Lifestyle

Plant-based cuisine is becoming more and more accessible – where to find unique dishes?

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More and more people are giving up eating meat. Plant-based cuisine is therefore becoming more and more popular. As a result, it is easier to find this type of food now than it was years ago. Where to look for them?

Burger made of chickpeas, scrambled eggs without eggs, but with tofu, or pork loin made of oyster mushrooms instead of pork? A dozen or so years ago many people were surprised to hear the names of such dishes. Today it is completely different, more and more people appreciate plant-based cuisine and give up eating meat. Restaurants have to follow this trend and they simply outdo each other in inventing newer and more interesting dishes that are equivalents of typical meat dishes. Today, hardly any restaurant does not have a “vegan friendly” option in its menu

Services and startups for vegans are a great convenience

The largest number of restaurants with vegan dishes can of course be found in Warsaw. There is even a special service called Happycow, which tells the user where to find the best “plant-based havens” in almost every country and city in the world. This is a great convenience for people who don’t eat meat and don’t quite know where to find a restaurant with a menu suitable for them. All you have to do is type in the place where you are, and after a while, restaurants where you can eat something vegan will be displayed.

The fashion for plant-based cuisine is also evidenced by the fact that new startups are constantly emerging that try to create plant-based equivalents of meat and vegan dishes that perfectly mirror standard products. And so we can get, for example, camembert from peas or plant-based meat, which at first glance – or a bite, is difficult to distinguish from a typical chicken. In turn, the largest manufacturers of dairy products for years have been releasing a variety of products, most often yogurts, which are based on soy or coconut milk and do not contain a single bit of cow’s milk. Today, you can find them in almost every major store.

Is it easier to be vegan today than it was years ago?

Today, being vegan or vegetarian (a vegetarian does not eat meat, but eats animal products such as milk and eggs) is not as controversial as it was years ago. Today, it is easier to change one’s worldview and diet. According to a study conducted at the end of 2020, commissioned by the online food ordering service pyszne.pl – half of Poles believe that it is much easier to be vegan now than it was 5 years ago. And even more respondents say they eat entirely plant-based meals themselves from time to time. Today, more and more people, including older ones, understand what veganism is and fully accept it. This is certainly influenced by many international campaigns that promote plant-based cuisine and encourage experimentation in the kitchen

In 2014, the British NGO Veganuary (which means “vegan January”) organized a large campaign to promote vege dishes. This challenge was repeated every year and became increasingly popular. In 2019 – maybe not for the whole month of January, but at least for a few days, as many as 250,000 people decided not to eat dishes containing meat and animal products. Two years later, that number has doubled, indicating a growing interest in plant-based cuisine. This year the pyszne.pl platform is also taking part in the project, by promoting vege dishes in delivery

The report, which we mentioned earlier, also shows that currently vegans are more likely to prepare their meals at home, rather than using the offer of a restaurant. The bigger and richer the offer of restaurants, the more likely this trend will change. The trend is currently very popular among vegan blogs, where we learn how to turn meat classics into delicious plant-based dishes with a little will and creativity

There are already restaurants and pubs where they don’t serve meat

For several years now, a rather unusual burger place “Krowarzywa” has been quite popular in Poland. From a small Warsaw pub it transformed into a nationwide chain, which proves the demand for such places. They serve burgers made of groats, tofu, mixed legumes, fresh vegetables or seitan. Similarly, in Vege Bistro instead of a typical pork chop we can eat a dish in a plant-based version, which perfectly reflects the taste of meat

Big chains also try to offer vegan options, e.g. Bobby Burger offers two vegetarian and two vegan burger options, Gringo Bar offers vegan burrito, and Menya Musashi offers ramen without meat

In discount stores and supermarkets, we can find many ready-made dishes based on plants. And oat milk or coconut milk can be found on the shelves of even neighborhood stores.

Main photo: Randy Fath/unsplash.com

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