Product Review: Daiya Cheese Shreds
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Jul 19 2010

Product Review: Daiya Cheese Shreds

Daiya cheese shreds are the newest rage in the vegan community and they are gluten-free! Daiya is a dairy (casein, lactose & whey), soy, gluten and nut-free cheese that comes in cheddar or mozzarella style shreds. Here is some information on how Daiya came about:

Where’s the Cheese?
The story began with a love of pizza and a family kitchen. Inventor and vegan, Andre Kroecher would, “spend five bucks on a vegan cheese, put it on a home-made crust, and then chuck the pizza out”.

Alchemy in the Kitchen
In 2005 ingredient experiments began! After a few accidents and the odd disaster, Andre began serving his creation to both vegan and non-vegan friends alike, the feedback was motivating. By mid 2007, with the help of friend and co-founder Greg Blake, Daiya was born and the real work started.

You Never Forget a First Impression…
Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California is the largest natural products show in the world, a spring board to success for a company with the right product! Unaware at the time of the stir they were going cause; Andre and Greg purchased a 6000-watt commercial pizza oven, 900 Rocky Mountain 12″ pizza crusts, 120 litres of Rebellious Tomato Sauce, and shipped it all down to Anaheim.

Within hours Daiya was a hit and they couldn’t keep up with the demand! All were astonished by the taste and texture. Consumers phoned, blogged, texted, and tweeted friends raving about Daiya, a revolution in non-dairy cheese. By the end of the Expo, Daiya had prepared and served over 8000 slices of pizza, and were presented with the 2009 VegNews Magazine Best of Show Award — high tribute indeed for a product that was yet to hit the market. The Daiya fan base had begun.

The phone continues to ring off the hook, and the question remains the same from consumers and retailers alike; “How can I get Daiya deliciously dairy free products?”

Several gluten-free products on the market are made with Daiya cheese, including Amy’s Kitchen gluten-free rice mac & non-dairy cheese and Zpizza’s gluten-free pizza (if ordered with non-dairy cheese). Here is a great gluten-free recipe from Celebrity Chef of the Month – Chef J Scot Jones of VegiTerranean in Akron, Ohio. VegiTerranean is Chrissie Hynde’s new vegan restaurant. The recipe is for Hot Italian Banana Peppers Stuffed with Fresh Herb Risotto and Daiya Mozzarella with Fresh Basil Lime Sauce and looks out-of-this-world!

I purchased the Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds on my last trip to Whole Foods. They were about $4.50/package. I have used the shreds on my nachos and in a wrap and have been very impressed. The “cheese” melts much like real cheese does and has a great flavor. These are a great soy & gluten-free option for those who have additional food allergies or follow a vegan diet.

Daiya Shreds can be found in these locations.

Article Written by:

Kimberly Bouldin is a gluten-free wife, runner & blogger with two children in Columbus, Ohio. After her celiac diagnosis in 2006, she has made it her mission to embrace an entirely new approach to nutrition in a gluten-free world, exploring options that run the gamut from "made from scratch" homemade bread to sampling and reviewing the gluten-free prepared foods that are continuously being introduced to the market. While navigating the waters of becoming gluten-free, Kim shares her experiences and passes along valuable product reviews in addition to helping other moms of celiac kids develop healthy menus that are kid-friendly and palatable. Kimberly is a valuable resource for those who are newly diagnosed, as well as for the more seasoned gluten-free veterans. Follow Kim on Twitter!

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