For those who have no qualms about digging into a couple of Double Stacks, vegan cheese on pizza might sound horrendous, right up there with fake bacon.
Made with tapioca and arrowroot starches, Daiya cheese contains no glutens, animal products, cholesterol or any common allergens. And when I tossed a pinch of this alleged cheese into my mouth, I found it delicious: creamy, with a taste like Asiago or Parmesan.
Looks, smell and taste can be deceiving
"It's a really good cheese. It melts and has the strings hanging off the slice like the real mozzarella does," says Boyd Fox, owner and arch-conspirator of the Rebellion. Although he's not a vegan, he decided to explore vegan options after customers requested them, and added Daiya cheese to the lineup last month -- becoming the first restaurant in Colorado to offer it, according to the Rebellion website.
"The vegan community is pretty tight in Denver and after we put it up online and a few people tried it, it spread very quickly by word of mouth," Fox says, adding that some customers even drove down from Wyoming to try the cheese. In fact, it was so popular that the Rebellion ran out of Daiya -- although it now has it back in stock.
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"The fast food industry for the past forty to fifty years has been focused on putting out the cheapest food they can at high volumes," Fox continues. "I wanted to take a different approach and put out great food but keep the cost as cheap as I can. I think the bar for the food industry can be raised quite a bit, and I am attempting to do that."
And he's doing it not just by offering Daiya cheese, but also vegan substitutes for just about everything on the menu -- including a "pepperoni" pizza for Fox's brother, a vegetarian.
"There's no reason why everyone can't eat here," Fox concludes. "That's the point of it. That's why it's named the Rebellion."