I’m a rare visitor to our local Waitrose but serendipity was on my side yesterday as I spotted a new ‘cheese’ and ‘yoghurt’ which seem suitable for the PKU diet. It seems there is a new Vegan range at Waitrose and I picked up two items for a weekend taste-a-thon.

First up the ‘Original Block’ cheese substitute at 0.5g protein per 100g, meaning if you snaffle the whole block in a day you need to count it as an exchange. On first tasting this is a danger as it just tastes cheesier than my usual Violife. It also tends to have the appearance and consistency of a softer cheddar than the Violife range which can seem a little ‘plastic’ at times. In fact we’ve had a little trouble telling this apart from the husbands normal cheddar in the fridge.

The melting test - AKA A Toasted Sarnie for Science. A lot of the previous ‘cheese’ I’ve tried has tended to hold its shape and just get a little like warm plastic in the oven. This new Waitrose alternative performed well as the thick slices melted well with a few bubbles and tempting aroma.

Top with sundried tomatoes, bottom just good ol' melted 'cheese'.

At £2.35 for 200g the price is comparable with the Violife and Sheese ranges, but for an own brand I might have expected a bit more of a discount. Definitely worth a try though and I will try it against a Koko Dairy free cheddar asap.
https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/waitrose-vegan-original-block/480840-692515-692516

My other find was a ‘yoghurt’ though it is branded simply as ‘Waitrose Vegan Coconut.’ The smaller text on the back explains that this is a ‘Sweetened coconut cream dessert fermented with bacterial cultures.’ Mmmmm way to sell it, but the key USP for PKU folk is that it has less than 0.5g protein per hundred grams. So again, unless you go nuts and eat half of the 400g pot in one go you shouldn’t need to count it as an exchange.

'Sweetened coconut cream dessert fermented with bacterial cultures'...Mmmmm

This appealed to me as I tend to have the Koko plain yoghurt (160g/exchange) and I would like to eat it without getting the scales out. You know, eating it out of the carton with a spoon while tucked up on the sofa bingeing on Netflix like normal folk….

This 'dessert' has the appearance and consistency of normal yoghurt which is a good plus, it is slightly thicker than the Koko brand. I would say that the sweetness is noticeable if you are used to plain yoghurt flavours - it is a little like greek yoghurt with the honey already mixed it. Half of the carton has gone while I’ve written this so it will certainly be sought out again - £1.99 for 400g.
https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/waitrose-vegan-coconut/759234-683951-683952

The range also has a soft cream cheese spread alternative which I missed in store so will look out for in the next supermarket trip.