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Daiya Review: Daiyay or Nay?

Dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free cheese. It just sounds so … uncheese-like. But I like working more plant-based foods into my life. And that’s what Daiya promises. So I thought, hey, why not give it a go? And by “go,” I mean they sent me a bunch of products to try. Straight-up cheese, pizza and cheesecake — or, more aptly, its “cheeze” versions. Let’s look at them one by one.
Because, guys, results vary.

Daiya “Cheese”

The first Daiya goodies I tried were the straight-up (now tell me) cheeses. First, the Swiss Style Slices. The picture looks delicious, huh?
I thought so, too. And despite the actual product looking a little sad in the package and rubbery, it did in fact melt well.
On its own the cheese tasted a little too sweet for my liking, but once in a sandwich, I have to say it was pretty darn tasty.
I had it on paninis with egg, pesto, spinach and red onion. (A fabulous combo, IMHO.)
Seeing how that went, I packed a block of cheddar a few days later to accompany us on our picnic at Nighthawk Winery in Paola, Kansas.
And, while that sure is a lot of ingredients for cheese, I have to say, that I took one bite of this stuff and then put it away. In the trash can …
It looked like cheddar cheese, but it didn’t taste remotely like cheddar cheese. Kinda sweet, it was also bitter and just … not something I want to eat. But don’t worry; we still had plenty of other good snacks and smiles.

Daiya Pizza

After the failed cheddar, I was a little reluctant about the Fire-Roasted Vegetable Pizza, lest my dairy free cheese dreams be crushed again.
Here’s the pizza straight out of the freezer. I liked how many veggies there were on there!
And after baking!
Sorry the photo totally sucks and the pizza pan is in total need of deep-scrubbing and/or replacing, but the pizza was GOOD! My husband, my daughter and myself scarfed the entire thing down and then wished we had another one to scarf down. The crust wasn’t overly thick or thin and crisped up nicely, the tomato sauce was sweet with a little spice (how I like it), the veggies were plentiful and flavorful, and the cheese was melty and savory. Seriously hard to believe this whole thing was free of so many — let’s be honest — tasty allergens!
And here are the pizza’s nutritionals. I’d say the pizza fed more like two than three, but still, not bad.

Daiya New York Cheezecake

With a solid nay for the cheese and a yay for the pizza, I was curious to see what the “Cheezecake” was like.
But, guys, I saved the best for last. The Cheezecake is little but it’s dense and rich and you can easily get six servings out of it.
And did I mention it’s delicious?! We served this at a family gathering and no one knew it was gluten-, dairy- and soy-free. It was thick and creamy, with just that right mix of sweet and tangy. So, so, SO good. I would buy this again, a million times.
p.s. A small slice pairs really well with gluten-free brownies, too. In case you were looking for a pairing recommendation.
Have you ever tried dairy free cheese? Thoughts? I don’t see myself buying the plain Daiya cheese again, but that pizza and cheesecake? Oh, heck to the yeah! —Jenn

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  1. Michele says:

    Totally agree about the cheeze. Not good. Though I use the shredded to make mac and cheese and really enjoy it. I think the pizza’s are ok and I have yet to try the Cheezecake but I’m on the lookout for it.

  2. Jodi says:

    I’ve been dairy free now for 6 months and completely agree with you. The cheese by itself is just not a good substitute (although I did find a tasty cream cheese) but the pizza is amazing! I actually just had one tonight. the shreds aren’t as bad as the blocks and I have made a quesadilla that wasn’t terrible.

  3. rjs says:

    Testing on animals? No thanks.

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