Review: Tofutti 'Better than Ricotta Cheese'

'Better' than Ricotta Cheese is quite some pledge. Of course, anything vegan is better than something for which animals have suffered, but you know what we mean. Tofutti is something of a dairy-free specialist with everything from cheese to ice cream in their product range. The faux Ricotta has been available in the US since last year and recently launched here in the UK, but at a price (a fiver a tub)...that means it had 'better' be good! Is it?

Visually the texture of the stuff looks pretty spot on...the soft graininess of ricotta curds is echoed well, but immediately we notice it seems to be too dry..almost semolina like. The grainy texture is achieved not through the natural coagulation of proteins, but by agar, carrageenan and xanthan gums. The mouth feel of a spoonful straight from the tub is odd...the curd grains remain firm giving it a sort of grittiness. Taste wise there is nothing to is pretty bland stuff. Nothing 'better' about it so far.

We tried the ricotta hot and cold. For the cold recipe we made up the ricotta as a herby bruschetta topping with finely chopped dill, chives and spring onions (scallions), seasoned well and with a spoonful of soya cream added for sweetness. The bland cheese works well in that it allows the herby flavour to come through, but that grittiness is pervasive and it isn't pleasant.

This ricotta does melt, which solves the grittiness problem completely in hot dishes. We used a Toffuti recipe for a pasta sauce that involves adding some of their cream cheese to the ricotta. A great money spinner for Tofutti Brands but not a culinary advancement for vegan food...the sauce was heavy..really heavy..and sticky to the point our tagliatelle glued itself together. We're not sure that's 'better' than ricotta either.

It's great to see companies like Tofutti pushing the boundaries of the faux dairy market, but we really can't recommend this stuff, especially not given the price.

Verdict: Better avoid this one

Veganoo Score: ★☆☆☆☆
 Tofutti 'Better than Ricotta Cheese'

Footnote: Ingredients
Here is the ingredients panel from the pack we reviewed.

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