Is cheese suitable for vegetarians?

Many cheeses are considered to be suitable for vegetarians, however, there are some cheeses on the market which contain animal rennet (this is a type of enzyme found in animal’s stomachs and is included to help solidify some types of cheese). As not all cheese products will be vegetarian-friendly, it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients/food label first – if the packaging states that the product contains traditional rennet (plant, thistle or vegetarian rennet is fine), pepsin, animal enzymes (or simply just ‘enzymes’) it won’t be suitable for vegetarians.

Here at Godminster, we only use microbial rennet, which is vegetarian, in our cheese products, so if you or someone you know is both vegetarian and a cheese lover, you can find delicious organic cheeses to cater to their needs here.


What is vegetarian cheese made of?

Vegetarian cheese is usually made of cow’s milk, good bacteria, salt and may also contain other ingredients to add flavour (such as black truffles). A vegetarian diet excludes foods containing an animal itself (such as meat), and cheese can be vegetarian friendly providing it doesn’t contain animal rennet.


What cheese isn’t vegetarian?

Firstly, parmesan cheese is not vegetarian if it follows a traditional recipe which uses animal rennet. That said, you’ll still be able to find vegetarian alternatives in many supermarkets or food stores. Other cheeses which are unlikely to be vegetarian include: Roquefort, Grana Padano and Gorgonzola.

The following cheeses are often vegetarian (but it’s still worth checking!):

  • Paneer and cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Artisan cheeses from specific areas can be vegetarian-friendly, such as Cornish Yarg
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Ricotta

In terms of eating out at a restaurant, you can always ask if the cheeses used in the meal have been made with vegetable rennet, but,  if the food is labelled as vegetarian-friendly, you should be safe.


Is vegetarian cheese vegan?

If a cheese is classed as vegetarian, it does not mean that it’s also vegan. A vegan cheese will be 100% animal-free and created with vegetable proteins such as soy and vegetable oils, so a cheese made using milk or other animal byproducts is not suitable.

Here at Godminster, we make our organic cheddar cheese using the milk of our cows here on Godminster Farm, therefore our products are not vegan.


Where can I buy vegetarian cheese?

You can find a range of vegetarian cheese products in many food stores, but don’t forget to check the ingredients to make sure it’s suitable for you. Here at Godminster, all of our organic cheddar cheese products are vegetarian-friendly as we only use a vegetarian rennet. Whether you’re looking for cheddar gifts for a special someone, a cheese wedding cake for the big day or you fancy tasting some Somerset cheese for yourself, our award-winning organic cheese is bound to please any cheese-lover! Browse through our range of cheese products today, check out our FAQs for more information or get in touch with us if you have any questions – we’d love to hear from you.


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