Gelato, pizza, spaghetti or lasagne. Isn’t this the first thought that comes to mind when you hear Italian food as a topic of conversation? These types of food don’t strike you as a vegan at first glance, do they?
Would you believe me if I told you that they actually are? or at the very least they can be? Let’s have a closer look at “Italian foods” from Manu Venditti who is a linguist and has been vegan for 16 years now.
So what was it like to be a vegan in the past in Italy?
Before social media had such a significant influence as it has today, being vegan was considered a symbol of being malnourished or weak since it was thought that if you didn’t eat meat you wouldn’t be able to get the same level of protein that a person who does eat meat gets.
Moreover, thanks to the increasing popularity of the internet and the advantages of veganism, we can now confirm that tofu is no longer the only option that comes to mind when you talk about eating vegan in Italy.
While most Italian restaurants don’t serve dishes specifically designed for vegans, dry pasta (that is not freshly made) and pizza bases are merely examples of vegan Italian foods that you can customize the way you prefer, so why not make them vegan?
“Unlike what is presented to the world, Italian food is not made with cheese but rather it is always served as a separate ingredient that you choose whether to eat or not” – Manu Venditti
It is worth mentioning that approximately 5 years ago in Italy, they started to introduce products specifically made for vegans such as meats and so on that can rival the taste of real meats. If the food is not great, healthy, and well made Italians will refuse to buy it, so it is very likely that if you get to try these products you will instantly fall in love with them.
Ordering food as a vegan in Italy, Manu’s top tips
- Order dry pasta. (Eggs are used in fresh pasta).
- Try any pizza base, the majority of them are vegan and you can customize it as you please.
- The gnocchi is also a good option as they are made of potato and flour.
- Browse the menu and identify what can be easily veganized and personalize it to your liking.
If you are interested in this particular subject we invite you to listen to our podcast where along with Manu we approach more in detail what the life of a vegan in Italy can be like.