Home » quick fix » trader joe’s mozzarella…maybe just not for pizzas

trader joe’s mozzarella…maybe just not for pizzas

trader joes mozzarella

I so wanted to love you. I saw you on Instagram and Facebook, and I was all, “Oooh, new stuff to put on pizza. I wonder if it’s a cheaper, slightly inferior Daiya.” You know how Trader Joe’s knock-offs work. Of course I bought it the first chance I got. (Oh, and if you’re looking for it, I found it hanging from a peg alongside the other shredded cheeses.)

Experiment one: pizza. Duh.

cornmeal crust

Since it was an experiment, I threw together a no-hassle pizza using this cornmeal crust from Vicolo. They also make a spelty one, which I believe is gluten-free. [Thanks to Kittee, my eyes have been opened: Spelt is not gluten-free. From what I gather from collected sources, spelt is not "modern wheat" and is lower in gluten, so some with mild gluten insensitivity can handle spelt.]  They’re better than you’d expect from a frozen crust and are the perfect size for a light meal for two.

trader joes mozzarella shred

Right out of the gate, you can tell this isn’t Daiya. The shreds are brittle, like Parmesan. I tasted it—this won’t be sprinkled on a salad anytime soon…but then again, I never sprinkled cheese on my salads before.

trader joes mozzarella pizza

And it browned up really fast—way faster than my crust cooked. I didn’t mind that so much, but you can see how shiny it is, right? There was definitely a pooling of oil on the top, like with Tofutti slices. (Dear Tofutti, I love your cream cheese and Cuties.) It wasn’t inedible, but it was as if there was no cheese on it, just a layer of…i don’t know.

Experiment two: pizzadilla.

trader joes pizzadillas

It’s totally a quesadilla with mozzarella (and whatever your twisted little heart desires: fakey sausage, onion, spinach…), which you obviously dip into sauce. How’d it go? It melted easily, but what it melts into is just a liquidy, tasteless substance. I again noticed how oily it was—and checked the nutrition label on some Daiya and it’s the same, 6 grams of fat for ¼ cup. Weird, how the oil separates out and is so much more noticeable.

After about four bites, the rest went to the compost bin. The fun, junkfood factor was not worth it. The flavor-and-texture: bad-for-you ratio just didn’t cut it for me, and I was not at all compelled to finish it. I was just sort of grossed out.

Do note that some folks seem to like it. A friend yesterday said she used it in a panini and it worked fine, so maybe as a minor ingredient rather than the star it needs to be in a pizza. I checked, and Club Trader Joe’s doesn’t seem to have tried it yet—I’d be curious to hear from a nonvegan. This is one of those things I’d hate to have as an introduction to vegan foods, because it just doesn’t do “vegan” justice. We’ve come too far to be dragged down by the likes of inferior fake cheeses!

Have you tried it? Had any luck with it? How?!?!

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15 thoughts on “trader joe’s mozzarella…maybe just not for pizzas

  1. I’ve been planning to try it – why? I don’t know, since Trader Joe’s is one billion miles from me and I RARELY ever shop there – AND I like Daiya just fine for those applications where I really think I NEED “cheese” (I rarely ever use cheese substitutes any more, I’d rather just do a cheeseless version of most things)..
    I’ll post back when I try it, for comparison’s sake.

    • We do a lot of cheeseless pizzas too — we can’t do the homemade cashew cheeses because of Tom’s allergies, or I’d likely stick with those.

      But for cheesy pizzas, I stick with Daiya. It’s got the saltiness and stretch I want from a mozzarella.

      But absolutely, let me know how it goes! (And I totally understand going to a way-out-of-the-way TJ’s — I’ll trek for a treat.)

  2. I’m really happy I came across this :) Once again, thank you Instagram for letting me know about this! I haven’t really seen or heard any reviews of until your post, yay! Everyone has been showing pictures of it but no talks! It certainly does look a lot oily. I like the idea of “Vegan Cheese” but I am not one to jump on it. I do like Daiya as my first choice and Teese [Mozzarella] second It is the only one I have tried from Teese. I was just never really a fan of it to start of with… It is good to know it’s out there. I love the creativity and effort put behind it :) I can’t wait to make Cashew cream! I have been meaning to, but I have been so busy lately! Perhaps I can experiment for this coming Christmas dinner :) Thank you for the review!

    Happy Holidays, oxo

    • I wanted to try it a couple of ways before saying anything sooo negative!

      I’m not a huge Teese fan (the mozzarella is better than the cheddar, I think) — I used to use Follow Your Heart before Daiya came along. But I’ve never used fake cheese on sandwiches or in tacos; avocado gives me that creamy texture in those cases.

      I will say this: vegan cheese is fun. And I do plan to try out some of the “Artisan Vegan Cheese” recipes…at least the nut-free ones. I had some samples at Miyoko’s demo at Chicago VeganMania and they were surprisingly good.

  3. i wonder how it would work for a french onion soup type of, err… soup? though i’m not sure if you’d even try that, what with all the onions and your texture issues. perhaps i will undertake the experiment. WORD OUT.

  4. Oooo, you are always on top of Trader Joe’s vegan products! I was fine with this – I just think it needs to be used sparingly…but, you know where I stand on the d-cheese ; )

  5. I have used it more like a shredded parmasean for salads and pasta topping. I wish they had labeled it as such. Nothing can replace Daiya.

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