Sunday, February 14, 2010

Daiya - A love story

Oh Daiya, what is there to say? We met, we danced and now our romance has ended.

It all started out when I ordered Daiya from vegan essentials. Half a pound of cheddar, half a pound of mozzarella. Just some modest tastings. Oh my, I didn't know.

I will tell you that Daiya, without a doubt, is the best cheese substitute I've ever tried. Seriously. It makes Teese look like Veganrella. Cheddar Daiya makes the best mac and cheese I've had that didn't involve dairy. No exaggeration. Spinach fusilli, broccoli, silk and some daiya cheese, melted together in a pot creates some seriously good mac and cheese.

I made nachos for the first time ever and discovered that I think nachos are okay. But hey, at least now I've had them! See picture. They look pretty good, though, right?

The mozzarella Daiya is just as good. Want melty, stretchy cheese pizza? I know it looks a little splotchy in the picture, but I threw the stuff on the pie directly out of the freezer so it was kinda clumpy and melted well enough to create soft squishy cheese.

Then, I went raw. Daiya became a memory, like that German boy I dated for 3 months, knowing full well I wouldn't see again until I got over to Europe 2 years later. A great thing. About a week before I got off the raw diet, I went by Chapel Hill Whole Foods to request that they carry it. Time went by and nothing, so I waited, patiently.

One day, while shopping with Dork and advising her on which vegan products to buy (gimme lean sausage for tofu scramble, yves breakfast links for regular sausage needs) I noticed a new package in the dairy case. DAIYA. Literally screamed. The cereal stock guy looked at me like I was nuts. But Chapel Hill Whole-y heard my prayers. Obviously, we each bought some.

I made pizza with broccoli, spinach and smart deli pepperoni on a corn-based gluten free crust (pictured). I made mac n cheese to feed me for days, packed it up and ate it for days. Then went and bought more. I simply couldn't get enough Daiya. I considered asking the store to start carrying Rossini pizza (made with Daiya) since the Amy's gluten free soy pizza (made with Daiya and rice crust) is kind of horrible. Well, not the pizza, but reheating rice crust is not friendly.

Then, around my birthday, something changed. I had a batch of mac and cheese after a night of somewhat unfortunate drinking choices and the next day...I CRAVED DAIYA NO MORE. (Yes, just like that Burger King only TMNT Release). The spark was gone. The taste of it did nothing for me. I could walk past pizza parlors and watch my friends eat blue box with no jealousy.

Of course, that hatred passed. Tonight, Dork told me she was making daiya pizza (mixed mozzarella and cheddar) with fresh peppers, tomatoes and Smart Deli pepperoni (really, is there any other kind?). And when she offered me some? "Oh hell yeah."

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