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Being a vegan blogger has its advantages. In addition to my perceived celebrity status, I’m fortunate enough to sometimes be showered with samples of vegan products from companies around the world. One of these companies is VioLife, a pioneer in vegan cheeses from Greece.
My love affair with VioLife goes back to a cloudless summer day in London, standing outside VeganX on my belated honeymoon. Gazing romantically at my beautiful new wife while we dreamily consumed an entire package of VioLife “original” and went back in for more.
VioLife was the first vegan cheese that tasted like cheese. It rolled like cheese, melted like cheese, and had all the same characteristics of a dairy cheese … without the dairy. In fact, VioLife is gluten-free, soy-free, lactose-free, palm-oil-free, non-GMO, and preservative-free.* They have raised the bar for vegan cheeses and that summer I knew I was forever in love (with both Jen and the cheese).
Unfortunately, VioLife isn’t (yet) available in North America.
However, being a vegan food blogger has its advantages. Since blogging about this first interaction with VioLife, I have formed a relationship with the company that provides me with the occasional sample and, in this most recent instance, an opportunity to actually taste test a new vegan cheese that has yet to be released.
Vegan Parmesan Cheese. Vegan. Parmesan. Cheese.
Let me say that again. Vegan. Parmesan. Cheese.
A hard, low moisture cheese that grates and shreds and adds that distinctive pungent taste and bouquet that only a Parmesan cheese can deliver. Delicious on pasta, on top of a salad, stirred into a risotto, blended into my vegan Alfredo sauce or simply take slivers and chunks of the hardest parts and simmer them in soup. Or you can take broken off slices, roast them and eat them as a snack. This cheese is that good.
When VioLife sets out to do something, they do it right (which is proven in every flavor of their trademark sliced cheeses). This brick Parmesan could be grated tableside at any Italian restaurant over a Caesar salad (which, interestingly, was invented by an Italian in Mexico) and no diner would know it’s non-dairy.
VioLife tells me they plan to release this cheese “soon” (I couldn’t get them to commit to anything other than “soon”) and I know that it will follow the same success as their other products. They have, once again, set the bar very high for other vegan companies to follow.
* you may want to scroll back up and read this again …
Recently a fellow vegan blogger shared a link with me about a program being piloted in Australia by food companies where the consumer develops the recipe and reaps the rewards in profits per unit sold. The more popular your creation, the more product sold, the more money you make. The link specifically referred to Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (Australia’s master franchise of Domino’s Pizza) and their Pizza Mogul Program. Where you “Create. Share. And Earn.” from your creativity. In theory, this is a wonderful idea. I’d love to develop a vegan taco pizza or a vegan mushroom “bacon” pizza or a vegan kale and white garlic pizza … or any other variety of delicious and nutritious pizzas using a nice thin crust and vegan cheese. But, of course, this isn’t the direction this promotion is headed in.
The number one selling pizza is (drum roll please): “Mega Meat Lovers.” What a surprise. How Australian. How American, actually.
This pizza is topped with a heart-stopping combination of rasher bacon, ground beef, seasoned chicken, smoked ham, pepperoni, pulled pork, Italian sausage, mozzarella, and barbecue sauce and, so far, has earned it’s Dr. Frankenstein creator $28,000 (US). Good for them. Right?
There are so many things wrong with this being promoted and perpetuated (yes, I know I am inadvertently promoting it now). Set aside the health issues, does anyone find out abou this pizza,, go online, order it, pay for it, eat it, and digest it … thinking about the carnage?
Let’s take a quick body count:
One pizza. Seven dead animals. Seven.
Seven innocent animals that are being tortured, raped, brutalized, abused, and murdered unnecessarily to create a pizza. A pizza? There is no reason. NO reason to ever eat animals. Unless you are an awful person.
In the interest of fairness, there is one pizza called the Jalapiña that includes pineapple and jalapeño. This, with some shredded VioLife pizza cheese? Yes, please.