Yesterday we took a trip to one of the most exciting new openings in vegan London - La Fauxmagerie, the UK’s first plant-based Cheesemonger.
This is the answer to all the people who tried Veganuary and come out of it with one major question: what do you do about cheese?
It’s a beautiful shop, for starters. It’s tucked away inside one of Brixton’s covered markets, just round the corner from a Fair Trade clothes shop that had a surprise whippet snuggled up in a basket at the back. Also thirty seconds away was a vegan beauty and skincare shop that had a good amount of zero waste options. And for anyone who knows vegan London well, Miss Cupcake (home of the amazing vegan cupcakes that will derail anyone’s diet) is within a five minute stroll. Brixton is clearly a challenger to Kentish Town’s vegan crown.
(Quick disclaimer - we’re too small to be getting any money for this post. We were just really excited to visit the vegan cheesemonger, and we wanted to spread the word!)
I was actually slightly lost for words when I got into the shop - it’s so unusual to see a vegan cheese counter so full, with so many different choices. I could have happily bought a kilo of everything for sale, to be honest. We didn’t, but only because we didn’t have enough bags to carry it all home.
That’s the other thing I loved about this shop - they’ve got a great zero-waste ethos. All their packaging is biodegradable and plastic free, and you’re welcome to bring your own containers. I did - I took my elephant box and filled it up with elegantly wrapped cheese.
And now the cheese…
We got four cheeses to try:
We had this one before at Christmas and it was incredible. So when we saw it, we just had to pick it up. It’s got an amazing, sharp tang to it exactly like you’d expect from a camembert, and the soft, bloomy rind that really adds to the whole experience.
Before going vegan, I used to hate camembert, but this cheese has really taught me to love it.
I am Nut OK
The ‘Peppaaaaah’ cheese from I am Nut OK is like a matured cheddar - quite hard, with a lovely strong flavour. The added piquancy of the pepper on the rind brings it to life for me. This one went really well with our home-made Branston (not pictured).
The Kinda Co spirulina blue cheese was wonderful - it crumbled like a Wensleydale which is a cheese I used to adore before going vegan. The spirulina adds a delicious tang without being overpowering. This cheese is currently a limited edition and only available at La Fauxmagerie, so head down there if you can and pick some up!
Black Arts Vegan
This was an unexpected delight. It’s soy based, made from tofu, but it doesn’t have the texture I normally associate with soy-based cheese. It’s soft, crumbly, and the almond and apricot flavours bring a nice sweetness that compliments the cheesy tang really well.
All in all, we’ll definitely be heading back to La Fauxmagerie again - they sold out completely within their first two days of being open, and they keep selling out, so it’s really a case of timing your visit carefully so you can get the best selection. I’m so glad to see a vegan business doing so well that it runs out of cheese that fast. It’s a great sign of things to come in the plant-based world.
A quick note on pricing: these aren’t the cheapest vegan cheeses around; coming up to maybe a little more than you’d pay at a deli counter for a high quality dairy cheese. But we are frugal, not stingy… The price points at La Fauxmagerie aren’t super high, but do keep this as a rare treat, not a regular option. But these are products that:
match our dietary needs
are incredibly high quality
from small, independent producers
sold by entrepreneurs
and match our ethical values
and all the above more than justify the prices for us. Being frugal doesn’t mean denying yourself a port and cheese feast for Valentine’s day. This purchase doesn’t contradict our frugal ethos, just changes how frequently we’ll be customers. (Can you tell we spent a healthy amount on their cheese…?)
My final thought - any of these cheeses could, in my opinion, give dairy-based cheese a run for their money. So if you’re interested in finding out what the plant-based hype is like, give them a go! It’s a far cry from the rubbery, slightly flavourless types of vegan cheese you might have come across before.