I first discovered VioLife while in London last year at VeganX. Purchased it on a whim and ate the entire package on the street. Never before, or since, had I tasted such an authentic vegan cheese.
But, alas, since VioLife is made in Greece, distribution in America has yet to happen. I am hoping this will someday change (and, in the meantime, if VioLife wants to send me some cheese for future reviews, please message me and I will happily send you my mailing address).
But, all this didn’t stop me from having VioLife delivered here in New York this past weekend.
You see, my sister (her blog is here) visited England during the holidays and made arrangements to have VioLife waiting for her at the cottage where she was staying. And, lucky for me, she didn’t eat it all there and was daring enough to smuggle some back home and past the cheese-sniffing dogs at Heathrow. Because of her, it happened: VioLife made it to my kitchen.
So, in order to fully appreciate this epic moment, I needed to make gluten-free, vegan bread for an award-winning grilled cheese sandwich. A cheese this special needed to be part of a culinary event.
You can find the recipe for this bread on my recipe link but basically it is a scientific balance of ingredients introduced into my KitchenAid mixer.
I love my KitchenAid mixer. It’s like a Porsche that sits quietly on my countertop until I fire it up.
The blend of flours, salt, sugar, and yeast are slowly mixed until the warm water is added.
And then the olive oil. The result is a very thick cake batter.
That is poured into a floured 4 X 9 bread loaf pan.
Spread out and allow the batter to rise in a warmed oven. I let this rise for 40 minutes and then take it out, pre-heat the oven back up to 400°, and put the loaf back in.
Bake for just 15 minutes uncovered and then tent the top with aluminum foil to avoid the top overcooking. Total cooking time is 45 minutes or until the center reads 205° with a thermometer.
The result is a crunchy, delicious loaf of gluten-free, vegan bread that is ready for slicing (that first slice needs to be tested with a smear of vegan butter … just to be sure it’s delicious … it is).
After the bread cools, it easily cuts into slices with a bread knife and then you’re ready to make your grilled cheese sandwiches.
Melt 2-3 T. of vegan butter in your frying pan and place two slices into the bubbling butter. Add a slice of each Original and Cheddar Violife Cheese, lower the heat and cover until the cheese starts to melt. Put the sandwich together in the pan and cook until golden brown.
Slice diagonally. Every sandwich should be sliced diagonally. Enjoy with a cup of tomato soup (or, if you are always looking for a way to get organic ketchup in your mouth … this is another vehicle for doing so).
VioLife did not disappoint. It is as wonderful as I remember and, get this: dairy-free, lactose-free, soy-free, palm oil-free, and gluten-free. Really, the only downside of this cheese is that I am going to run out! Maybe VioLife will take me up on their offer and send me more samples to review? Hint, hint … cheese, please …
Go Violife, and …
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Gillian Lindstrom