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The Big Vegan Cheese Review Mattie

Written by Mattie    
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The Big Vegan Cheese Review

When it comes to things like pizzas, it's  a good idea to increase the fun factor by topping it with some vegan cheese. Vegan cheeses have improved vastly over the last decade and it's often difficult to keep up with the latest offerings. I've always wondered how vegan cheeses would fair side by side in regards to flavor, meltiness and overall authenticity. In this review I'll show you how well these cheeses faired in those regards and let you know which topping came out on top.

This review includes what I believe are the best vegan cheeses currently on the market. There are likely dozens more but the ones reviewed are known for their quality. They are becoming easier to find in specialty food stores more and more every day. I didn't include some of the fine fermented nut-based vegan cheeses on the market in this review because I felt that they wouldn't have sufficient melt factor to compete with the other cheeses in this review. In the future Veganbaking.net will be conducting more cheesy research and doing a nut-based vegan cheese review is something that I'd love to investigate.

I'd like to give props to Quarrygirl's Best Vegan Cheese review for also shredding some light on this subject.

The Vegan Cheese Contenders

I tested cheddar and mozzarella style vegan cheeses from what I believe to be, as of this writing, the top four vegan cheese manufacturers listed below.

The Vegan Cheese Contenders

Clockwise from top-left:
Teese Cheddar Style, Daiya Cheddar Style Shred, Cheezly Mature White Cheddar Style, Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar, Teese Mozzarella Style, Daiya Mozzarella Style Shred, Cheezly Mozzarella Style and Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella.

I performed a melt test by putting the vegan cheese shreds on italian bread and placing it in an oven preheated to 350F. I increased the temperature by 25F every 10 minutes and recorded the melting point of the cheeses. The picture above shows how the cheeses melted after going through the temperature range up to 400F, then held there for an additional 10 minutes. In the picture above I placed cheddar on the top row and mozarella on the bottom row.

I didn't take the temperature of the vegan cheeses any higher than 400F because that's the temperature most people are going to cook their pizzas at home. It's unrealistic to expect customers to cook their pizzas in a 500F oven. At pizzerias this is not the case so some of the cheeses in this review that had poor meltability may in fact have better melt performance in specifically designed pizza ovens.

Teese Cheddar Style

Teese Cheddar Style is from the people at Chicago Soy Dairy. The describe it as having "an excellent mild cheddar flavor, giving it the potential to be used in a wide assortment of dishes. It is amazing on cold sandwiches or round crackers, but really shines when melted in a "roast beef" sandwich, panini, or in a simple "grilled Teese" sandwich!"

The Taste Test

Teese Cheddar had a mild cheddar flavor and a slightly pasty texture. It was slightly reminiscent in flavor and texture of, dare I say it, Velveeta cheese slices. Despite this, it still makes a relatively good topping melted. This vegan cheese melted at 400F making it suitable for pizzas made at home. Due to its moist, oily texture, it would not be ideal unmelted on a sandwich or in a salad.

The Ratings (0 to 5 with 5 being the best)

Texture Unmelted: 2
Texture Melted: 4
Cheesyness: 3
Overall: 4

The Melt Test

Teese Cheddar Style Melted

Ingredients

organic soymilk (filtered water, organic soybeans), corn maltodextrin, soybean oil, palm oil, sea salt, carrageenan, vegan natural flavors, corn derived lactic acid (vegan), annatto titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral).

Nutrition Highlights

Serving size: 1 oz (28g)
Fat: 7g
Protein: 0g

Teese Mozzarella Style

From the Teese website "The authentic taste and excellent melt characteristics of this Teese flavor is why it's our most popular product... and why it is used in some of the best pizza restaurants in the country! You'll love Mozzarella-style Teese in everything from lasagna to a rueben!"

The Taste Test

Like the Teese Cheddar Style, the Teese Mozzarella Style had a mild flavor and a slightly pasty texture. This vegan cheese also melted at 400F. Due to its moist, oily texture, it was more authentic to Mozzarella than the Teese Cheddar was to cheddar. I would love this on a pizza.

The Ratings (0 to 5 with 5 being the best)

Texture Unmelted: 3
Texture Melted: 4
Cheesyness: 4
Overall: 4

The Melt Test

Teese Mozzarella Style Melted

Ingredients

organic soymilk (filtered water, organic soybeans), corn maltodextrin, soybean oil, palm oil, sea salt, carrageenan, vegan natural flavors, corn derived lactic acid (vegan), titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral).

Nutrition Highlights

Serving size: 1 oz (28g)
Fat: 7g
Protein: 0g

Daiya Cheddar Style Shred

Daiya is the newcomer on the vegan cheese market as of this writing. Their website describes Daiya as a "new dairy-free vegan cheese that tastes, shreds, melts and stretches like dairy based cheese. Daiya is not made with casein, the protein found in dairy products or soy, common to many other non-dairy cheese alternatives."

The Taste Test

The Daiya melted quicker and more consistently than all of the other vegan cheeses in the review, melting at 350F. Once melted, it was delightfully stringy and chewy. I knew I liked it when I wanted to keep eating it. It had a very authentic cheddar cheese flavor and texture.

The Ratings (0 to 5 with 5 being the best)

Texture Unmelted: 4
Texture Melted: 5
Cheesyness: 5
Overall: 5

The Melt Test

Daiya Cheddar Style Shred Melted

Ingredients

Purified water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flour, canola oil and/or sunflower oil and/or safflower oil and/or coconut oil, pea protein, salt, yeast, vegetable glycerin, natural flavors, xanthan gum, sunflower lecithin, enzymes (no animal rennet or animal enzymes), bacterial cultures, citric acid and/or annatto.

