No longer will Kiwis have to gaze at all the vegan cheeses trying to decide which one melts the best on pizza, or which one their friends will enjoy on a cheese board, these results will let them know which are the country’s best vegan cheeses.

Vegan cheese makers have finally cracked the Holy Grail of plant-based cheese, including blue, feta and mozzarella cheeses. Once considered the domain of the dairy industry, our Kiwi entrepreneurs have been working hard to create amazing plant-based alternatives.

Finally it’s here! The judges at our first Vegan Cheese Awards, held at award host, The Butcher’s Son, have taste tested over 30 different cheeses made in New Zealand to help you find the Best Cheese. Nine different categories of cheese were tasted and tested and given marks out of ten. These plant-based cheeses are made from ingredients such as cashew nuts, potato starch, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, even kumara and a variety of herbs and spices.

There is no cholesterol in plants, so those keen to preserve their health as well as the environment but love cheese, can finally eat their way safely into cheese heaven. Supermarkets know that vegan cheese is on the rise as they are seeing a 36% increase in plant based foods. This is a huge win for the plant-based industry and The Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand is delighted to present our first award winners:

Mozzarella winner is Zenzo

Runner Up is Angel Food

Feta winners are joint: Angel Food and Let Them Eat Vegan

Runner Up is Savour

Cream Cheese winner is Angel Food

Runner Up is Grater Goods

Soft Cheese winner is Let Them Eat Vegan with their Cheddar Spread

Runner Up is Treetops Foods with their Sundried Tomato and Garlic

Hard Cheese winner is Treetops Food with their Pepper Kick

Flavoured Cheese winner is Savour with their Cumin

Runner Up is Savour with their Chipotle

Surface Ripened winner is Moa with their Blue

Runner Up is Savour with their Cashbert

Commercial Cheddar winner is Zenzo

Runner Up is Zenzo with their Smoky Paprika

The supreme winner is Let Them Eat Vegan for their Cheddar Spread.

The awards were judged by vegan comedian Tom Sainsbury, Food and Beverage Industry Judge Aaron Pucci, restaurant owners Mike Khuwattanasenee (Khu Khu) and Luke Burrows (Wise Boys) who had the delicious tasks of awarding marks based on texture, appearance and flavour to our array of cheeses. They were particularly impressed with Angel Food’s Cream Cheese saying it was “Amazing on a bagel, spreadable, classic authentic cream cheese, wonderfully rich”

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