The last two weeks have not been good… when it comes to cheese. I have a few homemade vegan cheese recipes that I use for dipping nachos into, but when it comes to store-bought cheese that works well on grilled cheese or blended into mashed potatoes, my favorite vegan store-bought cheese has been out of stock! Unfortunately, there are only two places that I can get it from around me, and they are not super close. The store closest to me was out of this vegan cheese for almost a month!
Earth Island Provolone
In the United States, this brand is called Follow Your Heart. But, in Canada, it’s called Earth Island. They say they can’t use the name Follow Your Heart due to some Canadian regulation, but it’s all made the same no matter where you are.
My husband and I have tried every vegan cheese that we have available to us. In Canada, it seems like we are catching up to the vegan cheese trend, or at least in Alberta. But, that’s okay because Earth Island provolone fits the bill for a lot of our cheese needs.
We Were Cheese Connoisseurs
Before we went vegan, my husband and I were in love with all things cheese.
My husband grew up in Italy and his mother has always served cheese along with fruit at the end of a meal.
I grew up vegetarian with a love for all things cheese. It made up the majority of my diet. In fact, I based eating decisions around cheese.
Together, we spent a lot of time at the Italian shop near us trying various types of cheeses and not finding one that we disliked.
Almost all of our meals included cheese.
And, I can’t remember one day where I did not eat cheese before going vegan.
So How Did We Go Vegan If We Loved Cheese So Much?
As much as we loved cheese, we felt there were some very good ethical and health reasons to give up the dairy.
For me, I was having all kinds of problems after eating. I would become bloated and feel tired, and my stomach would turn hard as rock. We both knew it was likely the cheese (because we had it in almost every meal), but until we developed some ethical reasons to drop the dairy, it was just too hard for me to do so.
Once we developed the ethical reasons, it was too hard to keep eating dairy, so we dropped it instantly.
After becoming vegan, I noticed that another symptom disappeared too. The pain in my fingers, that I thought was arthritis, went away completely. I thought I was going to live with that for the rest of my life because I had pain every single day. But, apparently dairy was causing the pain.
Why We Love Earth Island Provolone
As I said, we’ve tried all the vegan cheeses we have available to us. They all have their own unique tastes. We’ve found that most taste better melted than cold. And even then, I don’t like the melted taste enough to include them in my favorite dishes.
But Earth Island provolone tastes good all around.
I asked my husband to explain how he felt about the Earth Island provolone for this review and he sent me this text, “It’s so good I’d step over my mother to get the last piece. 🤔”
We tried this vegan cheese about four months after going vegan. Unfortunately, we had tried Earth Island’s mozzarella shreds almost immediately after going vegan, and they were so bad. They didn’t taste anything like mozzarella. I can’t even describe how bad they tasted to me.
So, we wrote off the other Earth Island cheeses completely for a few months until I saw this provolone and bought it on a whim.
I was shocked at how much it tasted like provolone. And I used to love provolone. My husband’s mother would always put it out in little square wedges, and it was my favorite cheese on the plate.
Isn’t it funny that a company can make one cheese that can taste so good and another that can taste so bad?
The cheese on it’s own is good. In a cold sandwich it’s great.
And, in grilled cheese it’s awesome.
It tastes like gooey goodness – creamy and delicious – which is what cheese in grilled cheese is supposed to taste like!
I also use this provolone in mashed potatoes with cheese. Holidays have always been about pierogi filled with cheesy potatoes, and I’ve found that Earth Island provolone works perfectly.
You do need to blend for a while to get it to melt completely into the potatoes, though. Not forever, but it definitely takes longer than dairy cheese used to take.
I usually just use my hand mixer and blend the potatoes and cheese together that way. And when it’s done, it’s creamy, cheesy potatoes!
We’ve also had it inside quesadillas and burritos. It adds a creamy element.
I Would Serve This To My Best Friend
There is no other store-bought vegan cheese that I would give my best friend. She is a cheese lover, and I’m almost positive she would like this cheese. I haven’t seen her since I went vegan (she lives across the country), but one day I’ll be able to prove my theory if she’s willing to give it a go.
I just hope more stores like Superstore or Save-On-Foods pick up this Earth Island provolone. Right now I can only find it in stores that carry a lot of health food and vegan products. But, since big name stores carry Daiya and some Earth Island products, I’m hoping they will bring this one in. Soon.
Update: We still don’t have access to this cheese anywhere but the health food store. (Come on Superstore – this isn’t that hard!) The health food store we shop at has brought in all the different cheeses from Earth Island, and I wanted to add that we just might like the Pepper Jack Slices better than provolone. I was so happy when we found it. The pepper jack didn’t disappoint at all. My husband thinks it’s better than the dairy pepper jack cheese we used to eat. We’ve found that the provolone is good for creamy potatoes and grilled cheese, while the pepper jack is good for spicing things up grated on nachos, inside grilled cheese, and on sandwiches. We also like the pepper jack just by itself. It’s that good.