Nutrition Highlights

Serving size: 1 oz (28g)
Fat: 6g
Protein: 1g

Daiya Italian Style Shred

The Taste Test

This vegan cheese performed similarly to the Daiya Italian Style Shred. I loved its melty chewiness and authentic cheezy flavor. It would do well in a Cesar Salad. It also melted at 350F like the Daiya Italian Style Shred.

The Ratings (0 to 5 with 5 being the best)

Texture Unmelted: 5
Texture Melted: 5
Cheesyness: 4
Overall: 4

The Melt Test

Daiya Italian Style Shred Melted

Ingredients

Purified water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flour, canola oil and/or sunflower oil and/or safflower oil and/or coconut oil, pea protein, salt, yeast, vegetable glycerin, natural flavors, xanthan gum, sunflower lecithin, enzymes (no animal rennet or animal enzymes), bacterial cultures, citric acid and/or annatto.

Nutrition Highlights

Serving size: 1 oz (28g)
Fat: 7g
Protein: 1g

Cheezly Mature White Cheddar Style

Cheezly is a British vegan cheesee which was recently purchased by Redwood Foods. It's apparently pretty recent on US shores. Cheezly "is free from animal ingredients. So it's perfect for vegetarians and vegans, as well as people who are lactose or casein intolerant. What's more, there are no nasties." I was thrilled to find that this cheese was devoid of all nasties.

The Taste Test

This vegan cheese was complex sharp and reminded me of artisan style cheeses. The sharp, authentic flavor made me want to keep eating the cheese. It never melted, even after being subjected to 400F. This vegan cheese would do very well in pasta or ground up on pizza due to its sharp cheddar or parmesan notes. This could be life-altering in a cesear salad. It wouldn't melt sufficiently for a pizza but I don't care; the flavor more than makes up for it.

The Ratings (0 to 5 with 5 being the best)

Texture Unmelted: 5
Texture Melted: 2
Cheesyness: 5
Overall: 4

The Melt Test

Cheezly Mature White Cheddar Melted

Ingredients

water, potato starch, non-hydrogenated vegetable fats & oils, soy protein, yeast extract, thickener: carrageenan; salt, flavoring, emulsifying salt: tricalcium phosphate; colour: carotene.

Nutrition Highlights

Serving size: 1 oz (28g)
Fat: 4.9g
Protein: .98g

Cheezly Mozzarella Style

The Taste Test

In contrast to the Cheezly Mature White Cheddar, this vegan cheese melted at 400F into a slightly pasty texture with relatively authentic cheese flavor. Tasters were dvided on whether the melt was satsisfyingly cheesy or excessively pasty. Unmelted, this vegan cheese had a chalky mouthfeel which was not preferred. Its flavor was still more complex than the other three mozzarellas

The Ratings (0 to 5 with 5 being the best)

Texture Unmelted: 1
Texture Melted: 3
Cheesyness: 5
Overall: 3

The Melt Test

Cheezly Mozzarella Style Melted

Ingredients

water, non-hydrogenated vegetable oil, tofu, soy protein, rice starch, thickeners: carrageenan and locust bean gum; salt, dried yeast, tricalcium phosphate, spirit vinegar, acidity regulator: trisodium citrate; raw cane sugar, flavoring, yeast extract.

Nutrition Highlights

Serving size: 1 oz, (28g)
Fat: 7.1g
Protein: 1.5g

Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar

As of this writing Vegan Gourmet appears to have the best distribution, being available in Whole Foods stores nationwide. This vegan cheese is described on their website as "Great for veggie burgers, macaroni and cheese and mixed with Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella Cheese Alternative makes a great pizza topping. Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Cheese Alternative melts down to a creamy, smooth cheese sauce in a fondue pot, sauce pan, casseroles, or in the microwave."

The Taste Test

In my 400F test, this cheese didn't melt. Vegan Gourmet states on the package that it melts at 500F. I find it unrealistic to bring a pizza to 500F in a home kitchen oven just to get the cheese melted. This concern would be different in a pizza kitchen however because they would be more adequately prepared to bring the pizza up to the recommended 500F level. The texture unmelted was slightly waxy and the flavor was the blandest of the bunch. I would still reach for it if I were making a pizza and I had nothing else available.

The Ratings (0 to 5 with 5 being the best)

Texture Unmelted: 3
Texture Melted: 1
Cheesyness: 2
Overall: 2

The Melt Test

Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Melted

Ingredients

filtered water, expeller pressed canola oil, soy protein, tofu (water, soybeans, calcium sulfate), soy protein, inulin (a natural extract of chicory), natural flavor, sea salt, agar, brewer's yeast, carrageenan, calcium lactate, annatto, lactic acid.

Nutrition Highlights

Serving size: 1 oz (28g)
Fat: 4g
Protein 2g

Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella

The Taste Test

This vegan cheese fared similarly to the Vegan Gourmet Cheddar, exhibiting little meltability and profound flavor. Due to its moistness, it melted slightly more and was more similar to mozzarella than the Vegan Gourmet Cheddar was to cheddar. I would still reach for this vegan cheese in the absense of the other brands.

The Ratings (0 to 5 with 5 being the best)

Texture Unmelted: 3
Texture Melted: 1
Cheesyness: 2
Overall: 3

The Melt Test


Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella Melted

Ingredients

filtered water, expeller pressed canola oil, tofu (water, soybeans, calcium sulfate), soy protein, inulin (a natural extract of chicory), agar, sea salt, natural flavor, carrageenan, calcium lactate, lactic acid.

