Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Daiya Cheddar Style Wedge

For various reasons it is actually quite pointless to review Daiya Cheddar Style Wedge vegan cheese: There aren't many options out there, and for vegans there is really no comparison to real cheese because they don't have that dietary option.
For the vegan-curious, however, here's what you're getting yourself into:

Tastes like cheese?
  • Not even close. You can tell that they are trying to simulate various attributes of cheddar, however. There's a creaminess in texture and a saltiness to simulate sharper, older, cheddar.
Melts like cheese?
  • It can melt, but generally you want it to touch other hot surfaces. For example, if you are putting it on pizza, it's nicer if it is sandwiched by crust and ingredients.
  • When exposed to heat, it can form a film that holds the melted cheese inside, so you get blobs that don't spread. If you've tried putting cheese slices (like Kraft Singles processed cheese slices) in the oven, you'll see the same behavior.
  • It doesn't sear and dry like cheddar.
  • It doesn't have any fun rubbery stringiness you can get with cheddar if you just soften it rather than heat it till it liquefies.
Good Points:
  • It doesn't sweat a lot of oil when melted, which regular cheddar can do.
  • It cuts more easily than real cheese. There is less sticking-to-knives. Generally cheddar is already good in this way, unless you go for really thin slices.
  • The tear-away cover has a sticky edge so you can air-tight seal it back onto the plastic box. Even after you finish the cheese, this can be useful for storing other things.

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