Vancouver-made Daiya wedges take vegan cheese to next level

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      Daiya Foods took the vegan food scene by storm in 2009 when it came out with its dairy-free cheese shreds. Founded by Andre Kroecher and Greg Blake, the Vancouver company had succeeded in producing a line of vegan cheese that looks, tastes, and melts much like cow’s cheese, without the nasty animal ingredients. Plus, no soy! Daiya makes its cheese from cassava.

      These days, Daiya has vegans buzzing with its new wedges. These highly anticipated products hit the U.S. in April, but have only recently begun showing up in stores around Vancouver. While the shreds are available in cheddar, mozzarella, and pepperjack flavours, the wedges come in cheddar, jack, and jalapeno garlic havarti styles.

      I found Daiya’s wedges selling for $5.29 each at Greens Organic + Natural Market (1978 West Broadway), but they’re also available at Drive Organics (1045 Commercial Drive) and Karmavore Vegan Shop (610 Columbia Street, New Westminster). According to the packaging, the wedges are free of gluten, cholesterol, and trans fat. Ingredients include tapioca flour, palm fruit oil, canola and/or safflower oil, pea protein, and coconut oil.

      Over the weekend, I tried the jack and jalapeno garlic havarti varieties on crackers, inside pita, and on their own. The wedges come in a somewhat-resealable plastic container. What’s inside is a soft cheese that can be sliced or spread and has a taste reminiscent of foil-wrapped processed Gruyère wedges. But perhaps the best thing about Daiya’s wedges is they don’t have to be melted to be truly enjoyed, unlike the shreds. Both types of wedges I tried were delicious, with the havarti having a nice spice and the jack’s flavour being intensified by melting.

      What’s next for Daiya? I’m hoping for vegan Swiss cheese slices.

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      Maya Beckersmith

      Jun 25, 2012 at 1:07pm

      I had the jack flavour this weekend... it's creepily cheese-like and good on crackers with wine!

      Seth Meister

      Jun 25, 2012 at 1:25pm

      Daiya rocks my world!


      Jun 25, 2012 at 1:47pm



      Jun 25, 2012 at 1:47pm

      All 3 flavours of the Daiya wedges are amazing, but the jalapeno havarti tastes so much like the 'real thing' it's crazy....but without the dairy after taste (blech).

      For anyone in the tri-cities area, they have all 3 at the IGA on Ioco Rd in Port Moody for $4.99!! :-)

      David Steele

      Jun 25, 2012 at 1:48pm

      The palm oil kills it for me. The massive rainforest destruction, killing of orangutans, etc., associated with the stuff makes any product containing it completely unacceptable to me. There's no palm oil in the shreds, so that's all i'm willing to buy from Daiya.


      Jun 25, 2012 at 1:57pm

      I used to love "real" cheese, until I learned about the suffering that goes into it. I decided that no matter how much I enjoy cheese, it is not greater than the suffering other individuals have endured in order for me to have it. So I decided not to support the dairy industry anymore. I was never really into the faux cheese products...until Daiya! The shreds have been great, can't wait to try the wedges :)


      Jun 26, 2012 at 2:27pm

      I am with David - pretty excited about trying till I read palm oil - hope they can find some other oil to use.

      Dairy No Loves Me

      Jun 26, 2012 at 4:02pm

      I just tried the Daiya Harvarti Wedge (haven't tried shredded yet), it's pretty salty like processed cheese, but it makes a pretty good substitute. $4.99 at Donalds Market.

      I also just tried Cultured Coconut Milk, it's as disappointing as Soy Yoghurt. I'll just have to pop some lactase pills when I want the real stuff. If you're interested, it's on sale for $2.99 at Donalds Market (reg. $4.99). Glad I didn't pay full price!

      oh i get it

      Jun 27, 2012 at 12:08pm

      Vegan is about eating foods that are FAKE.
      that taste like meat,cheese, etc..but AREN'T. I like to REAL thing. Real Food that was cultured,grown and yes even meat (from animals) that we have been eating since the beginning of time. how do you think we have lived on earth so long..its not from tofu, or silk


      Nov 28, 2012 at 7:45am

      I love their shredded Daiya! No nutritional value, but makes for some fun eating when it comes to transitional foods for those moving away from animal products and/or wanting to do what others are doing (e.g. pizza party).

      I see comments about palm fruit oil. Only their new Wedges have palm fruit oil. Simply do not buy the Wedges, and only buy the shredded. There are places one can get the shredded in non-shredded bulk blocks with no palm oil. I can only imagine what the reason for the palm oil the Wedges is; probably for some sort of packaging reason - to make them firmer, I assume.