Nutrition Highlights

Serving size: 1 oz (28g)
Fat: 8g
Protein 1g

Vegan Cheese Nutrition Notes

I was a little surprised how the vegan cheeses measured up in regards to nutrition. Since they are largeley soy based I'd expect them to have protein levels approaching the 7 grams found in traditional dairy-based cheeses. This is likely because the vegan cheeses are largely made up of vegetable starches, oils and flavorings. The fats found in these cheeses are mostly healthy; low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat. Having said that, these vegan cheeses offer very little nutritional value.

My favorite Vegan Cheese of the Bunch

When I'm looking for vegan cheese I'm interested in authentic cheese flavor and a chewy, stringy consistency when melted. I'm not interested in flavors that are overly salty or increasingly bland. I'd prefer to shy away from consistencies that are cottage cheese or paste-like. Out of this bunch the Daiya Cheddar Style Shred and Mozzarella Style Shred came closest to reproducing the authentic cheese experience for me. It's remarkably stringy, chewy and melted very similarly to dairy based cheese.

My second favorite of the bunch is Cheezly Mature White Cheddar. Like the Daiya vegan cheese, I knew I loved it when I just kept wanting to eat more. The Mature White Cheddar is sharp and reminded me how much I loved really sharp cheddar as a kid. This cheddar did not get high marks for melting, however. The Cheezly Mozzarella was a notch below the Mature White Cheddar. Better meltability didn't help it overcome the Cheezly Mature White's Cheddar's superior flavor and authenticity in my opinion.

The Teese vegan cheeses were more on the mild side. I would avoid putting them in salads but would love them on pizza.

The Vegan Gourmet vegan cheeses were the most lackluster of the bunch, showing mild flavors and poor meltability. I would still reach for this vegan cheese at my local specialty store because I still enjoy its flavor.

It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for vegan cheeses. Daiya has clearly made a breakthrough with the quality of their cheese and I believe it's only a matter of time until other vegan cheesemakers follow suit.


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This post should be mandatory reading for all stores purchasig for resale. I drove hours to get to Whole Foods and ended up buying Follow Your Heart! Ugh. It's very rubbery and soft, the texture reminds me of an overripe banana. I finally made my own cheese and although it seems like everything I've made lately tastes like nutritional yeast, it'll have to do until I can get my hands on the Daiya brand. Thank you for a great post.
suzannejenkins Commented by suzannejenkins May 05, 2014
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suzanne Jenkins

This post should be mandatory reading for all stores purchasig for resale. I drove hours to get to Whole Foods and ended up buying Follow Your Heart! Ugh. It's very rubbery and soft, the texture reminds me of an overripe banana. I finally made my own cheese and although it seems like everything I've made lately tastes like nutritional yeast, it'll have to do until I can get my hands on the Daiya brand. Thank you for a great post.

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I haven't eaten dairy since 1989. I avoid certain foods for health reasons, and some on principle. So, I don't want chemicals, mystery processes and mystery ingredients in my foods. It is a choice I made -- once made, I don't feel deprived because I reap the benefits of that choice, and they far outweigh what I 'give up.'

I don't understand folks being unhappy that the big companies are not trying to profit from exploiting our dietary choices by creating fake 'real' cheese. I have a different read on it: I believe that the companies already making vegan cheese as their livelihood have a vested interest in making the most genuine product. Hat off to the vegan cheese makers who are trying to make a good product without going too chemically crazy. It could be better, but it certainly could be far worse – that’s not something I think we should be encouraging. My take it that it just isn't possible to fake cheese without going completely chemically mad. I understand some folks want the taste of cheese at any cost, I don't. But I suppose if the big companies get involved and can truly fake cheese, then they will sell it to the masses (like calorie-free soda, 10% ‘fruit juice,’ fruit drinks, and GMO foods etc. have been) because they make oodles of cash selling chemicals versus food. This is not my idea of progress.

Ok, so why am I at this site. Probably 20 years ago I tried dairy-free cheese - it tasted good, but had casein (milk protein) in it and I got an allergy reaction. I've been on the web searching out new recipes. I ran into info of how great the d- cheese was. So, I have been searching to see what's in it and how processed it is. I truly appreciate the folks that took the time to comment how awful it tastes and smells. I’m very sensitive to smells, my guess is I’d agree with them. I appreciate that the article included the ingredients. The ingredients in the d- cheese seem okish, no palm oil, but just what are 'natural flavors', and what colored it orange? and what processes and chemicals are involved in attaining pea protein? These questions and likely answers concern me. Admittedly, I have pretty strict standards.

Since I choose food without too many chemicals or processing, I will just have to put something other than 'cheese' on my gluten free pizza dough (I will rename it just ‘gluten free dough’, pizza is not going to happen. If it doesn’t have cheese on it, it’s not pizza. That’s fine, I’ve lived without it quite successfully for years and years). Long ago I made a food choice; all choices have consequences. It’s a trade-off. I accept trading (‘losing’) some foods because the benefits of health and conscience far outweigh passing by some old favorites, and going without the convenience of ready-made foods. No regrets. Really, I gained more real food options then I lost – whole foods I hadn’t noticed before. Instead of mimicking old favorites; I discovered new foods to enjoy - new favorites. But, the web is full of recipes trying to mimic ‘old favorites.’ So, when I saw the pizza dough recipe with grains I could eat, along with the d-cheese review, it was tempting to see if pizza with cheese was an option now. For me it’s not. Oh well…. moving on. I have foods I can eat, and do enjoy. From my web search, I have discovered some new recipes to try.
Commented by pj May 03, 2014

Dairy-free by choice: benefits worth trade-offs

I haven't eaten dairy since 1989. I avoid certain foods for health reasons, and some on principle. So, I don't want chemicals, mystery processes and mystery ingredients in my foods. It is a choice I made -- once made, I don't feel deprived because I reap the benefits of that choice, and they far outweigh what I 'give up.'

