Nutritional Yeast in Italy

Ciao a tutti!

We have had some of our readers asking about Nutritional Yeast and if it is possible to find it in Italy. The good news is YES!

Nutritional yeast can be found pretty easily, if you have a bit of patience. Very first thing to know: the vocabulary.

Nutritional yeast is lievito in scaglie in Italian; you may also see it written as lievito alimentare or lievito alimentare in scaglie

Brewer’s yeast is lievito di birra or lievito di birra in scaglie

So make sure you are getting the right one. The trick is sometimes the companies will have a bad translation. We saw lievito alimentare in scaglie that was actually translated in English as Brewer’s yeast, so it can be confusing. This is, however, the correct product.

lievito alimentare

If you get a chance, check the label. Check for key words. A label like this will indicate the correct product:

Lievito alimentare maltato in scaglie biologico.

Un prezioso concentrato di nutrienti completamente naturale e biologico, saporito e delicatamente salato per arricchire ogni preparazione e ottimo sostituto ad una grattuggiata di formaggio, permette di arricchire i propri piatti e trarre benefici salutistici allo stesso tempo con una semplice spolverata. Biologico e nel pratico formato in barattolo apri e chiudi per garantire sempre la freschezza e la comodità di utilizzo.
Particolarmente indicato nelle diete che escludono ingredienti di origine animale grazie all’apporto di vitamine del gruppo B, tra cui la B12, e proteine vegetali.

Ingredienti: lievito alimentare in scaglie bio 79%, farina di malto d’orzo bio 20%, sale.

Highlighted words to look for are lievito alimentare (nutritional yeast), ottimo sostituto ad una grattuggiata di formaggio, (a great substitute for grated cheese ), indicato nelle diete che escludono ingredienti di origine animale (indicated for diets that exclude ingredients of animal origin), and vitamine del gruppo B, tra cui la B12, (B-Vitamins, especially B12)

Here are a few things you will have to take into consideration:

#1.) Which city are you in? Depending on where you are in Italy may be the determining factor for finding nutritional yeast. Smaller cities, rural areas, or more traditional villages may not have stores that carry it. It may take a trip to the next town or a city nearby.

#2.) Which grocery store are you shopping in? Some stores are more vegan and health friendly than others. Just like anywhere else, you have your big superchains and then you have smaller stores. Most of the health food stores like NaturaSi should carry the yeast, but again just depends what kind of request for it they have in the supermarket. Most of the big superchains, like Esselunga or Tigros (northern Italy), La Coop (central Italy) or Conad (southern Italy) just to name a few, have started to have health food isles specifically for vegan or gluten-free food.


#3.) North, South, East or West? Going back to location: where you are in Italy will depend on your nutritional yeast success. Northern Italy is more developed than other parts of Italy and there is a large population of vegans around. It will not be difficult around areas like Milan. Southern Italy can get a bit tricky. Again, this just depends on the chain and location where you are. For example, we visited the Conad in Modica in the province of Ragusa, Sicily, however they did not carry nutritional yeast. They did have rice milk and soy milk, though. And another store we visited, Cash and Carry did not have it either. We did find some delicious vegan cookies, though!

#4.) Erboristeria. The Erboristeria is not a grocery store; literally translated it would be “herbal supplement” store. Although we browsed some of these shops for vegan snacks, we have not had success finding nutritional yeast. However, we have not been to every single Erboristeria in Italy. We know at least one in Italy that carries it: Ghinato Erboristeria in Sassari, Sardegna. Not sure if they have it in-house, but you can get it on their website here. Don’t rule it out; we have found many herbal teas, vegan cookies and jams, seitan and tofu and health alternatives at the local Erboristeria. It is definitely worth a trip!

#5.) Online shops. If you are in Italy, cannot seem to find it, looked everywhere and you’re staying for a couple of weeks or more you can try some online stores. Macrolibrarsi sells it on their website. There are also several companies out of the UK or Germany where you can find nutritional yeast. It is usually free shipping anywhere in the European Union and delivery is about 3-4 days, depending on the company. Of course, you can get it express delivery for an extra charge.

#6.) Bring your own. Yes. You can also travel with your own. Personally for short trips, I would not worry about it. Skipping a few days of N.Y is not going to hurt anyone. If you do bring it, make sure it is packed nicely in the suitcase. Air pressure in the airplane could cause the plastic bottle to pop open and that would not be so nice to have yeast all over the clothing.


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