whole wheel in one sitting. Would it be weird to put cheese on my Christmas list?
Last but DEFINITELY not least is Verys. Those charismatic Italians drew us in and left us with the some mozarella cheese and the goddamn best ravioli I have had in years. I could have cried (granted I was very hungover when I ate mine, but the sentiment still stands). The only problem is I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE WHERE TO BUY THEM. Their leaflet says they are available on The Vegan Kind Supermarket website but I have scoured and found absolutely fuck all. My heart is broken. Send help. I need this pasta in my life. If you ever come across Verys products BUY THEM. BUY THEM NOW. And send me some while you’re at it…