Sunday, January 19, 2014

Korean Winter D1 - There's Vegan Cheese in Korea?? 한국에 비건 치즈가 있다고??

The three of us decided to go shopping for groceries to make a Christmas eve dinner together at 하연 언니's home in the evening. We couldn't make up our minds for quite some time, jumping from shepherd's pie to soup and salad to raw food etc etc. In the end we decided on a 3 course meal of salad, mushroom cream pasta and pizza!

And then 하연 언니 told me there was a place in Seoul that sold vegan cheese... *GASPS* OKAY LET'S GO~ Impressed by how Korea is making progress in the vegetarian and vegan industry yay.

We got lost again while finding the place and ended up in lots of weird alleys because 하연 언니 still preferred to stick to her instincts... ㅎㅎㅎㅎ Apparently it's rather dangerous to sit in a car that she drives, 미선 says. Gosh. ㅋㅋ

Finally~ It's in 합정 Hapjeong, which is near 홍대 Hongdae.

Zero animal products in Vegelion's cheeses. Instead of dairy, nuts and beans are used to make their 100% plant-based cheeses. They say that they are researching and developing more vegan cheeses, butter, soy milk and snacks and are hoping to expand their product line in the future for vegetarians and vegans. Must support them!! ㅋㅋ

Dreaming of making our pasta and pizza....

Lots of info sheets about why animal-source dairy products are not that healthy for you~ Sorry I'm a bit lazy to translate.. haha

Flavours available! Quite surprised at the variety! A couple of them are not listed here.

The only female staff there was extremely helpful and friendly, told us there's free tasting and brought out a generous amount of all the cheeses that were available for tasting! She even gave us mugs of steaming hot tea. ^^

To be honest, I was a little disappointed when I tasted the cheeses because they weren't as cheese-like as I thought they would be... The texture of the block cheeses above are smooth and similar to um firmer versions of puddings? Not the bouncy slightly chewy and stretchy texture of normal cheeses. Nutty flavours was evident in all cheeses. What wasn't too good was that the coconut flavour was rather distinct for quite a few of the cheeses because of the coconut oil in them. I'm fine with coconut, but I know many who dislike it...

However, don't get me wrong because they didn't taste horrible, just not too much like real cheese~! They'll work fine as just another condiment? The 'Smoke Vegan Block' was actually quite unique with bits of vegan "ham" inside.

I actually fancied the cheese spreads more! They were rather addictive with the crackers. Favourites were the 'Garlic n Herb Vegan Spread' and 'Sweet & Spice Vegan Spread'~ I think they're really lovely as dips and will prolly work well in sandwiches and on toasts too! *thumbs up*
(Although The Living Cafe in Singapore is making even yummier raw vegan cheeses... :P But they're pricey. ><)

How the cheese blocks look like, just like normal cheese!
In the end we only chose one 'Lovers Vegan Block' that was recommended for replacing mozzarella cheese in pizzas. But the shop attendant (I think she is one of the bosses) was so nice and threw in a couple of Cheddar and Gouda cheese sample blocks for us too! The generosity rather overwhelmed me. I felt a bit sorry we only bought a block of cheese after all the tasting.... Hope they will keep up and flourish! I will be back next time for the vegan cheese spreads... (:

After the exciting vegan cheese experience, we proceeded to buy the rest of the groceries needed. It got dark so early it felt so weird for me as it was 5pm plus only but it felt like 8pm to me... ㅎ

Hansalim 한살림, a co-op in Korea that provides eco-friendly and organic products. 하연 언니 always patronises them despite being a distance from her house because she says that their products are good quality and prices are very reasonable.

It was interesting shopping here and I bought a big pack of my favourite 미숫가루 misutkaru, a type of bean and grain powder that's really fragrant and delicious, to bring back to Singapore.

It was getting late and we quickly headed home to make our Christmas Eve dinner!
Having a car was so convenient to get around to less accessible locations. Fully enjoyed the luxury of being transported around in a car that day. ㅋㅋㅋ

Vegelion (online orders possible, but only in Korea and in Korean)
Address: 364-20 Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울시 마포구 합정동 364-20
How to go
Monday-Friday 11am-8pm
Saturday 11am-5pm
Closed on Sundays

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