A Wired feature says the dairy-free cheese fridge at your local health food store could stand as a monument to the human capacity for both boundless creativity and self-deception.
Roam its chilled confines and you might find ersatz cashew-nut camembert or blue-veined wedges of coconut-derived faux stilton. There may be pale logs of rice starch mozzarella, or chickpea flour formed into a ridged truckle of imitation parmesan.
These products point to an ever-expanding galaxy of choices and a buoyant industry where, according to The Good Food Institute, sales grew by 18 per cent in the US in 2019 (compared with just one per cent growth for traditional animal-derived cheese).
There is a revolution underway; an artisanal boom in plant-based fermentation far better than what was available even a decade ago. And forecasts predict the global vegan cheese market to almost triple in worth, to $7 billion (£5.1 billion), by 2030.