Many kinds of feta cheese are made with animal rennet, which is a big “No” for most vegetarians.
However, you’ll be relieved to hear that this doesn’t write feta cheeses right off your menu.
Some brands offer a variety of cruelty-free feta cheeses that you can safely use in your meals and include in your recipes.
So, is feta cheese vegetarian? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Is Feta Cheese Suitable for Vegetarians?
Many food lovers choose feta cheese as one of their favorites. Due to its flexibility in enrichening even the simplest of meals or its texture, it’s highly rated.
Most variations of cheese – especially those in the hard cheese family – are made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or even sheep’s milk.
Many vegetarians consider consuming food produced with animal rennet against the vegetarian diet and lifestyle.
Animal rennet is used to solidify the texture of the cheese and enrich its flavor, but it is extracted from the stomachs of the newborn calves.
Therefore, many brands of feta cheese are considered inappropriate for vegetarians.
However, there are some exceptions.
Some producers use a different type of rennet that is animal and vegetarian-friendly.
Those kinds of rennet are plant-based and made of fig leaves, good bacteria, artichokes, thistle, nettles, ground ivy, and even mold.
These are the producers you want to buy your cruelty-free cheese from.
Can Feta Cheese Be Made Without Rennet?
Although rennet is the most widely used option, it’s not the only way to coagulate milk. Coagulated milk can be made using lemon juice, vinegar, or good bacteria.
You can get a feta cheese without rennet by looking for brands like “Caroselle,” “Epiros,” and even your local “365 Whole Foods. “
Another appealing option is to try out some vegan-friendly feta cheese brands.
Vegans don’t consume dairy, eggs, or meat, so if the product is labeled as vegan, you can rest assured that it’s made without rennet.
Vegan cheeses are usually produced with nuts, coconut milk, soy, and flour.
Here are some examples of vegan brands of feta worth considering:
- Violife Just Like Feta
- Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Cheese Feta Crumbles
- Trader Joe’s Vegan Feta Cheese Alternative
- Peaceful Rebel Herbed Feta Cheese
- Virgin Cheese Organic Artisan Feta Cheese
- Cheeze and Thank-You Herbed Feta Artisanal Vegan Cheeze
What Brand of Feta Cheese Is Vegetarian?
You’ll find out which feta cheese is vegetarian by checking the ingredients listed on the label.
Also, look for the: “Non-Animal Enzymes” sign that no animal rennet was used as a byproduct in the production process.
Many manufacturers don’t label their products as vegetarian-friendly or state which rennet they used since it isn’t a legal requirement.
However, some do, and there are a couple more ways to figure out if a brand of feta cheese is vegetarian.
Firstly, some products have “Cruelty-Free,” “Vegetarian,” “Vegan,” or “Animal Friendly” labels.
In the UK, vegetarian products must be marked “V,” which can also be a helpful indicator.
Then there’s the use of vegetable rennet. This means that the rennet used is plant-based. Plant-based rennet is made of artichokes, thistle, and fig leaves.
Another option is microbial rennet. This is made of good bacteria, fungi, and even mold. It’s a much cheaper option than calf rennet, so some producers opt for it instead. However, keep in mind that it can develop a bitter taste.
There’s also kosher products, which are a great way to find a vegetarian cheese brand. Jewish religious laws forbid them from consuming milk and meat at the same time.
Therefore, Kosher dairy products are safe for vegetarians. You can look for the following labels: “OK,” “OU,” “Star K,” and “Tablet K.”
A label may state that the product is “100% Organic,” but that doesn’t always mean the kind of rennet used isn’t genetically modified.
If you want to avoid genetically modified food, you should search for the products with the “Non-GMO product” label.
Some brands that you can check out to find a variety of vegetarian feta cheese are:
- 365 from Whole Foods
- Organic Valley
- Specially Selected from ALDI
- Vermont Creamery
- Bass Lake Cheese Factory
Is Greek Feta Cheese Vegetarian?
Some Greek producers don’t use animal rennet in their production process, thus making their product Vegetarian-friendly.
Some of those brands include Odyssey, Nikos, and Athenos.
Is President Feta Cheese Vegetarian?
No. President Feta Cheese contains lipase, which is animal-based.
Is Apetina Feta Cheese Vegetarian?
Yes. Apetina Feta cheese is labeled with “V,” marking it suitable for vegetarians.
Is Sainsbury’s Feta Cheese Vegetarian?
Yes. Sainsbury’s Feta Cheese is 100% organic and vegetarian. It’s also labeled with the symbol “V.”
Note: Remember that it’s not uncommon for brands to change up some of their ingredients. It would be wise to re-check the labels on your favorite products from time to time.
In modern life, there are many alternatives to cater to different preferences. Nowadays, you can get a product specifically made for you and do thorough research on brands that suit you best.
So, when it comes to your cheese preferences, you won’t go wrong with the correct information.
Hopefully, this article has answered your questions surrounding feta cheese that’s suitable for vegetarians.