Soy-Free, Vegan Cheese Finally Emerges from Hollywood Turmoil



Unfortunately, after all the turmoil outlined below, Playfood finally dissolved. Heidi VanPelt went on to create another vegan restaurant, called Fud, in her hometown of Kansas City. That establishment also folded.

Playfood Vegan Dairy AlternativesRumored for years as one of the best vegan cheese alternatives ever created, Playfood has at last made it to market following a drawn out custody battle.  PlayFood’s product line currently includes Cheezy Cheese (cheddar), Nacheezmo (spicy southwestern nacho), Whip Cheese (cream cheese) and Cream Tang (sour cream). True to name, each “cheese” comes in a fun bottle that likens itself to squeezable tubes of paint.  Unlike many other vegan cheese alternatives on the market, Playfood products are also GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and trans fat-free.

Taran Noah Smith, known best for his former role as Mark on the sitcom “Home Improvement,” and his ex-wife Heidi VanPelt, a vegan and raw chef, developed a cashew-based cheese known as Playfood several years ago while running their vegan catering business.  The cheese alternative was apparently so incredible that it was featured in magazines (VegNews, Herbivore, etc.) and TV Reviews (20/20, MTV, etc.).  Unfortunately, a bitter ending to the relationship made it doubtful that we as consumers would ever have the chance to generate our own opinions on this nut-based “cheese.”

But the “cheese” feud has been ended, and Playfood is now making its way onto shelves. Distribution is still modest but growing for Playfood products, as they are now available throughout the Los Angeles area, Missouri, Kansas, and Portland, Oregon.  See the Playfood website for purchasing and product information.

Vegan ice cream, hot pockets, and mac & cheese are reportedly next on the agenda for Playfood.  However, considering their prior timeline to market, we will just enjoy this opportunity to trial out their current line of dairy alternatives.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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