The food situation over the past few days has been diabolical. On Sunday the choice was omelette or meat balls, on Monday night it was steak or fish, and lunch today was steak or pork loin. They look at me with horror when I say I would like something without meat. It seems to take a while to process and they don’t really understand veganism. It’s quite simple really. I eat plants. All plants.

There are 20,000 species of edible plants in the world and when I told the restaurant today that I can eat any plants they brought me this:

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It’s a plate of artichokes. Nothing else; just artichokes. Don’t get me wrong, I like artichokes but a whole plate of them is not particularly appealing.

At the restaurant last night they brought out several plates for everyone to share and every single one had meat on it. First there was ham, followed by prosciutto, then balls with some kind of meat in them, and then octopus. Why is it so hard to produce a plate without animals on it?

There are vegetarian restaurants here and we’ve been to two of them and they were great. But it would be nice if there was something I could eat at regular restaurants also.

Today we went on a winery tour which was lovely. We visited three wineries. Here are some photos.

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This is the royal family summer house.

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This next winery was quite interesting. They ferment white wine in huge century-old clay pots. I’ve never seen that before and apparently this is one of only a few wineries to do this.

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15 thoughts on “A plate of artichokes

  1. It’s does get annoying when restaurants really don’t understand veganism. That plate of artichokes did make me laugh a bit… I’ve been in that situation more than enough times. It’s not fun! Where are you traveling? Those wineries look beautiful!

  2. No sides, no vegan tapas you could order? Spanish cuisine is on the meaty-dead animal side, but at tapas bars you can usually find dishes made from tomatoes, eggplant, olives, toasted bread, hummus, etc.

    That said, I’ve been scolded by people for “expecting other cultures to cater to your First World diet.” I had no idea my vegetarian diet was limited to the US/Europe (hello India and Hinduism, Asian/Buddhism?) but I try to be flexible when traveling. Some countries, it’s not safe to eat raw vegetables or fruit, so one has to keep that in mind as well.

    1. To be fair, these three places were somewhat unique in that they had a set menu so there was very little choice. However we did email them in the weeks leading up to this that I would be there and would not be eating animal products.

      I don’t think it’s fair to be scolded for what others may perceive as a first world diet. For me it is unethical to eat meat. To justify eating meat just to make things simpler for restauranteurs is a very poor argument. I’m also hoping that by sticking to my principles at these places they are now more familiar with vegans than they were before and so it may be a tiny bit easier for the next vegan who visits. Small steps.

  3. Ugh! So all the back-and-forth with the restaurants in advance about having vegan options for you was for naught? I’m so disappointed in them, and so sorry.

    1. I’m sure it helped a little. I shudder to think what may have happened had you not done that. At Bodega they gave me a plate of grilled vegetables not unlike the artichokes but with a few more varieties. However there was nothing else on the menu with any of those vegetables so I was wondering how they even had them in their kitchen …. it might have been thanks to your emails.

  4. I suspect things would be better in Catalonia, in the cities anyway.

    Recalling your mention of ham, ham everywhere a few posts back, I just noticed a new item at Trader Joe’s (a US national chain): Uncured bacon jam. It’s uncured as an apparent nod to nitrate/nitrite health concerns, although high in sugar as an apparent nod in the other direction. The disclaimer is good, though.

    1. Oh and I meant to add that it’s not much better in Barcelona. I went there for a previous work trip in 2015 and found it equally disappointing for vegans. It’s fine if you seek out vegetarian restaurants and go to those every night but it’s not possible to do that when you’re travelling with a group of meat-eaters.

      1. Yeah, although that’s probably true everywhere. Two years ago at AGU I was invited to dinner with a bunch of climate scientists at an, I guess, “traditional” San Francisco restaurant and ended up having some bread with olive oil. To my considerable disappointment not one of the scientists shared my problem. Whoever made the reservation obviously wasn’t aware it was even an issue. Eh.

      2. That is really disappointing to hear. I can go to any restaurant here and there will be at least one thing I can eat. On the odd occasion that has not been the case then the chef has made me something and it is always more substantial than a plate full of burnt artichokes. Disappointing also that climate scientists are not promoting a plant-based diet given the impact of livestock farming on greenhouse gas emissions.

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