Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Vegan in Europe (specific to Ireland)

This summer I went to Ireland for three weeks. Three weeks in a quintessential meat and potato land is quite a challenge (or so I thought it would be.) It actually wasn't that bad. So if you live in Ireland (or UK or other parts of Europe) and think being vegan won't work where you live, here are some tips. This guide is mostly to point out brands, and I wrote this specifically for what I could find in Ireland (I was in Clare, Waterford, and Carlow to be even more specific.)

In the U.S. the best soya* milk is said to Silk. I found that both Alpro (a soya company) and Tesco brand (aka supermarket brand) were about equal and even better than Silk. Alpro also makes some FABULOUS vegan chocolate pudding. Cadbury's hot chocolate powder can be made with soya milk for amazing results :) I brought home 3 tins of it!

If you look in the nutritional aisles of the grocery stores, you should be able to find some vegan products (often made for those with allergies.) In the butter section, you should be able to find Pure brand margarine made from soya oil. It tastes just like butter! Many breads are often vegan, if you're having a hard time finding any, look for French bread, it is not supposed to have any dairy or eggs in it. Irish Pride is vegan.

I found the most amazing soya ice cream to be made by HB. It was chocolate flavor, and nothing I've ever had in the States could ever compare. It had fudge swirls in it and tastes just like real dairy ice cream. Even my non-vegan cousins who've never tried vegan alternatives before said they couldn't tell the difference. I think it also came in strawberry, so look for that next to the normal ice cream in the freezer section.

Don't forget, fresh fruits and vegetables are always available. Pasta and red sauce is always a nutritious meal. Products made for those with allergies are often a good place to look. And don't be afraid to look at random items, (Doritos Chili Heatwave are vegan!) One last note, Guinness beer is processed with animal products :(

I hope this mini-guide is helpful, just comment if you have any specific questions, I may be able to help. Also if you are from Europe and have more country-specific tips or other general tips, please post them!


* In the US, we call what Europeans call soya just soy. They are both the same thing.

8 comments:

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Tazzie's mom said...

Haven't visited Ireland yet, but London is very vegetarian friendly, with veg fast food places and restaurants ranging from budget to upscale.

But as a rule it's easy to eat veg in Asian restaurants, Thai and Indian (my favorite) in particular, and Mediterranean restaurants. Caribbean places typically have rice and beans and lovely vegetables. Salad bars are another option.

Here at home in Florida, I never bother with pasta places (or salad, frankly) because you pay $12+ for something you could make at home for less than a buck and make better.

Amanda said...

Silk is by far not the best brand. The larger cooperation that owns silk owns thousands of battery cages. Eww!

Jeni Treehugger said...

Pure also do a Sunflower spread which is even nicer than the Soya one!

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