I have tried lots of different Daiya products over the years, and I never liked any of them. I really wanted to like them, but I just couldn’t. (A few of the block style cheeses were okay on crackers, if you thought of them as a bar cheese, but the rest I couldn’t eat.) Worst were the shreds, because they smelled and tasted like rancid margarine when they were melted. So, I had completely given up on Daiya, and just walked past their products at the store!
But then, I saw some vlogs after Expo West that said Daiya was coming out with some really good New & Improved products. (See Happy Healthy Vegan’s Daiya review at 26:00 minutes from the start of the video.)
I decided I would give Daiya one more chance when the new cheeses came out, but I didn’t have much hope that they would really be any better. In case you are wondering, Daiya is pronounced Day-uh, like have a nice day-uh. This confused me for a long time!
My mom found some of them at Kroger yesterday, so she got the new & improved cheddar and provolone slices (those were the only new ones they had so far). Here’s what the cheddar style looks like:
And, here is the provolone:
We tried them cold on crackers first:
We really liked them! They are equal to the Chao Creamy Original Slices, which ranks them as the best of all the vegan cheeses I have tried so far. I would buy them again just to have with crackers or on cold sandwiches. The crackers shown are the black pepper variety of Mary’s Gone Crackers, and they are really good!
So, we liked the new Daiya slices cold, but would they still be good when they were melted? I made grilled cheese sandwiches to find out. I used two slices of cheese on each sandwich, and I trimmed the edges to fit the bread. Here is the cheddar one:
Oh, my goodness! This cheese melts beautifully and tastes great! There is none of that bad smell and taste that I had come to expect from Daiya. Not only that but the cheese remains melted as it cools. Here is how the provolone did:
Fantastic as well! I preferred the provolone and my mom liked the cheddar better, but both are great!
Next, I wanted to compare the Daiya provolone to the Chao Creamy Original. My mom got some Chao last night, and I made cheese toast for breakfast. The Daiya is on the left, and the lump under the Chao is the part I trimmed off that hadn’t melted.
The photo above was after three minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Daiya is beautifully melted already. I took it out and turned the oven to 400 to give the Chao a chance to finish melting:
I gave up after another few minutes, and declared the Daiya a winner for meltability and appearance. For taste, my mom and I both slightly preferred the Chao, but mainly because it was a little saltier. The Chao also seemed a little more firm in a good way – more substantial somehow. I will be keeping the Daiya cheddar and provolone in my fridge from now on (and the Chao too) because they are all really good. I will also be looking out for the other new & improved Daiya varieties! Well done, Daiya! You converted me from a hater to a lover of your new products!
My mom found the Swiss variety at Whole Foods, and I added the photos and details. Here is the packaging:
Here is what the Swiss looks like:
It is so good! The Swiss is our favorite eaten cold on crackers. Here it is on a grilled cheese:
The Swiss version melts just as nicely as the provolone and cheddar ones do. We really liked it, but felt a stronger flavor of bread, like a pumpernickel would have made an even better grilled cheese with the Swiss. I can’t wait to use the Swiss on a vegan Reuben sandwich and to top a French onion soup made with my vegan “Beef” Broth! Again, great job, Daiya!