Things have been absolutely crazy since getting back from Italy, and I regret that it has taken me this long to do another post!
We fly out to the ship again this Saturday, so I am enjoying my last week in England for about a year, and loving the cold weather and the beginning of Autumn… by far my most favourite season. It was so warm in Italy, the cold shocked me when we got back. Simple things like remembering to wear socks now its cold… it sounds so stupid but after spending almost the last 2 years in summer it really was a major oversight! Pretty happy to be skipping another English winter this year in exchange for sun shine, ocean, islands and trying to help out some marine life.
Tuscany was such an amazing place and can’t wait to go back there one day. Just the simple fact that we never had to worry about where we could get food, so chosing restaurants where all our family could eat… absolutely everywhere was vegan friendly, often unintentionally. The supermarkets had way more to offer vegans than one in UK, such as seitan stuffed ravioli, quinoa burgers and vegan cornettos, as well as all the fresh foccacia and pizza in the bakery section.
My personal favourite snack became cecina (pronounced che cheena), also known as farinata, a thin chickpea pancake made from equal parts chickpea flour and water, salt, olive oil and pepper. Everytime we went out we would search for anywhere that sold this, and I eventually started making my own. Best snack ever, and definitly something I will be making every week on the ship!
I think the best way to explain how epic Tuscany was is to show you in photos. From more pasta and pizza than I have ever eaten in my life… to truffles… discovering a magically vegetable patch at the bottom of the garden and the BIGGEST watermelons… to fancy espressos in Florence.
Amazing new Italian vegan faux meat products available at the local supermarket. The brand is Muscolo di Grano. They do everything from strips, burgers, slices and fake bacon… and it’s delicious. I particulaty liked it as its all sealed foil packets so does not need to be refrigerated or frozen until opened, perfect for easy storage and long shelf lives, (I bought a few extras and took them home with me!) I really hope it makes its way over to UK soon.
Dolce Vegan, a vegan restaurant in Florence we tracked down. We had their homemade burgers and tiramisu. I especially loved their table mats which explained why they were vegan, which detailed information about meat, fish, dairy, eggs and bee products, and which a huge TV mounted on the wall playing documentaries.
And finally photos from our own cooking adventures using just some of the amazing, fresh, local ingredients from Tuscany. Tomatoes like I’ve never tasted before, fresh basil, mushrooms, TRUFFLES!! Just to name a few.
It was like a vegan culinary paradise.