A festive celebration to kick off our annual Cape Town Vegan Challenge, with over a dozen different vegan cheeses and a selection of top local wines.
This past Saturday afternoon saw about 100 people attend our third annual Vegan Cheese & Wine event, where it has now become tradition to launch the Cape Town Vegan Challenge. Participants from in and around the Mother City joined at the White Space’s picturesque rooftop bar to feast on a variety of plant-based cheeses and wines from both local and international producers.
This event highlights a sea-change in the availability of vegan products in Cape Town. Three years ago, when Vegilicious first hosted a Vegan Cheese & Wine, it was very hard to find vegan cheese producers at all, let alone companies that would be willing to sponsor the event. This year, the popularity of the event (both from sponsors and the general public) is a clear indication that consumer demand for vegan products is sky-rocketing and that the market is shifting in response.
From cheddar to parmesan, spreads and mozzarella, our Cheese & Wine event featured it all! Participating cheese brands included Irene’s Gourmet, Violife, Utopia Foods and Le Coquin, while Org de Rac, Stellar Organics and Vondeling provided complementary wines from different cultivars. Throughout the night, guests also munched on Chicken-Style Nuggets and Prawn-Style Pieces from The Fry Family Food Co., and sipped on Theonista Kombucha, a refreshing non-alcoholic alternative.
These brands are widely available in leading supermarkets such as Pick n Pay, Checkers, Spar and Wellness Warehouse.
Cheese is often the one thing that stands in the way of someone trying out a vegan diet. All too often we hear people say that they can easily give up meat and eggs, but they cannot live without their cherished cheese. Saturday’s event showcased a salivating selection of cheese made without any dairy. Not only are these nut- or oil-based cheeses delicious, but they are much healthier for us and also help to lessen our water footprint. With so many options available in local retail stores, it is easy to eat vegan without giving up your favourite foods.
For those of you who tried and loved our own team’s attempt at cheese-making, here are the recipes we promised!
- Vegan Blue Cheese by Full of Plants (the blue mould hadn’t quite yet taken hold yet!)
- Macadamia Cheese Spread by Minimalist Baker
- Vegan Aged Camembert Cheese by Full of Plants (this one also needed about a week longer to mature)
- Almond Gruyere by Mary’s Test Kitchen
- Cashew Goat’s Cheese by Vegetarian Times
(Oh and did we mention that there’s a new vegan cheese available at Checkers for only R40 a block? Yes, you heard right! Look out for “Nature & Moi”.)
Let’s charge our glasses with vegan wine and toast all the innovative plant-based food companies out there. Thank you for your amazing products, and for making the transition to veganism easier than ever!