Delicious Camembert: The French cheese with the typical white rind and the creamy, almost slightly runny interior, originally comes from Normandy in France, but is now eaten with pleasure almost everywhere in the world.
The white mold rind that is characteristic of Camembert is edible and contributes to the flavor, which is often described as mushroomy, nutty or even egg-like. Camembert goes perfectly with fresh baguette, crackers or toast.
So far, so good, if it weren’t for the cow’s milk from which Camembert is traditionally made – because that makes the French soft cheese a “no go” for vegans and anyone who (has to) eat a lactose-free diet.
Ingredients & Alternatives
French, non-vegan Camembert is made from cow’s milk – it also typically has a rind of noble mold that surrounds the cheese with a soft down.
However, vegan Camembert alternatives have also been on the market for some time – with or without mold. Plant-based Camembert substitutes can be made from a variety of ingredients – there’s even vegan Camembert made from cauliflower! Most often, plant-based Camembert is made from a combination of two or more of the following ingredients:
- Nutritional yeast / yeast flakes
- potato starch
- psyllium husks
In addition, certain mold cultures and probiotics should be added to help form the white rind during the ripening process.
What does vegan camembert taste like?
Does vegan Camembert taste similar to “real” Camembert? This question cannot be answered unequivocally, because it depends here of course strongly on the ingredients, the kind of the preparation as well as the ripening process.
One hears and reads again and again that vegan Camembert alternatives made from potatoes or potato starch paired with noble mold are most similar to the original in terms of taste and consistency.
What are the benefits of vegan camembert?
When you eat vegan Camembert substitute, you’re also avoiding the consumption of animal products. This can mean less animal suffering and a smaller carbon footprint – so you’re very likely doing something good for the environment, too. Here you should pay attention to the ingredients of the cheese substitute and how the raw materials were grown.
Vegan Camembert is also often lower in fat than its cow’s milk counterpart, and for those who suffer from lactose intolerance or intolerance, the plant-based alternative is a real blessing.
The main reasons for this are the ingredients, the production method, and the associated consumption of resources.
Vegan camembert: DIY recipe
If you’re on a vegan diet, there’s no reason to give up Camembert anymore. We have a recipe for you to prepare a delicious plant-based Camembert alternative. Admittedly, it’s a bit more elaborate and you’ll need enough time and patience – but the grind is worth it, we promise!
- 350g cashews
- 350 ml water
- 1.5 tbsp psyllium husks
- 1/16 tsp camembert culture (Penicillium Candidum)
- 1/16 tsp vegan yogurt culture
- 2 tsp salt
- Soak the cashews until they are soft – in any case two hours, better overnight. Then add the psyllium husks and puree.
- Put the mixture in a bowl (at room temperature – between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius) and add the camembert culture and the yogurt culture to the mixture and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
- Then blend again, cover with a wet cloth or a lid and leave to ferment overnight, but ideally for 24 hours.
- The next day: Pour the mixture into a baking dish lined with a clean muslin cloth – be careful not to touch the mixture with your hands – and cover with the ends of the cloth.
- Press down briefly and let it rest in the refrigerator for another day.
- Now it’s time for the maturing. To do this, put the vegan cheese in a plastic box and put it back in the refrigerator (the temperature here should not be lower than 7 degrees Celsius, but also not higher than 11 degrees).
- Check daily if the vegan camembert is not “sweating” – if there are moist spots, dab them carefully with a kitchen towel and also check if the plastic box is dry.
- After about 12-14 days, your vegan camembert substitute should have matured. Now you have a mild Camembert alternative that you can eat right away.
- If you prefer a very tangy tasting vegan Camembert alternative, you can extend the ripening process in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Instead of ripening the vegan Camembert in a can, you can also use special ripening paper or “Camembert paper”.
Where can I buy vegan camembert?
Too much effort for you? Understandable!
Fortunately, you can also buy vegan Camembert alternatives: in the organic food store, in the conventional supermarket or sometimes even in the discount store.
bedda Brie Style - Vegan Camembert Alternative from bedda
bedda Brie Style is the vegetable camembert alternative based on rapeseed and potatoes – like all bedda products, of course, without palm oil, soy or flavor enhancers.
Discover bedda Brie Style – the vegan alternative to Camembert.