5 products that give vegan food a bad name

The worst vegan food product EVER was Plamil Veeze - a late 1980s vegan cheese spread that came in a glass jar and consisted of margarine, soya flour and vinegar...or something like that. It was revolting in a way that's hard to describe, with the taste of smelly feet and the texture of wood filler. The worst thing about it was that it gave vegan food a bad name. We were reminded of Veeze when we bought another Plamil product this week:

Plamil's Dairy Free White Chocolate. Now this isn't in the same league of revoltingness, but it does give vegan food a bad name. We've reviewed this stuff before when we included it in our White Chocolate Taste Test, but we thought we'd give the mini-bar another try. Eugh!...this stuff is brown, hard, bland, not sweet enough and is actually sticky on the outside...really sticky. If this was your first taste of dairy-free chocolate you'd give up and buy shares in Nestlé. To be fair to Plamil, they make some great products, like their mayonnaise, but they seem to have no quality control for new products.

Tofutti also make some decent vegan products, but their dairy-free ricotta isn't one of them. When we reviewed this we gave it every chance, but found that it certainly wasn't 'better' than pretty much anything else. It's gritty, bland, sticky and generally unpleasant. If you were trying to cut down on dairy fat, this would be a bad place to start.

Redwood are one of our favourite vegan food producers, but they missed the mark with their Wot No Dairy yoghurts. We included the plain version of this in our Vegan Yoghurt Taste Test, but it came off worst. What Redwood are trying to do here is fill a gap in the market for dairy-free AND soya-free yoghurt, but pea protein doesn't appear to be the answer. It's strongly pea flavoured, over-gelatinous and just not very nice. Eating this stuff could put you off going vegan.

Also coming bottom in one of our Taste Tests was Soyatoo's Cocos Whip - a whipping cream alternative made from coconuts. It's hard to imagine how they could go so wrong - just buying coconut cream from any supermarket would be infinitely better. It's greasy, over sweet and very oddly flavoured. This stuff could put you off your strawberries, never mind put you off dairy-free creams for life.

Final Thoughts:

We don't mean to be overly harsh on vegan food producers, who operate in a niche market and on the whole make our lives far easier as vegans than they used to be. We'll probably upset Redwood and Plamil in particular with our criticisms. Our mission as a vegan blog though, is to give praise where it's due, but not shy away from the sometimes brutal truth. What we want to avoid is non-vegans trying out vegan food for the first time and thinking...hey, if it's this bad...maybe going vegan is not for me.

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  1. I loved Veeze! Wish they didn't take it off the market.

  2. You're the second person to say that! The vegan soft cheese which was around at the same time and miles better though was Fromsoya - which has still never been beaten, sadly.

  3. I've tried the Redwood Wot No Dairy, I can't remember what flavour I tried but it didn't taste very good. I found it quite sickly, and felt slightly nauseous when I'd finished.

  4. The Redwood Wot Not Dairy reminds me of overly sweet vegan mayo; while Veeze was... well it was... it had a texture that was hard to describe (like curdled baby sick) with a smell that was... Veeze. Plamil chocolate has for a very long time been substandard and their white chocolate is vile (almost as bad as their oft forgotten soya milk which was grainy; beany and left a taste in your mouth that took ages to leave. Just because you're an ethical food company doesn't mean you have to produce products that are cr*p...



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