The pursuit of the perfect vegan cheese is one that will never end for me, and I’m sure many other vegans will agree. Being an avid Daiya advocate, I’m always skeptical to dish out the dough to try a new brand. However, I was lucky enough to be sent a sample pack of Chicago Vegan Foods’ Teese cheeses.
My favorite of the four varieties they sent me was the Nacho Cheese Sauce. A cheddar-flavored sauce with bits of jalapeno, this reminded me of the queso sold in glass jars. So naturally, the first thing I tried them on was nachos. Smooth and velvety, they tasted like the nachos I would make as an afterschool snack. The Teese nachos were so good, my friend and I were desperate to salvage them after spilling them all over my bed. Worth it.
I also enjoyed the Creamy Cheddar Cheese Sauce. Using the suggestion on the package, I chose to try this in macaroni and cheese. Now I’m no simple creature, and my macaroni and cheese is never simple either. This version I gave a little southern flair with barbecue sauce, sweet potato, and greens. Creamy and mild, I will definitely buy this again when in need of a cheddar sauce.
Unfortunately, the solid cheeses, Cheddar and Mozzarella, weren’t quite the hit that the sauces were. It wasn’t that they weren’t good, in my opinion I’ve just experienced better. Raw, it had an odd grainy, plastic texture to it. Heated, it wasn’t bad, but the melting point seemed higher, so it didn’t melt evenly. I used the mozzarella on a meatball sub, and used the cheddar on a loaded baked sweet potato. The cheddar tasted fine melted, but I was not a fan of the taste of the mozzarella.
They also sent me Dandies, their vegan marshmallows, both regular and miniature. They were both wonderful, and I’m glad they have different sizes. With the regular ones, I made broiler s’mores, arguably one of my favorite homemade desserts. Graham crackers, chocolate, raspberry jam, and marshmallows, thrown in the broiler for 15 minutes. The result is a toasty, crunch, ooey gooey mess that will make you wish fot bonfire weather. I threw the minis into peanut butter cookies, because why not make fluffernutter cookies! Although the marshmallows expand when baking, they deflate when the come out.
Overall, I will use this brand again. For the cheeses, I would stick to sauces. For my solid cheese needs, they are still not my favorite option. One plus Teese had over Daiya in my honest opinion is there are significantly fewer calories. A whole package is only about 400 calories. Dandies… Oh, Dandies…I will buy again and again. Can’t wait to use them in some Rice Krispie treats or hot chocolate!
Besides producing these amazing vegan treats we also know how great the people behind Chicago Vegan Foods are, as we have an interview with Ryan Howard, President and co-founder here. And to make things even better, they are giving away 2 PACKAGES WITH 1 bag of Dandies + 1 teese t-shirt TO OUR READERS based in the U.S. For a chance to win just tell us in the comments “WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CHICAGO VEGAN FOODS PRODUCT?” Giveaway ends on May 16th 2015 and winners will be contacted on the 17th.