I don't understand folks being unhappy that the big companies are not trying to profit from exploiting our dietary choices by creating fake 'real' cheese. I have a different read on it: I believe that the companies already making vegan cheese as their livelihood have a vested interest in making the most genuine product. Hat off to the vegan cheese makers who are trying to make a good product without going too chemically crazy. It could be better, but it certainly could be far worse – that’s not something I think we should be encouraging. My take it that it just isn't possible to fake cheese without going completely chemically mad. I understand some folks want the taste of cheese at any cost, I don't. But I suppose if the big companies get involved and can truly fake cheese, then they will sell it to the masses (like calorie-free soda, 10% ‘fruit juice,’ fruit drinks, and GMO foods etc. have been) because they make oodles of cash selling chemicals versus food. This is not my idea of progress.

Ok, so why am I at this site. Probably 20 years ago I tried dairy-free cheese - it tasted good, but had casein (milk protein) in it and I got an allergy reaction. I've been on the web searching out new recipes. I ran into info of how great the d- cheese was. So, I have been searching to see what's in it and how processed it is. I truly appreciate the folks that took the time to comment how awful it tastes and smells. I’m very sensitive to smells, my guess is I’d agree with them. I appreciate that the article included the ingredients. The ingredients in the d- cheese seem okish, no palm oil, but just what are 'natural flavors', and what colored it orange? and what processes and chemicals are involved in attaining pea protein? These questions and likely answers concern me. Admittedly, I have pretty strict standards.

Since I choose food without too many chemicals or processing, I will just have to put something other than 'cheese' on my gluten free pizza dough (I will rename it just ‘gluten free dough’, pizza is not going to happen. If it doesn’t have cheese on it, it’s not pizza. That’s fine, I’ve lived without it quite successfully for years and years). Long ago I made a food choice; all choices have consequences. It’s a trade-off. I accept trading (‘losing’) some foods because the benefits of health and conscience far outweigh passing by some old favorites, and going without the convenience of ready-made foods. No regrets. Really, I gained more real food options then I lost – whole foods I hadn’t noticed before. Instead of mimicking old favorites; I discovered new foods to enjoy - new favorites. But, the web is full of recipes trying to mimic ‘old favorites.’ So, when I saw the pizza dough recipe with grains I could eat, along with the d-cheese review, it was tempting to see if pizza with cheese was an option now. For me it’s not. Oh well…. moving on. I have foods I can eat, and do enjoy. From my web search, I have discovered some new recipes to try.

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just FYI daiya does have slices and wedges, not just shreds!
Commented by grabsy March 13, 2014

just FYI daiya does have slices and wedges, not just shreds!

Owner's reply

You're right grabsy! Daiya is now not only available in just shreds. I just updated this article to reflect that. Thanks for letting me know!

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I agree that the cheese situation is dreadful. I'm vegan because of the animals, I'm no health freak so I don't mind processed food. Everybody's different though and together we all make change. I bet though that if Mc Donalds wanted to offer a vegan cheese burger they would find a delicious replacement. The only reason why there are no decent substitutes is that the big corporations are not on the case (yet?).
SAmBisa Commented by SAmBisa February 25, 2014
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

:(

I agree that the cheese situation is dreadful. I'm vegan because of the animals, I'm no health freak so I don't mind processed food. Everybody's different though and together we all make change. I bet though that if Mc Donalds wanted to offer a vegan cheese burger they would find a delicious replacement. The only reason why there are no decent substitutes is that the big corporations are not on the case (yet?).

Owner's reply

I think you hit the nail on the head there SAmBisa. Just wait until a company approaches vegan cheese with a multi-million dollar budget and dedicated food scientists. I predict this will happen within a few years. It's already happening now with egg whites by Hampton Creek Foods. It's going to take startup to disrupt this game; the traditional food companies would never engineer this from within.

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Hi there
I have been a vegetarian for 35 years and have just become vegan because of travel and slaughter values just not the ethics I can withstand. So dairy has now left my palat and good grief what a nightmare.. Cheese is a nightmare but I also find this an absolute nightmare. As a vegan ethics to me is a major factor and I do not understand how this seem to lapse - especially in the cheese department. Please tell me what is going on.. What is all this hydrogenated nonsense and palm oil which does not state that is is full supported and sustainable.. To me going vegan is being aware of suffering - this to me is both raping land and animals. So why is hydrogentated and palm oil involved in this food. Please - tell me - am I alone in this?y
trajacks Commented by trajacks February 18, 2014
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

cheese

Hi there
I have been a vegetarian for 35 years and have just become vegan because of travel and slaughter values just not the ethics I can withstand. So dairy has now left my palat and good grief what a nightmare.. Cheese is a nightmare but I also find this an absolute nightmare. As a vegan ethics to me is a major factor and I do not understand how this seem to lapse - especially in the cheese department. Please tell me what is going on.. What is all this hydrogenated nonsense and palm oil which does not state that is is full supported and sustainable.. To me going vegan is being aware of suffering - this to me is both raping land and animals. So why is hydrogentated and palm oil involved in this food. Please - tell me - am I alone in this?y

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I went from vegetarian to vegan. I never drank milk or anything, but I LOVED cheese, and not any of the brands mentioned have a good cheese quality. I have tried every vegan cheese you could find. I'm not asking for anything 100% like cheese, but I find all of these plasticky with a gross taste of cottonseed oil. The vegan companies have perfected everything from meat subs to desserts and cookies, but much work is needed to make these products taste satisfying. These cheese substitutes are rather expensive, so for now...I will bag on eating any form of cheese...real or sub.

