When I heard all of the initial buzz surrounding Chicago Soy Dairy’s new vegan cheese, I was excited to try it out. They’d posted some intriguing video showing how it melted versus Follow Your Heart’s cheese and given the mediocre competition, I figured Teese to be the new frontrunner in vegan cheeses.
The folks at Chicago Soy Dairy were kind enough to send along a log of Teese for me to try out. And so I did.
My wife and I tried Teese in a few different settings. We had it on top of meatball subs, on a pizza, and plain, on crackers. Teese tasted decent enough by itself on crackers. It wasn’t a perfect replication of dairy cheese, but is probably the closest to mozzarella that I’ve tasted soy cheese get. The real test, though was in the melting.
When vegans gather, it’s inevitable that they joke about Follow Your Heart’s not-really-bold claim on their packaging that “It melts!” Teese is supposed to pick up where Follow Your Heart left off and melt more like dairy cheese. From all accounts I’ve seen, it does indeed melt quite well in commercial settings on pizza. In our kitchen, though, we had a little less luck. In fact, it melted pretty much like Follow Your Heart. Certain parts melted really well while others looked like they weren’t even in the oven. I suspect that commercial kitchens have ovens that heat a little more evenly.
Melting issues aside (besides, others have had more luck), they did make darn good tasting meatball subs and I’ve tried lobbying local pizzerias (unsuccessfully, so far) to start offering Teese pizzas based on the success at home. A Teese pizza might just be good enough to win over those straggling lacto-ovos.
Where Teese really wins, though, is price. Sheese and Cheezly are still crazy expensive (and pretty awesome), costing over a dollar per ounce. Teese, per ounce, is the same price as Follow Your Heart’s cheese, about 47 cents per. (I won’t even bring up Veganrella, because I’m not entirely sure it’s actually meant to be eaten.) Availability isn’t nearly as widespread as Follow Your Heart, but if it ever reaches the level of their Temptation Ice Cream, they’ll be in good shape.
We haven’t reached the promised land of perfect vegan cheese yet, but we’re edging ever closer thanks to products like Teese.