Eating out is probably the most difficult situation for a vegan. It is a challenge finding restaurants that cater to vegetarians and even more a challenge for vegans.
The good news is, with the number of plant-eaters on the rise, more and more restaurants are starting to cater to us “veggies”!
In Italy, tradition is still a huge part of the culture and many are slow to change. BUT on the bright side, Italy is the FOOD CULTURE capital and more and more foodblogs are sharing awareness about vegetarianism and veganism.
Even the media is talking about it!!
Announcer: Looks are deceiving.
“This is lo veg, a vegan wurstel sandwich with grilled onions, classic hot dog revisted in vegan style. This is a sandwich with a double seitan hamburger, vegan cheese in the middle, and condiments.”
Announcer: In these dishes there is not even a hint of animal, not even cheese?
“These are ravioli stuffed with tofu”
“There are those that are skeptic, like it’s a sect”
“The see us like we’re aliens. Oh, you’re vegan, what do you eat? Nothing? Only vegetables? No.”
“You have to be ready to hear jokes all the time, because as soon as you go to eat out, a dinner or lunch, they won’t leave you alone. Every bite they make some joke”.
Announcer: For vegans, they don’t eat meat and fish like vegetarians, but any animal based products even milk or eggs are not consumed either. Difficult?
“No. For example pasta with a bean sauce is 100% vegan, people that aren’t vegan eat it and don’t even know its 100% vegan.”
Announcer: A choice for religious reasons for some people, for others environmental, for others from an ethical point of view for animal rights, to say NO to factory farming and animal testing. Now there are more specialty restaurants showing up where they have tofu cheese and seitan, which is a mix of wheat proteins and other grains.
“These are steak substitutes (soy steak) in lemon, and it has the same sensation to eat a piece of steak in a lemon based sauce, the sauces for us are very important.”
Announcer: It’s the spices, really. Gomassio is a mix of sesame, algea, and salt. Karl Lewis has been a vegan over 20 years, also actress Natalie Portman and stylist Stella McCartney. A philosophy of life that the singer Prince says is that he wanted to make a tattoo saying “vegan” a way of eating that you have to pay attention to, but you don’t have to give up eating.
“No, its not hard and you don’t have to give up eating as you can see from my body, hehe.”
“Smoked cheese exists? Yes yes”
Announcer: You don’t have to give up any treats. How do you make fried foods without eggs?
“Simply changing ingredients, a little beer, salt, water, flour. There are tricks.”
Announcer: And creamy cakes?
“Everything from a fruit base and soy milk.”
Announcer: Dishes that you can make at home. The products you can buy at supermarkets. In Italy, there are not 100% vegan supermarkets, yet, but there is one in Dortmund, Germany with 1600 different vegan products.
“I think it’s difficult to find 100% vegan products, things like toothpaste soap, shampoo, detergent are difficult.
Announcer: Shoes, things of wool or silk…the alternative is to buy things online. They don’t miss anything. At least at the kitchen table. Sliced faux meat of all kinds, liver pattee, but there is no liver, calamari rings and faux salmon meat, but all made of vegetable. Chocolate and also whip cream, candies and wine. There is also food for dogs and cats. Do the animals complain?
“No, no, they eat it up!”