Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Daiya "cheese"

I've mentioned before that my older daughter has several food sensitivities so I've had to learn a variety of substitutions and modifications for many a meal or recipe.

In addition to being gluten free, she is also casein free (dairy), soy free and peanut free. Peanut-free is not a big deal and gluten has been fairly easy to get used to not eating.

Then there's dairy. If you have to be dairy-free, it's not too bad if you can have soy products. There are many decent soy versions of things like cheese, butter and milk. If soy is a problem, though, look out.

The single biggest thing that I miss is being able to cook with cheese. There are quite a few decent Vegan cheeses out there, but most contain soy. The ones that don't are, in my opinion, blech. In addition to not tasting very good, they don't melt.

Then I started hearing about a new soy-free Vegan cheese called Daiya. Blog reviews were raving that it not only tastes delicious, but it melts. That means we could make pizza! And quesadillas! And grilled cheese!

With little hesitation, I shelled out a small fortune for 2 8-ounce bags of this miracle food.

And true to what other reviewers said, it was outstanding. Here's how it looked before going into the oven. Looks just like regular shredded cheese, no?

After baking, Daiya was everything I hoped it would be on a pizza. Melted beautifully, tasted wonderful.

My dairy-free daughter, who hasn't had pizza in over six months, devoured it. She may have eaten half the pizza herself!

However, a few days later I decided to make another pizza, and this time she wouldn't touch it. She said she didn't like the cheese.

Stunned was I.

Since she's the only one in the house who has the sensitivity to dairy, it's unlikely I'll buy Daiya again. I admit, I'm disappointed. I was looking forward to HER being able to enjoy pizza again -something she used to love. But I guess maybe she didn't enjoy all that much.

Despite my picky daughter, I'd recommend Daiya to anyone who's looking for a casein-free, soy-free cheese.

Bon appetit!

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