Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mystery ingredient

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Daiya cheese

mozzarella shreds

What is it?

"Fake cheese that will make vegans swoon," is how Macleans magazine put it. Daiya (pronounced day-a) is a non-dairy cheese alternative made from cassava and arrowroot and highly praised for its cheese-like consistency and melting properties. It contains no animal products, nor soy, casein, lactose, whey, wheat, barley, gluten or nuts. "It melts and stretches and actually makes you want to eat it," one L.A. blogger wrote.

Daiya Foods Inc. was started by two Vancouver friends and vegans in 2008. The company has won several awards, and Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres have both featured the fake cheese on their shows. (In Sanskrit, Dayaa means "loving, kindness and compassion.")

Looks like:

Regular dairy-based cheese -- in this case, shredded mozzarella. It also comes in cheddar-, jack- and havarti-style wedges.

Tastes like:

Daiya looks, grates, melts, and tastes like mild cheese. Fortunately for folks with dairy intolerance, it does not digest like cheese.

Used in:

Making pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches, as a salad topping, pairing with crackers -- you name it. Daiya can be used as a cheese substitute in virtually any dish.

Found at:

Vita Health, 166 Osborne St.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 17, 2012 E4

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