Review: Food By Sumear (and Trímma Tart Recipe)

At the start of lockdown I was cleaning out my freezer. I found some frozen cream cheese culture from my dairy days. Kate and I were big into cheese: supermarket cheese, artisan cheese, home-made soft cheese. And once, after a stomach bug, I wanted to eat nothing but Dairylea. Dunno why, it was really awful, but our bodies are sometimes weird like that. The point is that we liked cheese. When it comes to vegan cheese we’ll try just about anything, we enjoy a lot of it but there is only one cheese that we love as much as we love its dairy counterpart, and that’s Food by Sumear.

I should point out that we’ve been ordering these cheeses since May but we haven’t managed to blog about them so far because we keep putting them in our mouths. They arrive. We think “should we arrange them with some oat biscuits for a picture?”, and before we’ve even managed to finish the thought we’re just opening it to try a little bit… and then it’s gone. We’ve never managed to make a fancy cheese board up. But then it’s not like we’re having guests is it? And we do get plates out and sit down. It’s not like we eat it straight out of the fridge. That’s a specific denial, isn’t it?

So what’s so special? Well these are proper hard cheeses. They have the depth of flavour that can only come from time and cultures. The smoked cheese is really smoked. The blue cheese isn’t just flecks of spirulina (I bought a book for its blue cheese recipe once; that the secret was just making it blue the colour rather than anything that mimicked the taste was beyond disappointing). There is a quality to them that’s unlike any other vegan cheese I’ve tried.

I’m focusing on the hard cheeses and so did my first couple of orders. Because supermarket vegan cream cheese is okay, isn’t it? And my home-made stuff is a bit better than okay, so I’m covered for vegan cream cheese and I don’t need any Crèmou. And I’m sure that I kept telling myself this because I knew that if I tried it I would become an instant convert. I ordered a pot, made some bagels, and they were the best bagels with cream cheese I’d ever had. It’s so rich, so creamy. honestly it’s better than most of the dairy cream cheeses I ate back in the day. I know Kate definitely thinks the soured cream is better than any of the dairy ones she ever tried. I put some on our enchiladas one night and she went from tolerating me feeding her Mexican food to asking when we could have more.

The last product I want to mention is the Trímma, Greek-inspired cheese. I’m mentioning it last because I want to include a recipe-ish. A recipish. I used to make this tart when I worked at the coffee shop and we had some Greek-style vegan cheese (of a lesser brand) that we needed to use up. I’d pick up a pack of Jus-Roll on the way in and use up some tomato and pesto otherwise destined for paninis. Back then I’d cut it into six to make single servings, and so it would fit in the dinky toaster oven. You can make it as one big sheet or cut four triangles. As this is a recipe dreamed up for using leftovers, the quantities are very forgiving.

Trímma Tart

(makes 1 large or 4 small)

1 Vegan Puff Pastry Roll (get the ready-rolled kind; we use Jus-Rol)

2 tablespoons of pesto (you can make your own but Tesco does a good free-from one)

A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

50-100g Trímma cut into blocks

Remove the puff pastry from the fridge ten minutes before you want to start cooking and preheat the oven to 200°C.

After ten minutes unroll the pastry. Either place it whole onto a baking tray, or cut it in half, cutting each half into two triangles.

Turn the edges of the pastry in.

Spread the pesto over the base of the tart. Put the tomatoes and Trímma on top.

Pop in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the crust is going golden and the Trímma is lightly melted.

Review: Sgaia’s Vegan BBQ Bumper Pack

To demonstrate how behind I am with blogging I bought the BBQ Bumper Pack so I could eat the last of it for my birthday. My birthday that was in May. Lockdown hasn’t left me in a great head space. Though it has protected my lungs and I’m thankful for that. Anyway Sgaia Bacon has long been our favourite vegan bacon but I wanted to branch out a little so I ordered us one of their BBQ Bumper Packs so I could try the steak and burgers and still enjoy a bit of that bacon.

Aromatico Mheat Burger

With herbs and sundried tomatoes, the Aromatico Burger has a distinctly Italian taste to it. It’s the reason I invented the Focaccish and Pesto Wedges and I really love the flavours. The texture is just spot-on burger. There’s something to get your teeth into but they aren’t going to get stuck there or anything. I actually love this burger. Kate, as it turns out, does not. All this time I didn’t know this about her but she is a burger purist. She wants her burgers to taste of beef and nothing else (unless it’s a chicken burger, I assume), but she does concede that the flavours would make for a good meatball.


