Making a sharp transition from their former “velveeta-like” cheesy blocks, the new dairy-free Daiya Farmhouse Blocks are much more akin to chunks of traditional cheese.
As for the pros, Daiya Farmhouse Blocks offer that slice-able, straight up nosh-able alternative to hard cheese, which I know so many of you are craving. Though not always spot on (see my notes below), the dairy-free and vegan flavors are reminiscent of their namesakes and have textures that hold their own on sandwiches and appetizer platters. Despite the fact that I’ve never been a cheese fan (gasp!), I very much enjoyed cubes of the Daiya Farmhouse Blocks as a snack with crackers.
As for the cons, Daiya Farmhouse Blocks are definitely meant to be enjoyed as is. Unlike the old blocks, they don’t melt nicely – I would stick with Daiya shreds for a gooey experience. Briefly back on the pro side, they will melt in the microwave or into a sauce on the stove top. In fact, I tried freezing some slices and cubes with little success (the texture is significantly affected), but frozen bites of this plant-based cheese substitute will still melt fairly well into sauces.
As for the flavors, all varieties of the Daiya Farmhouse Blocks have the same ingredient base but each has its own unique vibe:
Cheddar – I think they hit the mark with this one as it tastes just like American cheddar, from what I remember. It has a spot on texture with a genuine cheesy flavor that’s only slightly tangier than I’d imagine real cheese.
Smoked Gouda – Not quite as rich and smoky as I remember this cheese to be, but this substitute still has a pleasant “after-smoke” and a warm, cheesy, but not overly so, bite.
Monterey Jack – This is by far the tangiest of the bunch. It’s good, but a little of the cheesy flavor is lost in the sharpness. Still quite multi-purpose but not my favorite for eating as is.
Jalapeno Havarti – The consistency of this flavor alternative is slightly different from the others – a little drier, in fact. Fortunately, the spicy kick overrides the textural issues and blends nicely with the cheesy backdrop.
Certifications: Daiya Farmhouse Blocks are Certified Kosher Parve and Certified Vegan. They are also labeled as gluten free, but at last check, we didn’t see a certification.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Daiya Farmhouse Blocks are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Daiya Foods website at daiyafoods.com.