Foodie Monday: Daiya’s Block Cheeses

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in apples, cheese, daiya, foodie monday, fruit, sandwiches, superdiva, tofurky, vegan, whole foods | 0 comments

Foodie Monday: Daiya’s Block Cheeses

Mmmmm cheese! I used to love cow, goat, and sheep cheeses. Mmmmmm cheese. As far as I can remember, my mother was lactose intolerant. She always bought soy cheese. My father, however, bought the real deal. Mmmmm cheese! I grew up eating both animal and cheese substitutes. Transitioning to vegan cheese was not easy. My any day meal of choice is a grilled cheese. My late night snack of choice is a grilled cheese. My returning home from a late night of drinking meal of choice is a grilled cheese. Most vegan cheeses do not melt. Some do melt under the force of a Panini press; however, a toaster oven is my grilled cheese maker of choice. My Cuisinart Griddler (Panini press) takes too long to clean for one sandwich; it isn’t worth it.

Casein, a milk protein, is the main ingredient in cheeses that cause them to melt. Vegan cheese does not have casein. It doesn’t matter how hard you push down on the warm vegan grilled cheese, the cheese doesn’t melt! The Milk Pail Market in Mountain View has a great selection of soy cheeses. I feel in love with their soy cheddar and soy gouda cheese while I transitioned to veganism. Unfortunately, since they are sold as bulk items cut from a block, there isn’t an ingredient list. No matter how hard I tried, no one could give me a company name or an ingredient list. Once person did tell me that they contained only 1% milk products. 1% milk products = casein. So, I reluctantly gave up the soy cheese.

I discovered Daiya in a vegetarian magazine advertisement a couple of years ago. Daiya seemed like a good idea, but it only came in shredded form. How am I supposed to eat cheese and crackers with shredded cheese?! I tried to make a grilled cheese from shredded Daiya cheddar and mozzarella. Yes, it melted, but it tasted greasy and salty. I didn’t like it. Since there are so many reports out there about how soy is bad (especially if it isn’t organic) Daiya’s soy free vegan cheese seemed perfect. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan.

Daiya HavartiI then proceeded to try all kinds of vegan cheese. I even had some shipped from Vegan Essentials and Vegan Store. I was determined that I could be vegan and still enjoy cheese. About two months ago, I happened to see an ad and review on for Daiya’s new block cheeses. Once of their block cheeses was havarti. I missed havarti almost as much as I still miss swiss cheese. Daiya’s block cheeses were supposed to debut on April 1st, so buying them in Whole Foods was out of the question. Vegan Essentials had them early. I bought all three: cheddar, jack, and havarti. I paid about $25 for two-day shipping in a cold shipper box.

Tofurky, Guac and ChedarThe cheddar are jack were good! The jalapeño and garlic havarti tasted like the jack cheese with jalapeño and garlic. I compared the two ingredient lists of the jack and havarti and literally jalapeño and garlic were the only difference. It could pass for a havarti, but since I can now find the cheddar and jack cheeses in stores, it isn’t worth the two-day shipping cost. I have had the block cheeses with fruit, nuts, wraps, sandwiches, and grilled cheeses. It melts and it tastes good! I don’t miss the real thing. Just be careful with the thickness of the slices as they tend to taste salty if you use too much. Which is what I have also discovered about the shredded Daiya . . . moderation is key. Otherwise, it just tastes like salty fat. I now buy the shredded and block Daiya weekly. I could do without it, but didn’t I mention that I love cheese?

© 2012, the superdiva, dk. All rights reserved.

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