RoyaM Commented by RoyaM September 12, 2013
Last updated: September 12, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Various Vegan Cheese

I went from vegetarian to vegan. I never drank milk or anything, but I LOVED cheese, and not any of the brands mentioned have a good cheese quality. I have tried every vegan cheese you could find. I'm not asking for anything 100% like cheese, but I find all of these plasticky with a gross taste of cottonseed oil. The vegan companies have perfected everything from meat subs to desserts and cookies, but much work is needed to make these products taste satisfying. These cheese substitutes are rather expensive, so for now...I will bag on eating any form of cheese...real or sub.

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I live in the UK and have just bought some cheddar style Cheezly but I can't seem to get it to melt, so annoying! Got a pie in the oven now at 200C and it's melting but not as much as I'd like it to... sigh! But it does taste good. Thanks for this article, very interesting!
Commented by Natasha September 10, 2013

I live in the UK and have just bought some cheddar style Cheezly but I can't seem to get it to melt, so annoying! Got a pie in the oven now at 200C and it's melting but not as much as I'd like it to... sigh! But it does taste good. Thanks for this article, very interesting!

Owner's reply

I know the feeling Natasha! If only Cheezly would melt! I have a hunch that the secret to why Cheezly is so great is that it's not loaded with as many gums and starches as the others.

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I have loved cheese my whole life. I finally gave it up to go vegan. I wanted to like Daiya but I can't get past how it smells and tastes like plastic. I've only tried the cheddar flavor so maybe the other flavors are better. I'm puzzled as to why it's so popular. I understand taste buds are different, but I can't help but wonder why it's used so often in some vegetarian restaurants where I live in the US. I understand vegan cheese won't taste exactly like dairy cheese, but why bother with it at all if it's going to taste and smell like plastic? The smell seriously made me nauseous. I've been substituting avocado / guacamole for cheese in Mexican and tofu "egg" dishes and that has worked great to help me not miss the cheese. I'd prefer to find natural substitutes for cheese in dishes that way, such as using nutritional yeast flakes instead of sprinkling parmesan cheese on popcorn or pasta, for example. If a decent tasting & smelling vegan cheese is available that isn't composed of a laundry list of ingredients, then I'm all for trying it! I am looking forward to trying the nut cheeses posted in the comments below. Thanks to those posting the products they've tasted and liked, and thank you VeganBaking.net for your review!
RitaT3Aces Commented by RitaT3Aces September 08, 2013
Last updated: September 08, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

New Vegan

I have loved cheese my whole life. I finally gave it up to go vegan. I wanted to like Daiya but I can't get past how it smells and tastes like plastic. I've only tried the cheddar flavor so maybe the other flavors are better. I'm puzzled as to why it's so popular. I understand taste buds are different, but I can't help but wonder why it's used so often in some vegetarian restaurants where I live in the US. I understand vegan cheese won't taste exactly like dairy cheese, but why bother with it at all if it's going to taste and smell like plastic? The smell seriously made me nauseous. I've been substituting avocado / guacamole for cheese in Mexican and tofu "egg" dishes and that has worked great to help me not miss the cheese. I'd prefer to find natural substitutes for cheese in dishes that way, such as using nutritional yeast flakes instead of sprinkling parmesan cheese on popcorn or pasta, for example. If a decent tasting & smelling vegan cheese is available that isn't composed of a laundry list of ingredients, then I'm all for trying it! I am looking forward to trying the nut cheeses posted in the comments below. Thanks to those posting the products they've tasted and liked, and thank you VeganBaking.net for your review!

Owner's reply

Thanks RitaT3Aces! I agree with you about being puzzled about Daiya's popularity. I think it's two things: 1) Vegans end up forgetting what real cheese tastes like and decide that Daiya is close (OMG it melts!), and 2) They have the most effective marketing machine of all the non-dairy cheese companies. Their marketing strategy enabled them to approach pizzerias and get many of them to offer Daiya which no one had really done before. I predict that we're in the extremely early stages of vegan cheese and something minimally processed is probably just around the corner. It better be anyways!!

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I tried this vegan cheese the other day I really liked called nutty cow. I tried their vegan ricotta and although it's more of a spread it is one of the best vegan cheeses i've had. It's definitely worth adding to the list especially because it's hard to come across a vegan ricotta!
Commented by Alex Cobb June 28, 2013

vegan ricotta

I tried this vegan cheese the other day I really liked called nutty cow. I tried their vegan ricotta and although it's more of a spread it is one of the best vegan cheeses i've had. It's definitely worth adding to the list especially because it's hard to come across a vegan ricotta!

Owner's reply

Thanks for letting me know about Nutty Cow, Alex! I'll definitely keep my eyes peeled for it!

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I can tell you this about Daiya ...If you burn it even a little it will taste like a kids chemistry set experiment gone wrong....It is critical to never over cook it.. the difference it like night and day...
Commented by john June 22, 2013

I can tell you this about Daiya ...If you burn it even a little it will taste like a kids chemistry set experiment gone wrong....It is critical to never over cook it.. the difference it like night and day...

