Being a vegan tourist in Berlin this summer/fall was a great experience. Germany has close to 1,000,000 vegans. What a progressive country. Considering that the population of Germany is about 80 million that means that 1 out of every 80 is a vegan or 1.25%. Those numbers are impressive and the vegan population is growing as people start to look at the health consequences of eating animal products and the ethical treatment of farm animals, which is being exposed by a growing number of compassionate souls that have attempted to bring the truth to the majority of humans that don’t want to face the cruel realities they are supporting.
A whole foods plant based diet (WFPB) is the healthiest and most affordable for a vegan to follow. Our experience when going into a pizza place in the small town of Raesfeld in Westfalia was an interesting one. One vegetarian pizza “ohne kase” was ordered without a blink of an eye. When a pizza is served without cheese, I believe the cook makes an extra effort to put on the freshest of vegetables and extra herbs and garlic cloves. I do have to admit that once I ordered a greek salad without oil or feta cheese at a German restaurant and the waiter looked at me like I was ordering a popsicle without the stick. “Why bother?” was his remark, “if there’s no oil or cheese?” Well that is where you really get to see what your salad is made of. If it tastes good without being drenched in oil and crumbled, salty, stinky, strong cheese then it really is a good salad.
Onto Berlin. I loved the Veganz chain. My intent was to try on a gorgeous pair of Avescu vegan shoes that I had bookmarked on my phone before we left. As the four of us approached the attached Veganz café/grocery store, we were curious about what was served in the bakery. What a fantastic experience that was. I ordered a slice of chocolate peanut butter cheeze cake which I would rate a 10/10, my daughter had a caramel chocolate dessert, blueberry cheezecake was ordered by my nephew and my husband also had something so delicious that it was inhaled by him before I even got to have a bite. I’m always impressed when a vegan cheese cake tastes as good as a slice of cheesecake but these were better than the original dairy version.
One evening for dinner we dined at “The Bowl” which is a high end (in the sense of a talented chef, not in the sense of being over priced) restaurant on the top level above the Veganz market. In Vancouver my favorite vegan café is Buddha Full which specializes in raw meals, but “The Bowl” was a whole other level, it was cooked vegan food which offered an incredibly creative menu. I had an eggplant mousse (definitely would not taste good raw) with a delicious assortment of roasted vegetables, seasonings, cashew gravy served on tempeh cubes and rice noodles. Accompanied by a stunning Pear Kombucha, on tap, it was a meal that exceeded my expectations. Dessert was a chocolate torte, not too sweet but still chocolatey enough to be savoured.