A French producer has released vegan Camembert cheese made from cashew nut milk.
28-year-old vegan entrepreneur Anne Guth from the Lorraine region recently launched Les Petits Veganne, a company making reasonably-priced nut cheeses.
The new business venture, which also makes blue cheese (Le Bleu Lorrain) and garlic soft cheese (Le Petit Frais à l'Ail), plans to produce more than 3,000 plant-based cheeses per month.
Talking about the cheese-making process, Guth told French news source FranceInfo: "The most difficult thing was to create vegan 'cheeses' that appear visually beautiful."
She explained that making cheese from nut milk is similar to using dairy milk.
The cashew-based liquid is combined with cultures and ferments, which create the shape - then the cheese will be matured for taste for at least one month.
'Curdling' is the only step that is missing from the process.
FranceInfo offered the vegan cheese in a 'blind tasting' to Clément Maudet, a professional cheesemonger from the Buttes-Chaumont in Paris.
Maudet had to compare the vegan option - which retails for €10,90 - to a pasteurized, €1.41 dairy Camembert, and a AOP raw milk €6 Camembert.
The verdict? The pro cheesemonger said of the vegan cheese: "There is no animal smell there at all.
"The texture is bizarre - it’s quite mousse-like. It is a very mild product, but with a not-altogether-pleasant aftertaste."
Other taste testers have described the cashew Camembert product as 'very soft', 'mousse-like', 'edible'; 'surprisingly good', 'not bad', and 'pretty similar' to the real thing.