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Thanks for doing all this work! I recently had a vegan pizza with Daiya cheese and it was awful. I've only been vegan for a few months, maybe I need more time to forget what cheese tasted like. I was never a big cheese eater anyway...

tevety Commented by tevety June 11, 2013
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Thanks for doing all this work! I recently had a vegan pizza with Daiya cheese and it was awful. I've only been vegan for a few months, maybe I need more time to forget what cheese tasted like. I was never a big cheese eater anyway...

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I've been vegan for about 5 months. At first the cheese cravings were pretty awful. I had never really liked cheese much except on pizza hut cheese pizzas. As time went by, the cravings became less and less, and then eventually they stopped being cravings and turned more into just wanting a nostalgic comfort food. But I always think about how I've gone without cheese since December, and how it contains an addictive compound similar to morphine, and I decide I don't want to go down that road again.

Since I switched to almond milk, the smell of regular milk disgusts me. If someone drinks it I can smell it on their breath and it's all I can do not to start gagging. Today I ordered a berry almond chicken salad from Wendy's (minus the chicken and dressing). I had NO clue it had cheese on it. Who mixes strawberries and blueberries with CHEESE of all things?! I had to pick it out, and the smell and texture were so gross to me I gagged and I had to just throw the thing out. Thank goodness it was only a half order. I'm glad I'm over cheese. Once you've been off it for so long you realize there's nothing to like about it- you were just addicted.

It's nice that you've compiled this list of vegan cheeses and reviewed them for vegans who don't want to go to the expense of buying them all.

I have to say that Daiya is absolutely disgusting and smells and tastes like vomit. (Then again, real cheese is like that for me too now, so I guess it's true that it's authentic!)

I've had galaxy foods brand cheese. It doesn't melt very well in the toaster oven but it melts wonderfully in the microwave. It tastes pretty good- very mild. It's all about texture with this stuff and it's good on pizza, but over the past few months I haven't had any because it's just not something I crave anymore.

My mom makes this awesome vegan cashew cheese spread. It's not stretchy like regular cheese but it's very garlicky and salty, and it's great when you put a few dollops on vegetable pizza.

I was the most reluctant vegan in the world. My mom and dad kinda-sorta forced me into it by nagging and saying how gross meat and dairy was. They became vegan a little over a year ago. I had gained a lot of weight and showed symptoms of diabetes, I had very high blood pressure, I could barely move with all my muscle pains and shortness of breath, and I had some minor heart issues in my 20's. While I didn't want to change at first, I am SOOO happy my mom educated me on everything. I feel fantastic now, and without a single pill my health issues have reversed. I've only lost 30 pounds, but I can move again! I have a long way to go but I am so happy with this lifestyle change. Even my husband has taken interest and has started making changes on his own!
Commented by Kacie May 26, 2013

I've been vegan for about 5 months. At first the cheese cravings were pretty awful. I had never really liked cheese much except on pizza hut cheese pizzas. As time went by, the cravings became less and less, and then eventually they stopped being cravings and turned more into just wanting a nostalgic comfort food. But I always think about how I've gone without cheese since December, and how it contains an addictive compound similar to morphine, and I decide I don't want to go down that road again.

Since I switched to almond milk, the smell of regular milk disgusts me. If someone drinks it I can smell it on their breath and it's all I can do not to start gagging. Today I ordered a berry almond chicken salad from Wendy's (minus the chicken and dressing). I had NO clue it had cheese on it. Who mixes strawberries and blueberries with CHEESE of all things?! I had to pick it out, and the smell and texture were so gross to me I gagged and I had to just throw the thing out. Thank goodness it was only a half order. I'm glad I'm over cheese. Once you've been off it for so long you realize there's nothing to like about it- you were just addicted.

It's nice that you've compiled this list of vegan cheeses and reviewed them for vegans who don't want to go to the expense of buying them all.

I have to say that Daiya is absolutely disgusting and smells and tastes like vomit. (Then again, real cheese is like that for me too now, so I guess it's true that it's authentic!)

I've had galaxy foods brand cheese. It doesn't melt very well in the toaster oven but it melts wonderfully in the microwave. It tastes pretty good- very mild. It's all about texture with this stuff and it's good on pizza, but over the past few months I haven't had any because it's just not something I crave anymore.

My mom makes this awesome vegan cashew cheese spread. It's not stretchy like regular cheese but it's very garlicky and salty, and it's great when you put a few dollops on vegetable pizza.

I was the most reluctant vegan in the world. My mom and dad kinda-sorta forced me into it by nagging and saying how gross meat and dairy was. They became vegan a little over a year ago. I had gained a lot of weight and showed symptoms of diabetes, I had very high blood pressure, I could barely move with all my muscle pains and shortness of breath, and I had some minor heart issues in my 20's. While I didn't want to change at first, I am SOOO happy my mom educated me on everything. I feel fantastic now, and without a single pill my health issues have reversed. I've only lost 30 pounds, but I can move again! I have a long way to go but I am so happy with this lifestyle change. Even my husband has taken interest and has started making changes on his own!

