Vague title? It’s relevant on two points.
a) What was I thinking, doing a daily challenge when I haven’t started blogging consistently here at ALL? Like, not even posting monthly. I posted thrice in June and just disappeared for a few months. Then it’s like, “LOL, SURPRISE!!!!!! NOW I’M DOING EVERYTHING!” It’s good, in a way. It forces me to really do it. But also, it makes it easy to want to give up. Sigh.
b) What was I thinking, trying the same thing over and over; expecting different results?
This is about Daiya.
UNPOPULAR OPINION TIME: I really fucking hate Daiya.
And quite frankly, I don’t know why it’s such a big deal. Okay, I guess I’m being unfair. I didn’t become vegan in the cheeze dark ages, for this to be my knight in shining armor. I went vegan when this was the established IT cheeze. I also made the mistake of trying it within my first week. I worked at a pizza restaurant for the first three years of my working life, so I (rather unhealthily) ate it about once a week. Really. Little Caesars should have offered me a frequent buyers discount.
So I ate vegan cheeze within my first week. It was Daiya. It was horrid.
I later bought a bag of cheddar, and it went bad because I used maybe a handful in two months. I would sprinkle the tiniest bit in with my Trader Joe’s mozzarella when making homemade pizza or take ‘n’ bake. It made it look pretty. .. and that’s about the end of the appeal.
I think Daiya was over-hyped for me. It’s the It Cheeze. And I get it – it’s nice that it melts and stretches. But I don’t need stretch, I guess. Trader Joe’s is all melt, no stretch, and I quite enjoy it. . . in small amounts.
That’s another thing: do we really need to glob it on? Look at this pizza from Noble Pie:
Unnecessary! This crust is cracker thin and there’s more cheeze than there is bread! NO NO NO NO! I would hate this even with DAIRY cheese. I loved this parlor prior to veganism, too, and I don’t remember the proportions being so odd. Kudos to you for giving me a good amount when you charge me a surcharge. Seriously. But I don’t want it.
The uglier half was the (much more delicious) half that is pesto with the juiciest grape tomatoes known to man or beast. Yes. VEGAN pesto. They even label it on the menu as such! Double kudos. Triple kudos to you for being delicious and open until 4:00am Friday morning, letting me actually enjoy something after my late Thursday shift. Noble Pie is all good.
And, to further prove that my vendetta is against Daiya, and NOT Noble Pie, let’s examine the bruschetta from my beloved GreatFull Gardens.
I initially ordered this cheese-less, since the menu item is made with dairy. The waitress offered Daiya and the owner of that obnoxious hand thought we should try it, thinking I’d love that. He’s an omnivore, by the way, so he deserves a respectful n od (but also a few “boo”s and “hiss”es as he has yet to read this blog).
If memory serves, I wasn’t even charged extra to veganize it! They did it up with Earth Balance and Daiya free of charge.
But did I like it? Did the kindness of the waitress and dinner date make it worthwhile?
No. I did not and they did not.
I ended up picking off most of the Daiya (while Obnoxious Hand gobbled it up to avoid embarrassment). Not a total loss, however. Even a sloppy, messy bruschetta with too much Daiya stuck on is still delicious. Amazing bread, amazing tomatoes, and incredible balsamic reduction. But that’s all a story for another day.
The point is, I hate Daiya with a passion and I’m waiting for the moment when Trader Joe’s decides to make a vegan cheddar, so I can say goodbye to it for good. In the meantime, are there any cheezes out there worth trying? As far as I understand, Daiya is the highest standard. Is there something else I can try, short of making my own?