Vegan cheddar is a food that is designed to mimic real cheddar cheese in color, texture, and flavor. It may be made from a variety of different ingredients as long as none of these ingredients are derived from animals. Some of the most common ingredients in vegan cheddar are soy, oil, and grains. Fake cheeses such as this one are often used by people who do not want to eat animal products or who have food intolerances that prevent them from eating dairy.
Without the use of any dairy products, vegan cheddar relies on a number of different ingredients to make it look and taste like real cheddar. Soy and tofu, a soy product, are the most commonly used vegan cheese bases. The liquid in soy can be pressed out so that it takes on the texture of a firm cheese and other ingredients can be added to make the soy taste like cheddar cheese.
Alternatively, vegan cheddar may be made from a variety of oils. A binder, such as tapioca starch or arrowroot can be cooked into an oil so that it firms and mimics the texture of cheese. As with the use of soy-based vegan cheese, oil-based vegan cheese requires the addition of a number of different ingredients so that it will look and taste like cheddar cheese.
The most common flavoring in vegan cheddar is yeast. This substance naturally has a cheese-like flavor that, with the addition of a few other ingredients, can create a convincing cheddar flavor. Nuts, spices, and citric acid may also be used as flavorings in vegan cheese. Natural or artificial dyes may be used to give the cheese its orange color, though this type of vegan cheese may also be made white or uncolored.
By experimenting with a variety of ingredients, manufacturers of vegan cheddar have created products that can be melted just like real cheese. This makes it possible for vegan cheddar to be used in macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, or other dishes that require melted cheese. It is also possible to eat this product cold, cut it into slices, or shred it with a cheese grater.
A variety of people may find vegan cheddar useful. Though this product is aimed at vegans, who do not eat any animal products, it is also often used by people who suffer from lactose intolerance. People who can eat real cheese can still use vegan alternatives to add variety to their diets.