How to Make Vegan Camembert Like a Pro —


by Sarah Von Alt|January 26, 2018Late last year, I stumbled on a drool-worthy recipe for vegan Camembert, and my life changed immediately. I had experimented with vegan cheese recipes in the past—with some success. But after seeing how Thomas from Full of Plants makes vegan cheese using traditional cheese-making methods, I knew he was on to something.I mean, just look at this.All right, snap out of it. Yes, it’s vegan. You OK? Good. You can get the recipe here.Dreams really do come true! Recipe.So of course, I had to reach out to Thomas and get the inside scoop on these impressive plant-based recipes. Here’s what he had to say:First off, what inspired you to go vegan?I started by cutting dairy, mainly because I could not digest lactose. I’d also heard it could help with acne, so I tried cutting all dairy for three weeks. I instantly felt better, and I’ve never looked back. Later I went fully vegan for health reasons at first; meat was heavy on my stomach, and I was usually tired after eating. Seeing several documentaries about meat production and how animals are treated comforted me in my choice.How long have you been making vegan cheese?For almost two years now. It took several months before achieving good results, but it was definitely worth it! I’m happy everyone can now enjoy good vegan Camembert and blue cheese!What makes your cheese different from “typical” vegan cheese?The use of real molds. Most vegan cheese recipes use nutritional yeast or other flavorings combined with something acidic, like lemon juice or vinegar, to replicate a cheese flavor. My recipes require a mesophilic culture and ripening molds, like penicillium candidum or roqueforti. The cheeses are aged for at least three weeks to let the mold grow. By using real molds, the cheeses develop complex flavors you can’t replicate with flavorings.Do you have any other cheese recipes in the works?I do. I’m currently working on Alpine cheeses. These are aged longer than Camembert or blue. Washed-rind cheeses are also something I want to master, but I’m having trouble with this one. I’m also working on a blue Camembert—blue veins inside and a white rind outside.Do you have any advice for people making the switch to a vegan diet?I would recommend staying away from processed vegan food that comes in a box or package. When switching to a vegan diet, many people assume anything vegan is healthy. It’s not the case. Stick to fresh vegetables, greens, whole grains, beans, and some protein—for example, tofu or tempeh—and you should be good! Homemade meals are always healthier and cheaper, and they taste a lot better than industrial products.Is there anything you’d like to add?Thanks for having me, and keep up the great work at Mercy For Animals!

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