Vegan cheese: the substitute for the traditional appetizer that will convince the most demanding palate | ADVANTAGE

Plant-based eating continues to rise in our country. There are more and more people who want to eat plant-based, be it for health, to take care of the environment or to avoid the suffering of animals. Although there are various reasons, what all those who follow this eating pattern have in common is that they look for preparations or products that are delicious. Almost five years ago, Thais Privette set out to create a cheese made only with plant-based ingredients that fills the need for a good vegan cheese in Lima. Today we tell you his story.

Las Tres Gunas began in 2017, Thais Privette, an administrator by profession, tells Provecho that the idea was born because she could not find a substitute for traditional cheese in Lima that was rich and nutritious at the same time. This Peruvian brand founded and led by women, which provides dairy-free and gluten-free vegan alternatives.

I loved the vegan world so much, not only because of the impact on my health but because of the impact on animals and the environment. I have a great love for animals; and I wanted to do something that would involve them. At that time there were no very large cheese brands and I wanted to capture my vision. In addition, through the products to be able to make people aware of veganism; because for many people it is difficult to start. Migrate from a traditional diet, which we have been taught since childhood, to a vegetablel”, comments Thais Privette.

It was born in 2017 with the mission of offering vegan products, free of dairy, gluten, preservatives, flavorings, with a delicious flavor.

It was in 2018 that Thais, together with his partner and mother María Elena Morzán, who knows the food industry very well, launched their first product within the QueSanos line (a vegan alternative to cheese), using cashews as the main ingredient.

Currently, there are some international brands that, although they are very rich, are nutritionally poor because they are only made from potato or corn oils and starches. Thais’ goal has always been for Las Tres Gunas cheese to be a food that meets nutritional needs and at the same time convinces the most demanding palate. “They taste good. Also, texture is a priority.”, Add. “We believe that respect begins with oneself and there is no greater demonstration of respect than taking care of oneself”Explain.

A more compassionate world is what is needed, and many times compassion can start on our plates”, adds the co-founder. On her part, María Elena Morzán reveals that she, being a Buddhist, has spent years in which the world of plant origin has caught her attention and when her daughter decides to undertake, she undoubtedly supports her because both were aligned.

María Elena narrates that they traveled to San Francisco to learn more about plant-based cooking. “There, they are very advanced and that trip helped us learn more about vegan cuisine.”, he indicates. For her, without the Thaís recipes, Las Tres Gunas would not be possible.

The products

As the products are free of additives, flavorings and preservatives, the average duration of these is around 45 days. “When you have a product with a long shelf life, it means that the product has needed to have preservatives, which in reality we are talking about chemical products. We do not want to add any of that because it is important that our cheeses are healthy. I think that nowadays, more and more people are interested in knowing what they are eating”, comments María Elena Morzán.

The Las Tres Gunas team provides the varieties of their vegetable cheeses as fresh as possible when they deliver to their customers and stores. Thais recommends that the storage form should always be refrigerated between 5°C and 2°C to keep the product in perfect condition.

It was born in 2017 with the mission of offering vegan products, free of dairy, gluten, preservatives, flavorings, with a delicious flavor.
It was born in 2017 with the mission of offering vegan products, free of dairy, gluten, preservatives, flavorings, with a delicious flavor.

To date they have developed more than 13 products, among which the following stand out:

stay healthy: vegan alternatives to cream cheese, mozzarella, cheddar and semi-hard. In all these cases, the main ingredient is cashews, a dried fruit rich in healthy fats that are capable of preventing cardiovascular diseases. They all have herbs and spices that will give the cheeses their characteristic flavor. Cream cheese is perfect for dipping. Mozzarella and cheddar melt very well and taste very good. The semi-hard cheese is spectacular.

IHealthy. Thais saw the need to create a vegan alternative to yogurt. YoSano has a neutral flavor and texture similar to Greek yogurt. This makes it perfect to be a good mid-morning snack or to be the base of a salad dressing. If you are a sweet person, you can always accompany it with a granola or a little agave or maple syrup.

vegan butters: He has three butters that have been put on the market. The one with original flavor, the one with garlic and the one with fine herbs. They have a great texture and flavor.

Sattva Chips: As Thais is gluten intolerant, it has brought out two gluten-free alternatives to pita chips. One with original flavor and one with Cheddar flavor. Both are made with cassava flour, flaxseed and maras salt.

All the recipes are creations of Thais, she also does the packaging and all the art of Las Tres Gunas. “In each product there are many hours of development. The continuous improvement of products and processes has been one of the keys to the success of the products”, he comments. Prices range from s/ 12.10 to s/ 29.

Thais Privette from The Three Gunas
Thais Privette from The Three Gunas / Diffusion

The visit

Provecho visited the Las Tres Gunas workshop and learned about the process that their artisanal cheeses go through. The products they have achieved are definitely innovative. All are made by hand, taking care of good manufacturing practices and the quality of the inputs. María Elena’s experience here is key.

Thaís has decided that all the flavors they offer will be natural, that is, they will not add any flavoring to obtain a good product. “They are surprised when they tell me how I make it taste like Cheddar. They do not believe us when we say that it does not have any flavoring”he adds during the visit.

"For us, the key to continue growing is that we always want to offer the best quality of products."adds Thais.
“For us the key to continue growing is that we want to always offer the best quality of products”, adds Thais.

When entering the establishment, everyone, including the writer of this note, puts on PPE (individual protection equipment) to be able to enter without bringing anything from the outside. We put on new masks, hair nets, change our shoes for one free of contaminants from the street, among other care to guarantee food safety.

It is key to know that even if a product says “handmade” on the label, it does not mean that it is made in a house or in a homemade way. Even if it is artisanal, it must take care of good manufacturing practices. This will guarantee that the correct development of the tasks carried out inside the kitchen or workshop is safeguarded.

This Peruvian brand has two certifications. The first is HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System). According to the FAO, it is “a preventive and systematic approach aimed at the prevention and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards, through anticipation and prevention, rather than inspection and testing of final products”.

María Elena Morzán and Thais Privette, founders of Las Tres Gunas.
María Elena Morzán and Thais Privette, founders of Las Tres Gunas.

The HACCP system can be applied throughout the food chain, from the producer to the final consumer, and its application must be based on scientific evidence of hazards to human health. The Three Gunas narrate that they take great care of the processes through which their products go through. María Elena Morzán mentions that having more than 30 years of experience in the food industry has helped them make the Las Tres Gunas workshop like a small factory and that they take care of absolutely every detail.

The second certification they have is the VLabel. This is a certification that indicates that the product being sold is made only with inputs of plant origin. I mean they are vegan. For consumers, this is a simple and reliable way to ensure that what they are buying does not contain animal-derived inputs. In addition, that certification is valid anywhere in the world.


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