I recently spotted Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread on sale and realized that I’d never reviewed it! Time to put that trial to rest.
Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread comes in three varieties: Plain, Strawberry and Chives & Onion. I was only able to get the Plain this time around, but will update when we sample the other two.
Upon opening, the Plain Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread looked appealing enough. My knife spread through it with ease – almost too much ease for a cream cheese alternative. It is definitely softer than “the real deal”, but that does make it spread much more easily, even on non-heated items.
When sampled atop an English muffin, the flavor of the Plain Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread was quite pronounced. It was much tangier than expected with lightly sweet undertones. Although, not bad, just a bit sharp and unbalanced. It required a bit of getting used to. I think they are close, but the flavor needs some tweaking.
While I don’t think it will be my first choice for spreading, the slightly bolder flavor does hold significant promise for recipes. With other ingredients added, to bring it all together, I can see it excelling in sauces, stuffed mushrooms, shakes, and perhaps even frosting (update: it’s my new favorite for cream cheese frosting!).
Curious, I checked the internet in search of other thoughts on the Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread. There seemed to be a consensus that the Plain is a bit too bold and slightly “off”. I did see many kudos for the Strawberry and Chive & Onion flavors though. It seems that just a couple additions do bring an appealing cohesiveness to this cheese alternative.
I also have to give a big shout out to all of the Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spreads for being top allergen-free (though, they do contain pea protein). Yes, they are made in Daiya’s dedicated facility, and to date this is the only soy-free, dairy-free cream cheese alternative.
Daiya is also very well distributed for a cheese alternative. It can be found at natural food and mainstream stores throughout North America, so it’s accessible in most cities.
The Facts on Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spreads
Price: $3.49 per 8-ounce tub
Certifications: Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spreads are Certified Kosher Pareve. They are labeled as vegan and made without gluten, but did not show certifications for these at our time of review.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spreads are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, 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 website at www.daiyafoods.com.
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Works well in recipes
Daiya gets definite props for creating cheese alternatives like this one without any top allergens, in their dedicated facility. But the Plain falls a little short as a mimic – it is softer (but very spreadable) than traditional cream cheese with a tangy flavor that is sharper and takes a bit getting used to. That said, we’ve found that it works quite well in recipes (such as “cream cheese” frosting and even “stuffed” savories) – in fact, it might offer more punch than dairy.