by Karen Joslin
Last update January 2022
Note: This post update was sponsored by Spero® Foods. All opinions are my own.
Spero Foods creates delectable plant-based Sunflower® Cheeses, including Sunflower® Cream Cheeses, Cheese Spreads, and Plant-based Alternative Goat Cheese.
Their products have changed some since I initially wrote this review in early 2020. What hasn’t changed is how much I love their cheeses.
Although many other vegan cheeses have become widely available since then, Spero®’s are still my favorite, for a couple of reasons.
* They’re amazingly delicious.
* Their creamy texture makes them easy to use in lots of different ways.
* They’re made primarily from sunflower® seeds rather than oil, so they’re healthier than many other vegan cheeses.
* They’re made with a few simple ingredients, all of which are easy to recognize and pronounce.
* They’re more sustainable than both nut and dairy cheeses, requiring far less land and water to produce, with few CO2 emissions.
My omnivore husband, Doug, also really likes Spero's cheeses. (And he absolutely tells me when he doesn’t like a vegan product.
Table of Contents
With a texture akin to whipped cream cheese, all of Spero’s cheeses spread easily and incorporate well into any kind of dish. They’re also all worthy of serving on a cheese board with a good wine (or other beverage of choice).
Here’s their line-up as of this update.
With its subtle tang and airy texture, this is a fantastic all-around cream cheese, well-suited for both savory and sweet uses. It’s the perfect spread for bagels and crackers. I especially like it mixed into soups and sauces in place of cashew cream – it adds that little extra je ne sais quoi. The Original is tops in its category, in my opinion.
I love The Herb. LOVE it. I can’t say that enough. For both me and Doug, it’s our favorite Spero flavor. It’s very similar to Boursin, with flavors of herbs, garlic, and onion blended smoothly into the cheese. Perfect on a baguette, sandwich, or tapas plate; or mixed into risotto, grits, or pasta sauce. I’ve also used it in burritos, tacos, and tamales. The Herb’s flavor profile works well for a surprisingly large number of savory dishes and cuisines.
I don’t know how Spero accomplished this one, but it really does have a distinct fish flavor combined with a lovely smokiness. I was actually a little nervous to try this because I’ve had some faux fish that was too “fishy” for me, but the flavor balance is spot-on. If you miss bagels with lox and cream cheese, definitely give this a try. I’m excited to try it in a big pot of fishless chowder.
In a word: scrumptious. The combo of strawberry and cream cheese is just so good.
For me, the sweetness level is perfect, so I tend to use it as-is in things like crèpes and pastry puffs. A couple of other things I want to try The Strawberry in/on: truffles, scones, and swirled into oat pancakes.
I love how easy it is to have a vegan chocolate croissant with this flavor - buy a vegan croissant at Whole Foods, spread it on, and EAT. (If you want to get more fancy with it, though, you could buy pastry dough and roll it up inside.) And it’s fantastic in baked goods – I put dollops of it on top of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and they were so good I can’t stop thinking about them. I think this would also make the most delicious chocolate cannoli and cheesecake.
Smoky with chipotle undertones and just a hint of spiciness. It’s my go-to for any kind of Latin American food. (I even sneak it into Mexican restaurants to add to my veganized dishes!) I also love it on veggie burgers and in grits. And on a pizza, I find it surprisingly reminiscent of smoked fresh mozzarella.
Mild cheddar flavor that I find especially tasty on crackers. It’s a good choice any time you want a spreadable or dippable cheddar. I think this would really shine in cheesy broccoli soup, cheddar-apple tarts, and a frittata or quiche.
Plant-Based Alternative Goat Cheese:
Tangy, musky flavor that’s unbelievably close to the real thing. If you love goat cheese like I do, you absolutely need to try this. I think I’ve used The Goat every way you possibly can and it’s always delectable. Fantastic in stuffed shells or ravioli, risotto, pastries (savory or sweet), salad, on crackers with fresh figs… I could go on for days.
I love that Spero’s cheeses don’t have any of those weird-sounding chemicals. All the cheeses share these basic ingredients:
* Organic sunflower® seeds
* Coconut oil
* Probiotic plant-based cultures
In addition, their Alternative Goat Cheese and Cheese Spreads don’t contain guar gum and xanthan gum. The Strawberry and The Chocolate contain agave as well.
Because Spero’s cheeses are not certified allergen-free, those with food allergies or sensitivities should take that under consideration.
Spero’s been rapidly expanding into new stores across the U.S.
In fact, while I was working on this post I went to my local co-op and discovered they now have several of Spero’s flavors!
As of this writing, they’re in these stores with multiple locations:
CA, NV, AZ (more states in the works)
CT, MD, NY, VA
Black Seed Bagels
NYC (you can also order it on a bagel)
Quite a few co-ops, natural food stores, and other specialty markets carry them. To find one (or for the most up-to-date info on all stores), check Spero’s store locator. sperofoods.co/find
You can also order online from Spero’s website. All orders for $39.99 and up ship free in the cutest rainbow box with reusable ice packs.
Have you tried any of Spero’s Sunflower® Cheeses? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
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