Try it Tuesday: Daiya Cheese!

10:16 AM

When I first heard that Daiya cheese was going to be available in Canada my knees buckled in excitement. I immediately told the manager of the health food store I work at and I instructed him to purchase as many cases as possible. Since I began my position, vegans (and non-vegans alike) had been coming in requesting the delicious vegan cheese they'd had at this and that restaurant. They said it was the best they'd ever had. I knew that we'd sell out right away, and we did! Well, Daiya was smart - they made their cheese available in industrial sized bags for use in restaurants before they released it for retail sale in Canada. So many of us had tried it, but couldn't buy it yet... and the anticipation grew daily.

After releasing their cheddar and mozzarella shreds, they formulated a new "pepperjack" which features yummy spices lending a mild heat. This is the flavour I've been obsessed with!

Check out how it melts perfectly
on my quesadilla.
Daiya cheese is a vegan revolution - it's the first ever product that I've tried free of any animal products, free of soy, and free of gluten, that still tastes amazing. It's base is tapioca. The reason that a good-tasting tapioca-based cheese imitation is so important is that almost all vegan products are soy-based and a diet heavy in soy can lead to all sorts of complications. Many people are now seeking out soy-free vegan foods, but they don't always taste great.

You cannot resist its melting goodness!

I recently went buck-crazy with a bag of their shredded pepperjack. I started out by making a plain quesadilla: a good flavour test since all it contained was a plain, white tortilla shell filled with Daiya pepperjack cheese, and warmed in a skillet. It melts so beautifully and within 5 minutes I had a tasty, vegan snack that could easily pass for real, dairy cheese. Then I made a batch of nachos and had Calvin try some, without telling him what was special about the cheese. (Calvin is a trained chef, having worked at - arguably - our city's finest restaurant, Crave. He has an impeccable palate and can almost always tell when I'm tricking him.) He said the nachos were really good, a little salty but he liked the spicy kick. He had no idea that they were vegan until I told him: success! I also melted some on a warm pita, gave some away to my mother-in-law who is 100% dairy-free, saved some for a taco tonight and made scrambled eggs with it (not vegan, I know). Clearly one small bag goes a long way!

Now that we have the amazing privilege to have this product in Canada, go and try a bag yourself!

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  1. Diaya is seriously what runs the cafe I work at! It's such an amazing dairy alternative that, unlike soy cheeses, doesn't contain casein at all. It's a lifesaver, and such a delicious alternative.


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