10 October 2013

Tomato Soup (GF)/Well Played, Vegusto (Part One).

Fake cheese that I actually, really like.  (I never thought I'd say that!)
So, a few weeks ago, the folks over at VeganMoFo had a little giveaway involving some Vegusto products.  Long story short, I entered and won.  Now those of you who regularly read my blog know that I pretty much never cook with fake meats or cheeses.  There are a few reasons for this.  I won't get into all of them, but one is that certain fake meats make me comically gassy.  Another reason is that, with two or three exceptions, I don't really miss cheese or meat.  And then there were those Tesco Free From fake cheeses I got last fall (for free as part of a BzzAgent campaign), that were so horrible, I swore off fake cheese forever.  Fake cheese usually kind of sucks, if you ask me, but the Tesco stuff was nothing short of a horror show. 
"Hang on, Big Momma," you're saying, "when you did the Living Below the Line-themed blogs, you said you had a Linda McCartney veggie sausage for breakfast almost every day!"  That's true.  They are definitely an exception and they don't make me gassy at all.  (They don't really taste particularly meaty, either, but that's probably why I like them.)  Anyway, quit your nit-pickin' and let me cut to the chase.
My free samples of Vegusto didn't arrive in time to blog about them during VeganMoFo, but they did arrive and I've tried them all.  I have to confess, I was pleasantly surprised.

Usually when someone gets melty fake cheese, they make pizza.  Not me.  I make grilled cheese.  I feel like grilled cheese is the true test of a fake melty cheese (and grilled cheese is probably the only cheese-thing that I ever miss).  I have had some fake melty cheeses that stuck to my teeth and some that just kind of tasted like rubber.  Not so, Vegusto.  This is hands-down the best melty fake cheese I have ever had.  I actually really, sincerely like it.

Fake cheese that doesn't suck.
The other two cheeses they sent me were the Aromatic and the Piquant.  The Aromatic is supposed to be like a fake cheddar and that's totally what it tastes like:  fake cheddar.  The Piquant is supposed to taste like a Gruyère (I have NO idea what Gruyère actually tastes like) or a parmesan and I thought it tasted kind of like maybe a fake Swiss?  I'm not in love with these, but they are not bad at all and pretty cheese-like for fake cheese.  If you're vegan or non-dairy and really miss cheese, I'd recommend them.  Even my husband, who loathes fake cheese, said they were, "the least offensive fake cheeses [he's] ever had."  My 3-year-old loves them.  (My 5 year old...not so much.  But he is an equal-opportunity fake-cheese hater.  It ain't personal, Vegusto.)  The cool thing about these cheeses is that they're made with nut butters, which, of course, makes me want to experiment and see if I can't make my own fake cheeses that don't suck.

Anyway, I couldn't make a post about fake grilled cheese without a Recipe for Tomato Soup!

In a little bit of water, boil a small onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, 2 carrots, and 2 stalks of celery.  You can also add a potato, too.  It's up to you.  Once everything is soft, add a can (or one of those new-fangled tetra-packs) of stewed tomatoes (the 400g/14oz size) and puree everything up.  After that, I add another can (or tetra-pack) of stewed tomatoes (if they aren't already diced, I chop them myself) for texture (obviously, if you want a smoother tomato soup, puree both cans) and warm everything back up again.  Then I add some freshly chopped rosemary, basil, or parsley (skip it if you don't have any, it's still good) and a little salt and pepper to taste.  It's also fun to stir in a little homemade soya yoghurtWhat you say!!  Oh, yes.  I started making my own soya yoghurt.  It's fantastic and you can make it either in a slow-cooker or an insulated flask (like a thermos, not a booze flask).  I need to blog about that so you can learn, too.  Remind me!  Leave a comment!  :D

Stay tuned for Well Played, Vegusto (Part Two), where I review their very meaty fake meats.