Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vegan MoFo Days 24 & 25 - The Great Cheeze Off, Part 2

Another missed day... man, I am not doing so hot. What's the stated MoFo goal? 20 posts in October? I can still make that if I don't miss any more days.

Yesterday was basically a day full of suck, spent writhing around in a world of hurt and kind of hating my reproductive system for failing to reproduce anything except giants amounts of pain. On the upside, I tried the bacon cheddar Cheezly and um, it's love. That stuff is eat on crackers good. My non-vegan but lactose intolerant vegetarian husband tried it and agreed that it's really quite good. He then scoured the internet trying to find somewhere nearby that sells it, so that we don't have to order it through Vegan Essentials and do the fast shipping thing again. No luck on that front so far, though. Sadness.

I also tried cooking with the Sheese last night, which was semi-disastrous. I mixed chopped up bits of it with chopped tomatoes, vegan sausage, and shallots, and sauteed the whole lot in some of the delicious broth I made the other day. Everything in the dish was really good except the Sheesh... the Sheesh rendered it uneatable for me. It didn't really melt so much as just get kinda gross. The dude liked it okay, but ugh, not me. Sorry Sheese.

Which brings us around to the Cheeze Off! At last! So, after the first round where I fought against my instincts and made myself eat uncooked vegan cheeze, I baked some of each type of cheeze into this cheeze muffin recipe from the Joy of Cooking. (The JoC is in the other room, but maybe I'll type up my version later.) This used to be one of my favorite cooked cheeze recipes in my pregan days, and I hadn't made it in years, so I thought I'd give it a shot. The original recipe calls for American cheese, and I figured that if vegan cheeze can't live up to American cheese, then it's all for naught and we may as well go back to eating twigs and berries like proper vegans.

The Teese muffins looked the best and had the best overall muffin texture. Teese seems to have very high moisture content compared to the other two, and this made the muffins softer and moister. But remember how I said Teese cheddar tasted like Handisnacks + blue cheese uncooked? Well, the blue cheese flavor worsened after baking. I can usually forgive a taste I don't like for an awesome texture, but I really couldn't do it with the Teese and ended up throwing out the last Teese muffin.

The Sheese muffins were very good. They were medium-dense, fairly moist, and looked okay. Sheese melted okay, though not quite as well as Teese. The strong soy aftertaste that I noticed when Sheese was uncooked went away, which was great. But the cooked Sheese tasted SO SALTY. I love salt generally, but the Sheese muffins were a little too far on the salty side.

The Cheezly muffins... I have to tell you, I was really worried about them going into this. They were much smaller than the Teese and Sheese muffins, and the Cheezly didn't seem to melt a whole lot during its time in the oven. The muffins seemed heavy and dense when I picked them up, and I was not expecting much. As in the two previous cases, however, I was surprised by the Cheezly muffins. They RULED. The minor texture problems I had with the uncooked Cheezly went away (no more spongy cheeze) and the flavor stayed about the same. The muffins were a little more dense than the others, but they were dense with deliciousness. The texture was uncannily similar to how I remember the American cheese version of these things being.

Verdict: Cheezly has totally won my heart. I hereby proclaim it the winner of this Vegan Cheeze Off.


Yes, I really bought all of this vegan cheeze. I am insane.

Uncooked cheddars on a plate.

Muffins! From left to right, we've got Sheese, Teese, and Cheezly.

And my grilled Teese. I wanted to take a picture of this cut in half to showcase a gooey Teesey center, but I could not cut it in half and just ended up getting Teese everywhere. It was sad.

PS: I have no idea how to make my pictures not be cut in half here, so uh, sorry about that.


Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

I love reading about your cheeze off. I can't wait to try Cheezly

Jeni Treehugger said...

Haha the big cheeze off! Can't wait to try Cheezly.
I can't see the photos btw!!

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Thank you for taking on this Cheeze Challenge! It's great to hear about someone else's experiences with them.

That's a lot of cheese.

Amey said...

you are a vegan cheese hero - paying the big bucks and sacrificing your own noble taste buds for the sake of us all. Maybe one day I'll invest in some Cheezly. So far, I really haven't been tempted by any vegan cheeses though.

by the way, we should have an SC meetup one of these days.

coldandsleepy said...

Heh... I'm glad my cheeze exploits have been fun to read. I feel like a bit of a lunatic for ordering eight billion tons of vegan cheeze that I wasn't even sure I liked, but um, if I have internet approval, it's okay, right?

Cheezly is SO GOOD, by the way. So so recommended. So recommended.

And Amey: yes! Santa Cruz meetup! Sophia on the PPK has just moved to Santa Cruz and wants to do something as well. I think 3 is officially enough to constitute a meetup!

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