Daiya Medium Cheddar Farmhouse Block

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

When we saw this in the grocery, we thought it might be a new Daiya variety.

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As it turns out, Daiya has simply updated its packaging (less plastic) and perhaps the recipe as well (“medium” is new to the label, which was formerly just “cheddar style block”).

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This is a wonderful cheese block and perfect for a variety of uses: shredding into recipes, slicing onto sandwiches, or simply slicing or cubing for crackers. It has a nice cheddar flavor and a very cheeselike texture — we served it to omnivorous friends who thought it was great.

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So next time you need a simple, versatile, and easy-to-serve cheese, this is a great one to have on hand.

Follow Your Heart Garden Herb Slices (& Millie’s gelato)

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

We are huge fans of Follow Your Heart Vegenaise (especially in Chipotle, which not only makes any sandwich or veg burger taste incredible, but is also a delicious dipping sauce for just about anything) as well as its salad dressings (the Ranch is amazing), but we haven’t yet tried many of its cheeses. Today we sampled the Garden Herb Slices.

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These slices have a really nice strong herb flavor, which is wonderful; they also, like many sliced cheeses, have a slightly rubbery texture. However, they are great when melted or served on a veggie burger; when warmed, the texture becomes smooth and the flavors pop.

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On another note: dessert. When we were unable to find Miyoko’s at our local health-food store, we consoled ourselves by buying Millie’s boutique vegan gelato in Vanilla Caramel Sea Salt.

In a word: WOW.

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Millie’s is based in Southern California, and so far its locations are limited to San Diego and Orange counties. But the next time you are anywhere near Southern California and are able to try this phenomenal gelato, don’t miss it. (Better yet, write to Millie’s and see if you can get it near you!)

The flavors include Vanilla Caramel Sea Salt, Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt, Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake, and Blood Orange Dreamsicle, among others. I look forward to tasting a few more flavors, as this is one of the best vegan treats I’ve ever had — rich and flavorful, organic, made in small batches that are hand-packaged, and overall just about perfect.

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So far I’ve enjoyed the Vanilla Caramel Sea Salt both straight out of the container, as well as on top of warmed vegan chocolate cake … delectable both ways, and probably any other way you have it as well.

Field Roast CHAO slices – Tomato Cayenne

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

When we last posted about CHAO slices, we had not yet tried the best one of all: Tomato Cayenne.

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This flavor is by far the best … it’s spicy and very flavorful, and it melts beautifully on veggie burgers. Thanks to its robust flavor, it also tastes far better than the other CHAO slices on cold sandwiches.

 

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The photo above is a little washed out — the cheese is actually a very bright orange — and it’s well worth a try, even if you aren’t yet sold on the other CHAO varieties. And it’s a fantastic vegan cheese option for anyone who likes a little spice.

Field Roast CHAO slices

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

Finally, CHAO slices came to our small town. We’ve been hearing about them for a long time and were so excited to try them at last. (We love and adore almost every other Field Roast product out there, so we couldn’t be happier they’ve added cheeses, too.)

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CHAO slices come in three varieties — Creamy Original, Coconut Herb, and Tomato Cayenne. We found the first two at our local co-op and are still searching for Tomato Cayenne.

CHAO is a non-dairy coconut cheese; the Field Roast website reads, “Chao Cheese is a continuation of our fascination with combining traditional Asian and European foods to create new culinary fusions, which we’ve done by partnering with a Greek cheese maker and a family in Taiwan who makes the Chao.” Yum.

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Probably because of the coconut oil base, the slices feel a little waxy, and they are not especially flavorful if eaten straight from the package (yes, I do eat vegan cheese straight from the package). However, once melted on sandwiches or bagels, the flavors come alive, and both these varieties are delicious.

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For anyone wondering, the Coconut Herb variety doesn’t taste like coconut; it just has a lovely herb flavor, and we found it to be more savory than the Creamy Original. While we enjoy these best when melted, we did pack a sandwich one day with CHAO Creamy Original slices, and it tasted great even after half a winter’s day in the car.

These slices are the best I’ve had yet, so try them out for all the sandwichy things you’ll need. And it gets much better than sandwiches…check out the Field Roast website for their CHAO recipes.