bio life cheese
There has been a buzz on social media about a new vegan cheese around town…Bio Life.
I found some at a local deli and bought it to try. It is available at quite a few delis and IGA stores as well as the Prahran Convenience store.
On the upside I am happy to report that it is vegan, it grates, it almost melts like cheese and it tastes pretty good straight off the block, like a very mild cheddar.
Just to be clear, I dislike almost all vegan cheeses, but this one has none of the graininess, poor texture, bad melting qualities or fake flavour that plague most of them.
But here comes the but… for me it is a big BUT. The one flaw, I think, is an after taste a bit reminiscent of something chemical. I don’t know why, but I’m speculating that it is some chemical taste leftover from refining the coconut oil. I can’t imagine you’d put that taste in deliberately. I can’t taste it when eaten plain off the block, but it seems to be accentuated when heated, to the point of being unpleasant.** See below for the latest update on this strange taste.
I’ve tried it plain, grated, sliced, melted, in pasta and it all works pretty well. It tends to look a bit dried out when grilled, but underneath the skin is a melted slightly stretchy cheese. In a sandwich press it strings and melts much better. It just doesn’t seem to like the direct heat of a grill.
It is soy free, made from water, starch, coconut oil and salt with a few other seasonings, colour and preservatives, none of them scary. I am not sure what the “vegan flavourings” in the ingredients list are. I would have a included a photo of the ingredients label but the cheese is cut off the block. I looked at the ingredient list on the large block at the deli. Others have posted a photo of the ingredients on Facebook in Vegans of Melbourne. There is also a list of retail outlets in the files section of Vegans of Melbourne.
I held so much hope for this cheese, but with that strange chemical aftertaste, I’ll have to put myself in the ‘no’ camp.
**EDIT May 2015: I have since tasted another small packaged block and I cannot taste the aftertaste at all. I’m very happy about this because it is a great mild, melty cheese.
26 thoughts on “bio life cheese”
I purchased some yesterday, and literally just ate some melted onto a pizza base about 10 minutes ago… Can’t say I noticed an aftertaste though. I am quite happy with it.
Leesa, you are so lucky. I wanted to like this cheese, but some people seem to be able to taste this weird chemical aftertaste. Sadly I’m one of them.
I went to look for some today at Habib Wholefoods because I was told they stock it but I couldn’t see any (I did walk out with a raw vegan tiramisu for my troubles though). I’m looking forward to trying it!
I hope you like it. The first person to make a perfect vegan cheese that melts AND tastes good is going to make a fortune!
I haven’t seen this one yet- shame about the after taste! I know what you mean, though. The only vegan cheese I’ve had that doesn’t have a funny after taste is Vegusto. I’ll still give this one a go if I come across it, though!
You might be OK with it Kate. Some people can taste it, others seem not to. I’m just one of the unlucky ones that can it seems.
I feel cheated that I was not a part of the buzz! Arghh!
Just in Vegans of Melbourne on Facebook. It generated quite a bit of interest! 🙂
Prahran Convenience have stacks of this cheese. I think it is amazing. I cannot taste anything dodgy about it at all. I am wondering if it is the same as violife (also made in Greece). The Greeks apparently have a vegan religious week – apart from shellfish. Bio cheese is much milder in flavour than Vegusto, but I like Vegusto as well.
Hi Angela! It is violife cheese. This has been confirmed. I (and some others) just seem to be able to taste something odd in it. Most people seem not to be able to taste this. I wish I couldn’t. Apart from the taste, it passes the test for a melty, mild vegan cheese. I wanted to love it. 🙁
We sell the my life Bio cheese at our deli, Athena Delicatessen, Oakleigh Market. It’s been very popular. Pop in for a taste if you are in Melbourne!
Not sure that makes sense but understand we are all different. Checked it out with all my friends and we all agree great tasting and 100% thumbs up
Sadly, I’m one of the unfortunate minority that can taste that chemical aftertaste.
Sad you are missing out…
Hi, thanks Rosalie – I don’t think it’s meant to be heated! I am very happy to have found this at the Brunswick IGA (in the dairy section if you’re looking). It’s just fine sliced and eaten with bread. It’s a bit like a gouda and streets ahead of most vegan cheeses, with the honourable exception of Vegusto. It has no nutritional value at all – the main ingredient is coconut oil – but who cares!
Glad you like it. I don’t like it sliced either, I’m just one of the unlucky ones that can taste something odd in it. We’re a minority, but sadly I’m one of them. I do love Vegusto though!
I am also one of the people who can taste that chemical aftertaste. It was such a shame because everybody I know loves it. I’m glad its not only me. Its a shame, if it weren’t for that aftertaste it’d be a great substitute
Yes it is sad really. Otherwise it is very like cheese. I wanted to like it. I know a few people who can taste the odd aftertaste. Most people can’t.
Funnily enough I tried it again (for the third time) just recently after seeing they sold it in Coles. I thought since it was readily available I’d try it one last time… and you know what? I couldn’t pick up the chemical after taste at all! Maybe because I was expecting it or maybe I’d become accustomed to the taste but whatever it was I went through my whole block in a day! I just couldn’t stop myself…
I know what you mean. I bought a new one in a small packet and I cannot taste that strange taste at all. I’m very happy about this because It is a great mild melty cheese. You’ve reminded me that I need to edit the post to reflect this.
I LOVE that this cheese exists and that I can buy it from my local Coles for a lot less than many of the vegan cheeses available (which are quite different), from Health Food Stores. I realise it’s not as good for me as a well made cashew cheese, but at least it’s tastes like cheese and is affordable enough to have often.
I know what you mean by a slightly funny after taste – I wouldn’t necessarily call it “chemical” but I do notice something when I have quite a bit by itself. But having it with other foods such as in a salad sandwich, I can’t notice it and I’m just thrilled to be able to have “cheese” again and still be eating vegan food. I am so happy with it, that the small aftertaste I notice on occasion isn’t enough to put me off.
Oh yes I am right with you on that. Mainstreaming of vegan foods is a great thing. But I just wished I liked it! 🙂
Hi – quick question.
Is this cheese really as low fat as the product nutrional table claims?
It says it is 250kj for 100grams (half a block) of the cheese.
For cheese, this is extremely low. Maybe they mean calories?
Good question. I have no idea. It doesn’t seem to be very oily.
Totally agree with you about the after taste! I bought some soon after it came out in Australia, cut of the 2.5kg block and it tasted strangely chemical. I recently had it grated over a hot dish at a friend’s place and didn’t notice it all! I suppose she had bought the 250g block. I’ll have to give it another try now!
It is still not my favourite cheese, but the odd aftertaste is not there in any of the 250g blocks I’ve tried. But it is OK in a toasted sandwich with tomato. 🙂