For those of you who might read my blog regularly, I’m quite often singing the praises of Daiya (day-yah) dairy-free cheese. After over two years of development and experimentation, their initial product line started with vegan cheddar and mozzarella shreds, and later pepperjack shreds. Even before I went full vegan, we quite often would purchase these shreds because they really are very tasty! They are perfect for pizza, italian dishes like eggplant parmesan, tacos, quesadillas, you name it, Daiya could do it! Derived from the Sanskrit word “dayaa” meaning “loving, kindness, and compassion”, Daiya cheese enables vegans to continue to practice those exact values but still enjoying the flavor and texture of cheese.
Rumors started rumbling early in the year that Daiya would be coming out with a new product, and that was confirmed when I attended the 2012 Vegetarian Food Fest: Daiya wedges were on their way! They made their official debut at the 2012 Natural Products Expo and I couldn’t wait to get my little vegan hands on it! It comes in three varieties – Cheddar, Jalapeno Havarti and Jack.
And I finally did! Well, Melissa did. She found them at the Whole Foods in Union Square. Although they were sold out of cheddar (BUMMER!) Melissa grabbed both of the others. The packages were smaller than I anticipated, though not sure what I was expecting there.
I tasted the Havarti first – upon first taste, I was impressed. The flavor was bold and the jalepeno gave it a great bite. It wasn’t just jalepeno flavoring – there were jalepeno bits in the cheese. As far as texture is concerned, well, its not cheese. BUT! For a vegan, this is an amazing alternative. The texture didn’t bother me so much because of that. I would think that given to a cheese eater, they might scoff.
Next was the Jack, which was my favorite of the two. It was creamy and flavorful. I noted that the flavor was not that artificial tasting, to me anyway.
Now, the ultimate test – paired with crackers and vegan pepperoni! Both passed the test with flying colors.
I don’t know how well they would stand up at room temperature for an extended period of time, say at like a dinner party or on a cheese plate, but overall I was really thrilled. I hope to soon find and taste the cheddar wedge. I also need to test it out cooked, like in grilled cheese or maybe a toasted sandwich. I will post an update once I do so. (Since I originally drafted this post, I have also had it on a sandwich (Tofurky w/Jack cheese) and it was totally yum.)
Rating: Four out of five carrots!