Tag Archives: cheese

Daiya Monterey Jack Style Block Review

Since I did a chocolate review last year, I thought cheese would be a perfect pairing for this years’ Valentine’s Day.

Because let’s face it: everyone wants to try fondue at least once in their life, because it just seems pretty darn romantic! And what better day than to show off your romantic side than Valentine’s? (Daiya even has a dairy-free fondue recipe on their website!)

I want to start by saying this is my absolute favourite cheese, vegan or otherwise.

I honestly don’t know why Daiya gets such a bad wrap in the vegan community, yes it can be a little…. stronger than other cheeses, but that doesn’t make it bad!

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This was the first vegan cheese I ever tried, and – after years of eating nothing but goat cheese – this was a very welcome break from that game-y taste. (If you’ve ever had goat cheese, you know what I’m talking about)

I also like the texture of the block – they’re perfect for cutting up into slices and eating cold! You could of course still shred them up and use them on pasta, hot sandwiches, or whatever else you put melted cheese on. My favourite way to eat any of the blocks though is by itself in cold sliced form. (Sometimes with crackers)

Speaking of the texture, I have noticed it’s changed. It’s almost the same, but I’ve noticed the last few times I’ve bought them, when I went to cut slices off the block, they’ve been sticking more to the knife, and seem more almost-melty. Like they used to get if you carried them home from the store in the summer and they got a bit melted but were still firm. I’m not sure if they changed the recipe, or if there was just a less stable batch or something that went out, but I have to say, I don’t like the new texture as much. I don’t want to have to peel off pieces of broken slices from my knife.

Now, I don’t know what ‘real’ Monterey Jack cheese tastes like, but this one has a pretty mild taste. I used to think Mozzarella was the ‘plainest’ cheese taste, but this beats it by a landslide. Mozzarella has a bit of a like, twang-y taste to it (yes I know ‘twang isn’t a flavour), that I don’t like too much. This one is the plainest of cheeses I’ve tasted – it’s a pretty neutral taste, which is why I think it’s the perfect flavour.

I don’t know all those typical cheese descriptions – nutty, earthy, etc. I don’t know what any of those mean, so the best description I can give it would be it’s like the water of cheese flavours: you can pair it with anything and it won’t be weird. (Unless you pair it with like, mints or something)

One thing I can say I definitely don’t like about this, and all the other blocks: They’re $5.99 each! With how small the blocks are, (I can usually finish a whole block in one day and a half [or less]) you’d think they wouldn’t be so expensive.

At one point, I was buying them in 4’s just so I’d have enough for 1 week – that’s $20 on cheese alone! Who has that kind of money?

I complain about this in a lot of my reviews of vegan products, but I’m gonna continue to complain until something changes. Either lower the price (even 4.99 would be better), or make the products bigger. How can we expect more people to go vegan when the ‘transition’ products are so anti-family sized and expensive? (Like the Beyond Burgers – 2 in a giant plastic container that could easily fit 4-6 for $20 – and that’s the raw ones!)

And I know, I know, I don’t know how much it takes to produce the blocks, and that may be as low of a price as they can make them for the company to make a profit, but guess what? If you drop the price, more people will buy them, because they’ll be actually affordable and it will (most likely) even out. I know I’d definitely buy way more of them if the price was lower (or they were bigger). Especially because you can put them in the freezer! You could go on a stock up trip and throw them in the freezer to keep on hand.

If you do put the blocks in the freezer though, I recommend you only use them to be melted or in a hot dish. Once they go in the freezer, the texture gets ‘snowy’ and they don’t work as well as cold slices for a snack. Once heated, they retain the flavour and melt-y/stretchy texture.

That’s pretty much all I think I can say about this block. It’s my favourite, even though it’s a bit on the expensive side and small. (But all the blocks are the same size/price)

If you haven’t tried it yet, I definitely recommend it, and I recommend trying it cold first before you throw it into a dish. Just so you get an untainted flavour of the cheese. If you don’t know what it tastes like by itself, how will you know what to put it in?


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Chao Tomato and Cayenne Review




It’s April, and although good weather has yet to happen, I’m gonna go ahead and pretend it’s getting warmer, and closer to BBQ season, and hope Mother Nature will get the hint.

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I have seen this cheese a lot in vegan shops, but I never wanted to give it a chance, I always stayed with the familiar. (Daiya) I finally took a chance and bought it, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

It’s not as… strong as Daiya. You know when you have Daiya in your mouth, and you know you have Daiya in your mouth, because it’s so overpowering? (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Daiya cheese! But when you’re making a dish, like, say, a quesadilla, you want to taste the other foods you put in there, not just the cheese) This cheese doesn’t give you that distinctive taste, it blends better into the background.

While milder in that respect, the cayenne gives it a nice little kick of heat. It’s not overly hot (I can’t handle spicy food very well at all) at all. I have to say though, one ‘con’, would be that I didn’t distinctly taste tomato. It was more of just cheese and spice. I don’t know if I would’ve liked it very much if it had tasted like tomato (I’m more of a fan of them if they’re in something, I don’t like them by themselves), but, if you’re gonna call the flavour tomato and cayenne, I expect a bit of that. Or, maybe it did taste like tomato and I just didn’t notice/realize? This was the first flavoured cheese I’d had, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I actually thought I wasn’t gonna like it at all (the concept of flavoured cheese still seems a bit odd to me), so it fared better then I thought.




If you do decide to try this cheese, (which, I recommend) you should definitely melt it on something. I tried a piece cold so I could get a taste of it alone, straight from the pack (it’s harder to decide whether or not you truly like a product without doing so, I think) and it wasn’t that good, I have to say. I definitely wouldn’t want to eat the slices of it as a snack, like I do with Daiya Monterey-Jack blocks. (Which I also recommend you try, if you haven’t already. I’ve started having to buy them in fours just so I have enough for a week. I can eat a whole one in a day)

After trying it cold, and finding it ‘meh’, I melted it in a quesadilla and it was amazing! Even though it did that classic vegan cheese ‘puddle-melt’ thing, it was still good. It gave the quesadilla a nice flavour, and it faded into the background well, not over-powering the other flavours (like Daiya would have).

Also, I don’t know why, but this cheese reminds me of summer. I don’t know if it’s the colour or the flavour or what, but it just kinda… does. Maybe it’s because I think it’d go good on a Field Roast burger (I haven’t tried them together yet, but I know it’s gonna be good) or, maybe I’m just getting impatient and want BBQ season to start. Either way, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I definitely recommend trying this cheese (melted) if you haven’t tried it already, and, if you get a chance, put it on a burger, or in a quesadilla, etc. I also think it might make a good nacho topping. (Keep your eye on my Instagram so you don’t miss when I try that!)


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