Review: Jeezo Bianco - Vegan Mozzarella

Vegourmet Jeezo Bianco - Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

Vegourmet's rebranded and repackaged block cheese is now called Jeezo, while their cheese slices are called Jeezini. We've took this opportunity to revisit Jeezo, because we've reviewed it previously as part of our Meltdown and Cheeseboard taste tests and we were pretty harsh on it. Read on for why we might have softened our view:

Let's first just say that the rebranding is very successful. Previously this was called 'Vegourmet No Cheese' and the label was purely functional. This now looks like something you'd want to buy.

Jeezo only comes in large 400g blocks though, which is too big for two reasons: a large block is expensive; and it's also a lot of cheese to waste if you don't like it. People don't like spending 5 quid on a block of vegan cheese that they may not like.

We also HATE the packaging. Jeezo isn't sold as an ambient product, but it's packaged like one, in very very thick shrink-wrapped plastic. You have to destroy the packaging (with some effort) to get the cheese out... and then re-wrap it yourself in something else. This makes a big block of cheese even less of a practical proposition.

Jeezo is a hard waxy cheese. It grates extremely well, in long shreds that don't stick together. The texture is absolutely nothing like mozzarella though - this is just 'mozzarella flavoured' Jeezo.

Now at this point we want to point out one of the reasons for the re-review. Jeezo is practically identical to Violife (which we have rated highly). The ingredients list is so identical that we suspect they're made in the same place. Only the flavourings and colourings really differ. 

Violife have just launched a block cheese, which sensibly comes in a 200g size. The difference with Violife products is that they don't claim to emulate specific dairy cheeses (with the exception of their Cheddar variety). When we last reviewed Jeezo we reviewed it as a vegan mozzarella, which it isn't very good at being. When we reviewed Violife we reviewed it as a sandwich cheese.

Jeezo Bianco, despite being labelled as 'mozzarella' flavour, is closer to cheddar. If you eat it like that, as a sliced cheese, then it's fine. It's also good at melting in liquids (like Violife), so makes a good cheese sauce. Simply grate it, and melt it in some soya milk with salt and pepper and you have a cheese sauce... simple as that. A bit of grated nutmeg is optional. 

That cheese sauce can be used instead of béchamel in a lasagne (make it thin and runny). We made a Jeezo sauce for a lasagne, then topped it with grated Jeezo too. Now we already know that Jeezo doesn't melt on pizza, but what about on a lasagne?

We were hoping that the moisture from the top layer of cheese sauce would help to melt the grated Jeezo on top, rather than it drying out like it does on pizza...

Sadly that isn't the case. Jeezo just doesn't like a hot dry oven, even when sprinkled onto a sauce. The cheese dries out and goes crispy and a little bit cloying too.

The resulting lasagne isn't bad, especially if you don't overdo it on the grated Jeezo on top. The Jeezo cheese sauce works very well and is pretty tasty. 

If this was the best vegan cheese around we'd be a little disappointed, but we know there are better cheeses for cooking. Look out for a lasagne with MozzaRisella coming up as part of one of our reviews.


So how do we score our re-review? As a mozzarella, this is terrible. It can't be used as either a hot or cold mozzarella substitute. It's hard to buy (very few stockists), has terrible packaging and only comes in massive blocks. We can't get away from the fact that it's so similar to Violife though. We don't cook with Violife (although the slices make good cheeseburgers) but it's pretty good as a cold hard cheese. Jeezo is also pretty good as a cold hard cheese if you like this kind of waxy/gelled texture (we prefer it to the starchy British cheeses like Cheezly/Sheese).

You can buy Jeezo from Vegan Cross and Alternative Stores

Verdict: Not-zzarella

Veganoo Score: ★★★★☆
(just don't think of it as a mozzarella)
Vegourmet Jeezo Bianco

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

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  1. Vegourmet cheese is made by the same Greek company as Violife. The monti variety of the jeezo blocks does melt on pizza etc. The jeezo isn't just a rebrand and repackage they have altered the formulation of the cheese and removed the palm oil.

  2. I use the Vegourmet Montanero for cooking and agree with the other post, it melts perfectly and tastes great. I've used it on pizza but also in other cooked dishes. It's less salty than violife. I don't like the texture uncooked but it's a fantastic cooking cheese.


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