One question people keep asking me is "Is it nice to be home?" and I don't really know how to answer. I don't really feel like I am home. Nick and I are staying with Nick's sister and her family in Thames Ditton which is where Nick grew up. She has four rambunctious kids so it's a very different kind of chaos than we're used to. It's only day three and I'm pretty excited that I'm heading into London for a weekend of adult company (see you soon Randi and Sal!) and vegan eats in about an hour.
Aside from being reunited with family and the joys of long British summer evenings I've also been reunited with some of my stuff. Most excitingly my clothes, I have literally been wearing the same three or four outfits every day for 9 months which is a little ridiculous even for me. I also grabbed some fun coloured nail polishes from storage as well as my leave in conditioner - my hair is pleased! Most excitingly I'm getting reacquainted with some of my favourite foods. After spending a month travelling around Korea it seems even easier to be vegan in the UK that it did before I left. Aside from the fact that I can read every ingredient label, because I'm in my home country I kinda don't have to. I know which breads are vegan, where to find vegan crumpets, which brand of pesto to look for on the supermarket shelves, which types of granola to avoid and where to find the best vegan chocolate. I dived straight for these Booja Booja truffles at the local health food store. Love!
Loads of new products have come out since I left last October.
Quorn are now making vegan chicken pieces, fillets, and burgers, pizza chain Zizzi's make a vegan cheese pizza, and, apparently, Alpro have added new GoOn yoghurts to their range. I'm hearing reports that they are even better than the Alpro Creamoso yoghurts but I can't confirm the rumours because I can't seem to find them anywhere. I don't shop at Tesco or Asda (I'm not a snob I just try to shop at places with slightly better animal welfare standards and am fortunate enough to be able to make that choice) and all of the Sainsbury's and Waitrose stores I checked came up empty. I did find the vegan Quorn pieces though so I whipped up some pasta with those, some of Sacla's vegan pesto, and a little Vegusto cheese last night. Delicious.
I was delighted to be able to spend a whole hour in Brighton yesterday, after grabbing a bunch of stuff from storage I spent a frantic 10 minutes in Infinity Foods getting re-aquainted with their huge range of vegan options. Alongside my old faves I was excited to see a huge range of Tofurky products and vegan taramasalata. Yup, that's right, someone finally veganised my favourite fishy dip from back in my pre-veg days.
This fish and egg free dip is a delight when paired with toasted pitta breads and it definitely brought back fond memories. Texturally it's similar to its fishy counterpart and taste wise I thought that it was excellent. It's just a slightly darker colour but don't let that put you off trying this delicious dip.
I'm sending this weekend eating my way around London and checking out the Just V Show and then be back in Brighton next week to fit in some friend time and to do some proper eating. I'll be keeping you updated on more UK vegan eats as soon as I find them! Have a great weekend and let me know if you're heading to Just V on Sunday, maybe we can meet up.