I was sent some Daiya vegan cheese for a review. Daiya cheese is free of casein, lactose, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and other common allergens. The company has their own production facility which eliminates the chance of cross-contamination with other allergens, making their products 100% vegan.
The cheese is available in shreds and in wedges. I got both the Cheddar shreds and the Havarti wedge. First, I took a bite of each type of cheese and wasn’t too impressed. If you want to eat this cheese raw, it is more like a cardboard, than Camembert. Not willing to give up, I used Daiya Cheddar cheese shreds in this vegetarian casserole and was very happy with the result. Daiya had an authentic cheddar cheese flavor and texture in a casserole. My whole family thought I used dairy cheese, because Daiya melted and tasted just like the real thing!
The next day, I baked these quinoa vegetable cheese muffins with Daiya shreds and once again, was very impressed with both the flavor and the texture. I then put the sliced Havarti wedge into this vegan sandwich , substituting the tofu with Daiya and it worked. Actually, I had no roasted squash, so I used roasted sweet potato, instead. The juicy, fragrant flavors of the sandwich combined well with the vegan cheese and the sandwich tasted great and even my husband loved it.
The pros: Daiya cheese slices and melts just like the real cheese and tastes like real cheese in hot dishes. It tastes great in cold dishes when combined with other flavorful foods. It this sense, it is similar to tofu.
The cons: By itself, this cheese is similar to tofu in a way that it’s pretty bland. I would not use it for a cheese platter. Even though it’s vegan, it is still considered processed food.