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We are SO CLOSE to Christmas! Many of us have finished work for the year (a huge thank you to all of those who work in sectors that don’t have a standard Christmas closure and are literally keeping everyone fed, safe, mobile, and healthy), and final preparations are under way for the next three days of festivities. We finished our big Christmas shop yesterday, and only have a few small bits to sort out before we gather the whole family together (we’re celebrating with Jake’s side this year) and enjoy three days of rest, fun, and delicious food!
Now of course, Christmas in the UK wouldn’t be Christmas without a cheeseboard. In previous years, this has proved difficult for us plant-based eaters, as vegan cheese options were, erm, not entirely worth their price, shall we say. However, over the last 24 months or so, we’ve seen the market flooded with delicious and reasonably-priced options, so the vegan cheeseboard is seeing something of a renaissance. On top of the now-standard coconut-based vegan cheeses, we’re now seeing more artisan versions becoming readily available, too!
One of these is Cicioni, a product that calls itself Fermentino, and consists made of only four ingredients: almonds, cashews, salt, and water. The ingredients are fermented to make a smooth, creamy, tangy product, which is a delicious addition to any vegan cheeseboard. Fermentino is all-natural and organic, and is pretty versatile: it’s semi-solid texture means you can slice, crumble, or spread it over more or less any dish. For me, though, the relatively high price combined with the unique taste mean that I would only buy it to use as the centrepiece of a cheeseboard or something similar – I feel like mixing it into another dish would almost feel like a waste! If you’d like to pick some up before Christmas, you can do so from Planet Organic or Whole Foods (if you’re lucky enough to have one of them near you), or you can order it from Ocado.
The Perfect Vegan Cheeseboard
Planning to put together the ultimate vegan cheeseboard for your celebrations this year, but not sure what to include? I’ve put together a little guide to help you out!
Cheese alternatives (choose 3)
- vegan cheddar (available own-brand from major supermarkets)
- flavoured vegan cheese (such as pickle, cranberry, blue – all available own-brand from major supermarkets)
- vegan cream cheese (available own-brand from major supermarkets)
Bread & Crackers (choose 2-3)
- thinly-sliced Baguette
- chunks of toasted sourdough
- cream crackers
- salt & pepper crackers
Extras (choose 2)
- red and green grapes
- dried figs
- cherry tomatoes or sundried tomatoes
- roasted nuts
- caramelised onion