Got Pizza? We do now! (Photo: courtesy of Daiya)
As most vegans know, the biggest thing to hit our culinary universe this year is Daiya. It’s a totally yummy vegan cheese that melts and shreds just like dairy cheese. (Check out SuperVegan’s love-letter, er, review.)
We thought we’d take a look behind the curtain and find out more about the wizards behind this new Canada-based cheesy phenomenon. Here they are, the Daiya Dudes. Andre Kroecher is the mad-scientist inventor of Daiya, and co-founder of the company with business-savvy Greg Blake.
SuperVegan: Why did you set out to create vegan cheese and what were your main criteria?
Andre Kroecher: I have always really loved dishes such as pizza, lasagna, quesadillas, burritos, which typically have cheese in them. Being a vegan though, I found that simply removing the cheese from these left me terribly disappointed. I tried replacing the cheese with extra salt and olive oil, but to me the taste and texture is just not nearly as satisfying.
Having a background of more than 10 years experience as a product developer, I had a real passion for trying to invent a vegan cheese that might actually have the properties of real cheese. I also love imported exotic cheeses and other European cheeses like havarti, so I decided to just start experimenting to see if I could make something that would satisfy me more than the other [products] out there. I tend to naturally approach things in an unconventional way and this yielded some unexpected results. Eventually, I developed a block of something quite like a soft havarti style cheese.
Greg Blake: When I tried the havarti style cheese Andre made I was convinced that it had commercial potential, but what would be even better would be to create a cheddar and mozzarella style vegan cheese that actually tasted, shredded, sliced and melted like dairy-based cheese. Continue Reading…