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I've recently become vegan. I was a vegetarian for 12 years and went vegan a couple months ago. My favorites were pizza and pretty much any cheese out there. Everyone seems to be giving a good review, so I was excited to make my homemade pizza with Daiya mozzerella as the topping.
I opened the bag and it smelled Horrible. My high hopes for pizza went out the window. But still I thought I should taste it...give it a fair shot. I ate a few shreds and could barely keep them down. It was disgusting (in my opinion). I wondered why there was so my hype over it.
Is it just me? Is it just that I haven't been acustomed to vegan cheeses?
Has anyone else had such an experience?
prettyleodia Commented by prettyleodia May 04, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (5)

daiya

I've recently become vegan. I was a vegetarian for 12 years and went vegan a couple months ago. My favorites were pizza and pretty much any cheese out there. Everyone seems to be giving a good review, so I was excited to make my homemade pizza with Daiya mozzerella as the topping.
I opened the bag and it smelled Horrible. My high hopes for pizza went out the window. But still I thought I should taste it...give it a fair shot. I ate a few shreds and could barely keep them down. It was disgusting (in my opinion). I wondered why there was so my hype over it.
Is it just me? Is it just that I haven't been acustomed to vegan cheeses?
Has anyone else had such an experience?

Owner's reply

I agree about Daiya prettyleodia. I think you have to have pretty much forgotten about what cheese tastes like to get into lots of the vegan cheeses on the market. My girlfriend buys Daiya for our pizzas and I tolerate it but I don't prefer it.

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Nice review. Have you tried No Moo and Cheese? I find Cheesly the best. Living in South Africa it is not easy to get hold of vegan cheeses. Superspar at Broadacres near Fourways Johannesburg occassionally stocks Cheesley, No Moo and Cheese. Cheese is at the bottom of my list tastes like old rubber in the summer heat. Please help if you know of other shops stocking Cheesley.
Commented by jan May 03, 2013

Mr

Nice review. Have you tried No Moo and Cheese? I find Cheesly the best. Living in South Africa it is not easy to get hold of vegan cheeses. Superspar at Broadacres near Fourways Johannesburg occassionally stocks Cheesley, No Moo and Cheese. Cheese is at the bottom of my list tastes like old rubber in the summer heat. Please help if you know of other shops stocking Cheesley.

Owner's reply

I love No Moo Cheese! I don't think they currently distribute to the US where I am but it's one of my favorites. I agree with you about Cheesly. It's hard to find out here too though.

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I live in South Africa so can't get Daiya (apart from when I am on vacation in the US!), I really don't like Daiya - I agree with the greasiness and sludge like texture (no I don't eat much in the way of sludge).

I REALLY love the Cheesley Red Cheddar - but please don't rate it for melting. Cheesley tells you the varieties that melt and the ones that don't. The cheddars don't melt. The edam and the mozzarella do melt. Please try the red cheddar - slice of tomato... cheese and tomato sandwich! I am in heaven :).
maesti Commented by maesti February 15, 2013
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Have you tried the red cheddar

I live in South Africa so can't get Daiya (apart from when I am on vacation in the US!), I really don't like Daiya - I agree with the greasiness and sludge like texture (no I don't eat much in the way of sludge).

I REALLY love the Cheesley Red Cheddar - but please don't rate it for melting. Cheesley tells you the varieties that melt and the ones that don't. The cheddars don't melt. The edam and the mozzarella do melt. Please try the red cheddar - slice of tomato... cheese and tomato sandwich! I am in heaven :).

Owner's reply

I didn't know Cheezly had specific meltable cheeses maesti! I'll have to try them, as well as your sandwich combo. Thanks!

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There are so many great new cheeses coming out all the time -- this is why VegNews has a cheese issue every once in a while. I went vegan when the only faux cheese was Tofutti, so I stopped craving cheese and don't really find the need to put faux cheese into my diet. I do like nut cheeses because those aren't really pretending to be something they're not. Dr. Dow, Punk Raw Labs, and Nutty Cow are all cool. Cheers!
Commented by Molly's Dad February 12, 2013

There are so many great new cheeses coming out all the time -- this is why VegNews has a cheese issue every once in a while. I went vegan when the only faux cheese was Tofutti, so I stopped craving cheese and don't really find the need to put faux cheese into my diet. I do like nut cheeses because those aren't really pretending to be something they're not. Dr. Dow, Punk Raw Labs, and Nutty Cow are all cool. Cheers!

Owner's reply

I wholeheartedly agree Molly's Dad! Lately I've been most down with the newer nut-based fermented cheeses you've mentioned. I don't want some goopy starch sludge oozing over my food, but maybe that's just me;) The nut cheeses are coming into their own which is refreshing. Thanks for your input!

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Please. After nearly 2 decades of trying dairy alternatives I found Daiya to be brilliant. Both texture and taste were superior. I imagine those commenting are spoiled hipsters who expect vegan cheese to go head to head with the best melted fresh mozzarella? Back in the day the best we had were various nutritional yeast amalgamations.

Patience....

And hopefully gratitude are in order.
Veganaut77 Commented by Veganaut77 January 15, 2013
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Please. After nearly 2 decades of trying dairy alternatives I found Daiya to be brilliant. Both texture and taste were superior. I imagine those commenting are spoiled hipsters who expect vegan cheese to go head to head with the best melted fresh mozzarella? Back in the day the best we had were various nutritional yeast amalgamations.

Patience....

And hopefully gratitude are in order.

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Daiya Motz? REALLY????!? It was by far the most detestable, inedible 'food' product I've ever put into my mouth. It smelled, tasted, and felt HORRIBLE. Much like eating baby vomit strung together by Elmer's glue. No thank you.
Commented by Yvonne January 09, 2013

Daiya Motz? REALLY????!? It was by far the most detestable, inedible 'food' product I've ever put into my mouth. It smelled, tasted, and felt HORRIBLE. Much like eating baby vomit strung together by Elmer's glue. No thank you.

