(Michael: A / Nicole: A-)
WHAT: Daiya New York Style plain vegan Cheesecake
WHERE: Whole Foods on North Dale Mabry (the one by Target, next to PetSmart), freezer section. Not sure if available at all three Tampa locations.
PRICE: $8.99 for 4 decent sized slices. The whole cheesecake is about 4-inches around, so a little less than half the size of a normal 9-inch pie pan cheesecake.
Michael: We ate this plain, with no toppings, and it was amazing! Nicole would have preferred strawberries but I am a big fan of plain cheesecake. Daiya rocked this dessert. I seriously can not imagine a better store-bought cheesecake. The texture, crust, and taste are flawless and it is exciting to have a local source.
Nicole: It was good. I would have preferred a topping like fresh strawberries or a little chocolate and a few nuts. Would buy again.
Michael: This is an amazing dessert but it is nowhere near the density or richness of an authentic “New York style” cheesecake. This is just a semantic complaint, perhaps, but I think they should have simply called it “Plain” cheesecake. The size is pretty disappointing, though I will still gleefully fork over nine bucks for another one (or five). It is about half the size of a regular cheesecake and, like most vegan desserts, priced at a premium. Also, this is really a minor complaint because I understand it is a dessert, but Holy Fat Pants, Batman! A normal size portion (one-fourth of the tiny pie) will add 16 grams of saturated fat to your rear end (or 80% of the Recommended Daily Allowance on a 2,000 calorie diet), 24 grams total fat (34% RDA), 420 mg (18%) of your day’s Sodium, and 34 grams (11%) total carbohydrates, 17 grams total sugars. You do have a little fiber in there, though (2 grams/ 8%), 3 grams of protein, 15% Calcium, and 4% Iron.
Nicole: It is priced high but when you break it down, it calculates to $2.25 for a slice of vegan cheesecake, which is less costly than most restaurant desserts and that is based on four servings.
Michael: I am a cheesecake connoisseur (both pre and post vegan). A plain, New York or Chicago style cheesecake is, in my opinion, one of the world’s most perfect desserts and the Daiya Cheesecakes are a home run. Obviously, a bit pricey but still considerably better value than what you would pay at a vegan restaurant. “New York Style” is a pretty big stretch if you ask me. The Daiya cheesecake is not dense and hard to swallow like a real NY cheesecake. The texture was creamy and smooth and the taste was sweet with a light lemon tartness, almost a perfect replica of the Jell-O brand cheesecake my mom used to make. The graham cracker crust is only on the bottom which I think is a nice touch. I like the taste to be focused on the cheesecake without a lot of crust but some people, I am sure, would prefer the crust to climb up the sides as well. I will definitely buy another one and will work my way through every flavor (but for me, plain is the way a cheesecake is best made and served). This is an amazing, delicious vegan cheesecake that non-vegans would never be able to guess is not a “normal” cheesecake. Delicious!
Nicole: Desserts are good in moderation. This was one of the better ones and we will have it again. I will try to have some toppings to go with it, even if Michael snubs them.