Although my fiancé and I are always down to try new foods, we’re wary when it comes to vegan cheese. We have our faves and we generally stick to them, partially because we don’t want to splurge on a brand or cheese variety that we might not like (which would be a waste of money and food unless we’re able to pawn it off on a friend) and partially because we’re picky.
Vegan cheese, generally, is lacking in either flavor or texture (sometimes both). The options have expanded significantly over the years, even just in the four years since I first tried Daiya (and loved/hated it, which is still my relationship with it today). A lot of vegan cheeses on the market are amazing and delicious and I support any person or company who wants to add to the options.
But, like I said, I’m wary of trying new vegan cheese. When my fiancé’s stepmom told us she bought a Connecticut-made vegan cheese at a local market for us to have on pizza for Christmas Eve dinner, we told her we would love to try it. We were excited! But we were also nervous, because we’ve been burned a few times in the vegan cheese game and it’s something that can be hard to recover from, especially at a family dinner.
The cheese she bought for us was Three Girls Vegan Creamery Mozzarella ‘di Bufala’ Pearls and from the second we saw the packaging, we were intrigued. Much like fresh dairy mozzarella, these pearls came in a tub of light salt brine, which seemed impossible for a vegan cheese. Then we started prepping our pizza and noticed how firm and “cheese-like” these mozzarella pearls are, which was even wilder. We pulled them apart and put them on our pizza — following our usual rule of “the lesser, the better” — and then put it in the oven and hoped for the best.
Reed and I were blown away.
Somehow, the lovely folks over at Three Girls Vegan Creamery managed to create a mozzarella that not only stays firm in a brine, but actually melts like real cheese. It also tastes amazing, melted and just as is. Yeah, that’s right: we both ate this cheese as is and had zero complaints about flavor or texture.
Let me repeat: THIS CHEESE CAN BE EATEN RAW.
It is seriously a dream come true. It tastes super fresh and super creamy. Before going vegan, I used to love Caprese salad and I was obsessed with putting fresh mozzarella on pizza. Giving up those flavors and textures was hard for me at first, even though I was dedicated to being vegan and living a fully plant-based lifestyle. Three Girls Vegan Creamery has totally altered my view of vegan cheese. I cannot get over how good it is, or the fact that it’s made just one state over! AMAZING. Amazing. Amazing.
As a bonus, we also gave a couple pearls the mozzarella stix treatment, which turned out really well. We discovered that our oil was too hot and the pearls were too frozen, so they were cold in the middle, but live and learn! We plan to try breading and deep-frying them again in the future. Many times. Yum.
We were so pleased with the mozzarella that we bought another container to bring home with us and while we were at the market, we picked up a jar of Almond Ricotta as well, which we tried in lasagna pinwheels (a staple pasta dish in our home). We tried it raw before having it baked in the lasagna pinwheels and although the taste was off-putting to me at first (it had more of a bite to it than I expected), my very Italian fiancé said, “these are clearly people who know Italian flavors and know these cheeses.” After trying the almond ricotta again, I agreed with that conclusion.
The pinwheels were incredible. I want to eat seventy-five more. Approximately.
Although we were lucky enough to buy these products while in Connecticut (!), now that we are home we plan to acquire them through the company’s website. Beyond the mozzarella pearls and almond ricotta, they also offer a variety of other cheeses for personal use and for wholesale and they ship all over the United States!
If you just read this whole post and thought, there’s no way she’s telling the truth, I implore you to order some cheese from Three Girls Vegan Creamery and try it for yourself. It will rock your world. And if you read this whole post and thought, hell yes! More vegan cheese for me! then I implore you to order some and eat your heart out. ♥
Are you lucky enough to have access to locally-made vegan products? Talk to me in the comments or on Twitter!