Italians are known for history, culture and of course: CIBO (food). Italians love to eat and all get togethers, parties, festivals, meetings, pretty much anything revolves around CIBO. This will sometimes be a challenge if you are vegan. But, NON VI PREOCCUPATE (no worries)!!
Veganism is on the rise in Italy. Currently 1% of the populationare vegan. Many restaraunts and grocery stores now carry vegan alternatives. Soy, seitan, tempeh, and tofu is starting to have a household name. Many more websites are popping up everywhere with new recipes and tasty treats!! So you are not alone!
There are many ways to ensure a meat free get together or festival. Although you may not be able to have a 100% meat free environment ALL the time, for example picnics for work or church gatherings, you can protect yourself from a meat-contaminated plate.
In Italy, it is traditional custom for the person inviting to make the CIBO. However, if going to someone else’s house or party, you can offer to make a dish to pass. Simply state that you do not eat meat/dairy and would like to offer to make a tasty dish for everyone to share. When Italians have the possibility of having MORE CIBO on the table, they will never object. In fact, you can offer to bring 2 dishes to pass….the more the merrier
It’s not necessary to condemn their meat eating. If you state your reasons in a non-threatening way, others will respect you, even if they don’t understand your view.
If eating out in big groups where bringing a dish to pass is not an option, you can always suggest a good restaurant! Italians are usually discussing for hours the best place to eat, so if you come up with a great suggestion first, they will most likely consider eating there!! Italians are usually not so picky and as long as they have CIBO, friends and family, then “la vita e’ bella!” (Life is good!)
If they have questions, answer them!! Suggest some great meat substitutions and DOLCI (sweet treats) to eat! Many Italians grow up in very traditional situations and they only need a bit of new information and time to begin to see there are great alternatives just around the corner!!!by