Friday, 29 April 2011

On the road: vegan in Sardinia

Marinara pizza with artichokes and black olives

A couple of weeks ago me and Matteo went to Sardinia, Italy. We had a lovely time there and the island is really beautiful. We rented a car, so we could go to as many places as possible. The weather wasn't amazing, but it was still warmer than Ireland and it was sunny most of the time.
How was the food, you might be asking? Well, have to tell you that Sardinia was a good surprise for me. We didn't find much information on line before the travel and decided to go with the spirit that in Italy there's always pasta and pizza, "so will be fine". When we left the airport we stopped in a regular supermarket and found some vegan stuff to have in the hotel. It was a very good start.

In the first two days we kept eating breakfast in the hotel, eating some snacks in the car while driving around the island, having sandwiches, juice and fruits in the afternoon and pizza at night. But our vegan supply was ending and we were in a very small city and had no idea about what to find around to eat. But when we were coming back from La Maddalena, a small island part of Sardinia, I spotted an advertising on the road about a organic store and guess where was it?! Oh yeah, at "our" city (Olbia)! We went straight there and I was very surprised with the size of the store - it is huge! It's not a vegetarian or vegan place - so they had some fish (I didn't see meat) - but it had many vegan products and we could supply ourselves again. Talking to the owner, she said there are many vegans around!

Emporio Alcatraz
12, V. Roma, Olbia, OT 07026

07026, Italy

So, if you decide to go to Sardinia, don't be afraid, you will always find the Italian classics - pasta and pizza (marinara pizza with the vegetables you want) - and also vegan products in regular supermarkets and organic shops.

I couldn't help myself and had a marinara with french fries
It's not Italian at all but it was good (and funny!)

And don't forget, if there is any important Italian words to know when you're traveling and doesn't speak Italian at all, the word is "strutto" (it means "lard" and it's still used in some doughs in Italy, mainly in focaccia bread).

Lime granite in our last day, in Alguero

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Enjoying your (vegan) food

Spaghetti with "meat" balls in Italy:
Italians don't eat spaghetti with meat balls,
but my sister-in-law made it for us

A couple of weeks ago I came across this quote from chef Jamie Oliver: “Stop being a vegan and start enjoying what you eat.” Until that day I thought he was an "OK" chef who sometimes cook vegetarian (and even vegan) meals at his show 30 Minutes Meals. I don't know from when or where this quote came from and I won't spend this post talking about him (I already read some posts about the topic in the internet). What I really want to say here is that most of the people I know that truly enjoy their food are vegan.

I'm reading a lot about food to write my thesis and also its relation with culture. It's clear that the post-modern days pushed away people from the kitchen and from dinner tables too. Most of the people I know who aren't vegan don't know how to cook or just know a few basic dishes and a lot of them eat out or take away or ask for some fast food/pizza delivery. Yeah, I know, there are vegan people like that too! But I'm just talking about my experience and the people I know (and believe me, I know a lot of them).

vegan gorgonzola
also made by my sister-in-law

Becoming vegan still means that you should learn cooking and eating more at home. Even with more and more vegan options in restaurants and coffee shops it's still better (and more trustful) to eat at home. I know that my interest on cooking is not the usual one, I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen, but as everybody there are some days that I don't want to cook too. But there is no situation - even when I'm tired as I'm being these days - when I do not enjoy the food I'm preparing or just eating. For me, eating is one of the biggest pleasures in life and I do enjoy what I eat and I take time to do it every single day.

How many people do you know who spend more than 30 minutes in their kitchen preparing (and enjoying) their food and another 30 minutes eating (and enjoying even more) their meals in this crazy world where everything is fast and furious? Between these people, how many are vegan?

perfect vegan dessert plate

GO VEGAN. I'm sure you will enjoy your food.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Give away new winner

While Mellisser's awesome book The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life! is sold out in a lot of websites I have to make this post to way that the winner of my giveaway didn't contact me to get her copy. I tried to contact her but nothing. After waiting one month since the post with the winner was published I decided to give the chance to another reader.

So the winner now is dolmadez (Hungry Vegan Traveler)!

Please contact me so I can get your info and ship the book :)

Thursday, 7 April 2011

united by love and compassion

Photo of a photo from our album

Today me and Matteo are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary.

We have many things in common and we're different in many other things. But what made me fall in love with him was his compassion for the animals and the values we share.

As a friend told me today, we're keeping the vegan edge family alive. Hope we're doing it right ;-)

we had a 100% vegan buffet but no photos
this was the cake and the Italian confetti

Love you, husband.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The ultimate ice cream battle in Rome

They say that going to Rome and not seeing the Pope is not going to Rome. I will not argue that but to me going to Rome and not having (vegan) ice cream is not going to Rome. Everybody should agree that Italy has the best ice cream in the world. If you don't agree, I'm sorry but you're wrong or you've never been there! This statement also include vegan ice cream and I can confirm it myself (never had regular ice cream in Italy cause I was already vegan the first time I went there).

But I've been reading different posts about where to get the best vegan ice cream in Rome. I was used to go to Gelarmony and I was very happy about the entire section of dairy free ice cream they have there. But I saw this post about my lovely friend and blogger Jill, from Vegan Backpacker, talking about Il Gelatone and the place was mentioned in basically every place I've searched for vegan gelato in Rome. So in my walking in the second day in Rome I decided to go there to check it out after going to the Colosseo.

Sooooo here's the contenders:

Gelarmony: as I said before they have an entire section of dairy free ice cream in the back of the shop, which includes soy and rice options that go from fruit ones to Italian classics such as coffee, gianduia and noce. And they have an amazing homemade soia panna montata (weep cream). I went there twice and had walnut and cinnamon in the first time in a cup of 2.50 euro and pistacchio and riso nero (vanilla rice milk with chocolate) in a (HUGE) cup of 3.50 euro in the second time. The place is close to the Lepanto stop (two blocks away), in the red line of the metro. Staff is super friendly. I can't say if they speak English or not cause I was speaking Italian with them.

Address: 34 Via Marcantonio Colonna

Il Gelatone: the place is really close to the Colosseo, like between 5 and 10 minutes walking. They have something between 8 and 10 soia options, including fruits and also the classics. I asked for cappuccino and chocolate options in a small cup (same size of the first one I got in the Gelarmony). It cost 4 euro. It was delicious. Staff was also very friendly. You can go out in the Colosseo metro stop (blue line), which is never a bad idea, or in the Cavour stop (red line).

Address: 28 Via Dei Serpenti

THE VERDICT: Considering location and staff both places are great. But considering variety of flavours, texture, price per size and the perfect vegan weep cream, I have to say that the winner is Gelarmony!

If you go to Rome, don't forget to go to these places, both are worth it a visit if you're an ice cream fan as myself. And let me know if you agree with my verdict!

PS. You can also find ice cream in the supermarkets in Italy and this time my mother in law got us these new delicious stuff from a new brand, Kioene (GMO free), and they are just amazing. The biscuit one was my favourite.

Monday, 4 April 2011

From Rome to the countryside in north of Italy

Pizza rossa: a classic from Rome
(and vegan

From time to time I go to Italy.

Last week we went first to Rome cause Matteo had to record the songs for the upcoming album of his band, Purification, a vegan straight edge band. I spent two days walking around the city and had the best time. There's something about Rome that makes me love that place.

After we went to Soresina to see Matteo's family and relax. It was warm and really good and I also made a two hours walk in the real countryside.

On Saturday night we headed Monza to meet a friend and it was great too cause I didn't know the city. It's really beautiful.

More about the food to come.


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