Daiya has many unique dairy-free products; to me this was the most daring cheese I’ve tried from them. Havarti is a cheese that is new to me, more the reason to try it I’d say. Traditional Havarti is a semi-soft cheese, which is usually aged 3 months, with a buttery aroma. Since Daiya cheese is dairy-free, there is no aging needed. Like other dairy-free products, this Havarti Jalapeno and Garlic style wedge is made with water, tapioca flour, palm fruit oil, non-GMO canola and/or safflower oil, pea protein and other ingredients for flavor, see the full ingredient list here. Though there is garlic in their ingredient list, their “spices” ingredient is unspecific about how they include jalapeno flavor and spiciness, unless the “smoke flavor” is their jalapeno flavor in disguise. That is something I’m not a fan of, if it’s in the title of the product it should certainly be within the ingredients list.
Since this was a wedge style, I wasn’t exactly sure how to use it. It didn’t taste very good cold with crackers and I tried to slice some to make a grilled cheese sandwich but it took a long while to melt and didn’t act like cheese I would have normally used in a grilled cheese. I feel I was most put off by the unpleasant scent I was greeted with, perhaps that was more the garlic and jalapeno than the actual cheese, but without another package of a different flavor I may not know. Out of all the Daiya products I’ve tried so far, mozzarella style shreds and cream cheese style spread, this would be my least favorite.
Perhaps take my opinion of it with a grain of salt because I couldn’t find any way to enjoy cooking with it, it went mostly unused and then discarded (I can’t stand to waste food) because the smell when opened was indistinguishable from cheese that had gone bad. Maybe I would have been better off trying the cheddar or jack flavors knowing that I enjoy those traditional cheeses. If you’re adventurous with your cheese choices, maybe try the jalapeno flavor yourself and maybe you will find this unique cheese tasty.