Streaky Mheat Rashers

These are, without a doubt, the best vegan rashers in existence. No contest. If you’re only looking to buy one Mheat product go for these. The work on a burger, in mac and cheese and – shockingly – in your breakfast.

Smoked Mheat Steak

I had this one for my birthday alongside hassleback potatoes from I Can Cook Vegan. I didn’t ever really enjoy the non-vegan version of steak so I’m not sure why I wanted to try this so much for the first time on my birthday, but I was not disappointed. It’s got a deep, umami rich flavour and a lovely finish of smoke. I really want to try it in a stir fry  but for the first time, for my birthday, I had to have a decadent slab of it on my plate.


If you’re interested in trying all three of the Mheats then the BBQ Bumper Pack is a great deal. It’s £25 and you get two steaks, two pack of burgers (four total), and two packs of bacon. That saw the two of us through four meals: bacon cheeseburgers, bacon butties, Italian style burgers and birthday steak. But at the very least buy yourself some of that bacon. A steal at £4 a pack. And for reference we find one pack enough for two of the best vegan bacon butties.

Review: Young Vegans Pie Shop (delivery)

Young Vegan’s Pie Shop is one place that is on my list to visit, but I’m ashamed to say we’ve never actually made it there. However, when the lockdown started we saw that people where still getting their pie fix from the online shop. Two orders later and we’ve finally tried all the flavours. So let me tell you all about them.


We’ll start with the last one we tried: Mac and Cheese. The mac and cheese filling is gloriously cheddary, and very well cooked. It reminded me more of the Holland’s Cheese and Onion pies of my youth rather than eating Macaroni Pies that one time in Scotland. Which is to say it went well with gravy.


Steak and Ale (pictured on the left there) was one of Kate’s choices. She enjoyed the taste, and said it was exactly what you’d expect from a steak and ale pie, but she wasn’t keen on the mushrooms or the texture of the large steak chunks. She much preferred the Aussie Pie.


The Aussie Pie is beefy but that beef is minced and mixed with onion for a classic meat pie combo. It’s also the only pie in gluten-free pastry. Gluten-free vegans should be happy then that it gets the coveted Kate seal of approval.


Next up is a pie that I tried alone: the Chicken Parmigiana. I liked the chicken in this one but the real stars are that tomato sauce and that cheese sauce. They’re so rich, and perfect and go so well together. I insisted Kate try a bite and she said that they could have made a pizza flavoured pie, and then I broke it to her that Young Vegans have a pizza parlour and our plans for our next trip to London firmed up a bit. Except for the date.

cheeseburger pie

Then there is the pie that Kate refused to even take a bite of: the cheeseburger pie. I loved it for exactly the same reason that she wouldn’t go near it: it has a gherkin in. And from that explanation you probably already know if you’ll like it too. There is a burger patty, cheese, ketchup, and the gherkin. I think it’s fast food fusion perfection.


If both of us had to pick a favourite pie though it would be the Chicken Katsu. Our love for Japanese-style curry is well documented so it comes as no surprise that we like it encased in a pie. This is a really yummy curry too.

If you’re in the UK we recommend that you order yourself some pies from Young Vegans. They’re delicious and you can pop them in the freezer and cook from frozen. Perfect.

Review: Tyne Chease Applewood and Provençal

Things have stalled around here. I had a bunch of reviews of places in London ready to to go but then, of course, we went into lockdown so then it seemed a little… odd. Instead I’m going to post about vegan businesses that are still shipping and delivering and we’ll get back to actually visiting restaurants when we can. That being said: Tyne Chease is delivering.


We first reviewed Tyne Chease in 2017 when we got a selection box. This time we tried the two new flavours: Applewood and Provençal. Applewood is a plain nut cheese smoked so if you’re expecting something more like Applewood Cheddar you’re not going to find it here. Instead it’s a delicious, soft, creamy cheese with a beautiful natural smoke. It’s really good.


Your opinion of the Provençal flavour is going to largely depend on your thoughts on eating lavender. I know some people are reminded way too much of soap and find it unappetising. I’m firmly on the pro eating lavender side of things though and this has just the right amount.  The lovely floral and herb coating brightens up the cheese and adds a touch of magic.

If you’re looking for something to add a little cheer right now, why not make an order with Tyne Chease. You won’t regret it.