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I thought the Daiya was grossgusting! The taste, I really tried to like, tasted so artificial, it was too strong, did have a plastic flavor to it. Maybe the mozzarella is better, but the cheddar tasted like vomit.
Commented by Adrienne January 03, 2012

Yuck!

I thought the Daiya was grossgusting! The taste, I really tried to like, tasted so artificial, it was too strong, did have a plastic flavor to it. Maybe the mozzarella is better, but the cheddar tasted like vomit.

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Very helpful, thanks!
Commented by beth December 08, 2011

Very helpful, thanks!

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Hello, thanks for your review, I'll be checking out those with the highest score.

I'm not sure if you know this but, how long can vegan cheese stay out of the fridge before it turns bad?

More specifically, how long does it last if I keep it on a thermal bag that keep things cold for a period of 3 hours?

Thanks!
Commented by Andre November 08, 2011

How long does it last out of the fridge?

Hello, thanks for your review, I'll be checking out those with the highest score.

I'm not sure if you know this but, how long can vegan cheese stay out of the fridge before it turns bad?

More specifically, how long does it last if I keep it on a thermal bag that keep things cold for a period of 3 hours?

Thanks!

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I don't mind the Daiya but my fiancé wanted to gag at the creamy goo that it was. He refused to eat the pizza he got because of it and it's a long drive and expensive to get vegan cheese here so I will be trying to make my own. I've made mayo, Caesar dressing and caramel that my fiancé loves so maybe I can get lucky when I make my own. :)
Commented by Brittany October 23, 2011

daiya

I don't mind the Daiya but my fiancé wanted to gag at the creamy goo that it was. He refused to eat the pizza he got because of it and it's a long drive and expensive to get vegan cheese here so I will be trying to make my own. I've made mayo, Caesar dressing and caramel that my fiancé loves so maybe I can get lucky when I make my own. :)

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We like Daiya but I am wondering if you have found any "cheese" slices that are tasty enough too? My kids who have dairy allergies would love it!
Commented by Cassie October 06, 2011

We like Daiya but I am wondering if you have found any "cheese" slices that are tasty enough too? My kids who have dairy allergies would love it!

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Daiya tastes like plastic.

Vegan Gourmet (mozzarella at least) tastes more like actual cheese, and doesn't have that disgusting plastic-goo flavor/texture. How anyone could prefer Daiya to Vegan Gourmet is utterly beyond me. Just... seriously. How?

Beretta, a nice restaurant in San Francisco that has fancy cocktails, uses Vegan Gourmet, and they are all the better for it.
Commented by Clay Shentrup August 24, 2011

Daiya tastes like plastic.

Vegan Gourmet (mozzarella at least) tastes more like actual cheese, and doesn't have that disgusting plastic-goo flavor/texture. How anyone could prefer Daiya to Vegan Gourmet is utterly beyond me. Just... seriously. How?

Beretta, a nice restaurant in San Francisco that has fancy cocktails, uses Vegan Gourmet, and they are all the better for it.

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I have tried Daiya cheese and both the mozza and the cheddar taste like butter. About the only thing it works good for is a salad. I had the mozza on something the other day and melted it and it was AWFUL! The texture of it was so weird it was like melted plastic. I had to throw out the food it was so gross and weird. I guess if you want your cheese to taste like butter it is good (I don't know why you would), but don't melt it!
Commented by mariano1230 July 30, 2011

I have tried Daiya cheese and both the mozza and the cheddar taste like butter. About the only thing it works good for is a salad. I had the mozza on something the other day and melted it and it was AWFUL! The texture of it was so weird it was like melted plastic. I had to throw out the food it was so gross and weird. I guess if you want your cheese to taste like butter it is good (I don't know why you would), but don't melt it!

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I have tried the Vegan Gourmet Cheddar and found it to be mediocre. However, I am always grateful for any vegan alternatives that are tolerable, because they really help in a pinch and make food more fun. I was ecstatic when I saw your review, because the cheese that I tried rated the lowest. That means that there are better cheeses to try. Yay! I'm going to give Daiya and Cheezly a try. Thanks again!
Commented by Elisa May 26, 2011

Thanks for the review!

I have tried the Vegan Gourmet Cheddar and found it to be mediocre. However, I am always grateful for any vegan alternatives that are tolerable, because they really help in a pinch and make food more fun. I was ecstatic when I saw your review, because the cheese that I tried rated the lowest. That means that there are better cheeses to try. Yay! I'm going to give Daiya and Cheezly a try. Thanks again!

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I can't say that I've tried all the cheeses in this article, but after trying and loving Daiya, I really don't have a need to try anything else. Plus, it has the best ingredients of the bunch.
Commented by Lisa April 05, 2011

I can't say that I've tried all the cheeses in this article, but after trying and loving Daiya, I really don't have a need to try anything else. Plus, it has the best ingredients of the bunch.

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I couldn't agree more with this article. I love Daiya cheese too and I wrote a review about it a while ago. www.sageist.com/2010/07/daiya-vegan-cheese-product-review.html

Commented by Marisel April 01, 2011

Daiya cheese review

I couldn't agree more with this article. I love Daiya cheese too and I wrote a review about it a while ago. www.sageist.com/2010/07/daiya-vegan-cheese-product-review.html

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You appear to have forgotten to compare any of these things to real cheese.
Commented by Jeremy Hare March 24, 2011

You appear to have forgotten to compare any of these things to real cheese.

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thanks for reviewing them. this is just what i needed!
Commented by liz February 22, 2011

thanks for reviewing them. this is just what i needed!

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