Please head over to my new blog at TheUrbanHousewife.com, where you'll find this post & more!
The vegan blog world is quite the hype machine, it seems there's always a new recipe or product making the rounds & Teese has been exception! While my 1st taste of Teese was back when I returned from Europe, I was lucky enough to have a package arrive at my door with an amount sufficient for proper taste testing! (Yes, that label says "Bloggy McBloggerson"!)
I'll admit, I was quite the cheese lover in my vegetarian days, so I tend to approach vegan cheeses with caution. While there are some decent options on the market, most are rubbery nightmares that don't melt or taste anything like the original. For the most part, I am more than happy to do without these imposters, but watch out sub par vegan cheeses, Teese is here to blow you away!
Anxious to try the Teese right away, I opted first for a quick & easy meal; grilled sandwiches! Using my handy sandwich press, I spread Earth Balance lightly across slices of bread, filled them with slices of Teese, & pressed them in to the grill. What emerged was crunchy pockets filled with ooey-gooey melted Teese centers & I must say, they were wonderful! I was concerned the sandwich grill would not work to melt the Teese, but it actually worked so well, there was some spillage! C'est la Vie! By the way, next to the sandwich is one of our favorite things; Kale Chips!
Next stop, PIZZA! I mean, c'mon, Teese was made for this stuff. Teese comes in Mozzarella at the moment, with Cheddar in the works, so we should all be making pizzas while we wait for the new flavor to arrive. I made a sourdough crust & topped the pizza with tomato sauce, garlic, zucchini, bell pepper, tomato slices, & a few pieces of Julie's Spicy Italian Sausages. Once again, I went with large pieces of Teese, instead of shredded & it worked out well. This was one killer meal that satisfied even my pizza obsessed husband!
The pizza was such a success, we made Calzones next. I set up a little spread of toppings; more sausages, artichoke hearts, garlic, bell peppers, zucchini, tomato sauce, & we each made our own ideal combinations. That is Ryan's hand you see there, even he had fun coming up with flavor ideas. Doesn't a "Make Your Own Calzone" party sound fun? The calzones baked up nice & golden brown & although the Teese tried to escape from them, they were delicious! For an extra decadent treat, I could see Teese & tofu ricotta making an amazing combination!
Finally, I had to try something outside the Italian inspired genre. Previous to going vegan, "pregan" if you will, I used to make Enchilada casseroles often. While I still make them these days, I typically skip the cheese subs & focus on spices & extra vegetables. This time, I piled layers of black beans, corn, shredded carrots, zucchini, onions & garlic between strips of corn tortillas soaked in enchilada sauce & topped it with shredded Teese. Thank you, Chicago Soy Dairy, the Enchilada Bake is back! Once again, it melted easily & brought the dish a new & improved taste!
So, you're probably wondering, how does it taste? What's the texture like? Can you eat it plain? Teese is a soft, fresh mozzarella-style cheese, it's quite moist, but not slimy & doesn't smell bad like Follow Your Heart. It has a creamier, more complex taste than FYH, it's almost buttery. While I noshed on a few plain pieces, my guess is most people wouldn't like it this way, it really is at its best when melted!
Want to get your hands on some Teese? Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe, Vegan Essentials, & Pangea have it available via mail order. Also, Chicago Soy Dairy has a listing of places stocking it or using it HERE. Finally, if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, I've convinced Rainbow Grocery to carry it, so look out for it starting as soon as June!