I believe that travelling to a new place must include activities that engage all our senses.
Every place has a different vibe. The way people walk, talk, drive, bargain, look at you, respond to you, everything changes….so does food! Food in my opinion is an important part of every culture, so a trip cannot be complete without trying out some local dishes and delicacies.
This is where the dilemma for a vegetarian begins. Forget about trying a local dish, the fear of availability of any veggie food at all is the question that compels the veggie traveller to furiously shop for MTR ready-to-eats along with Khakras and pickles and even pack a small travel cooker and carry some rice!
Even if local dishes might not have any vegetarian fare on the menu, most places these days have restaurants that are completely vegetarian or will have a dish or two that will be vegetarian.
20 years ago, on a trip to Singapore, I ordered vegetarian Chinese noodles having known the dish in its Indian avatar but not knowing that what we eat in India is very tweaked for our palate. So can you imagine my shock to see a mound of noodles that I just could not eat! Things have changed since then and so have I (or so I believe!!).
So the question is – do you pack all those ready-to-eat stuff because of ignorance or because you are a fussy eater?? The decision to visit a new place is in itself an adventure, so why be a fussy eater? Me thinks, do not travel if you want your idli-sambhar and paratha only!
Be open to trying something other than what you are used to. Travel itself is a change of scene, so why be scared to try new food? Believe me, vegetarian food is available. You have to ask or look at the menu.
We were in Salobrena (Andalusia, Spain) on one holiday and we went to this local restaurant that did not seem to have anything vegetarian. We were going to try our luck some place else, and the waiter came running after us and told us they’d fix a veggie meal for us – we ended up eating lots of bread with olive oil and a variety of grilled vegetables. We were so impressed by the effort that went in to cater to us, that we ate there a few more times during our stay in that little seaside town!
I wouldn’t have expected any veggie options in Polish food, but on a recent trip I was introduced to Polish dumplings – the stuffing would vary from cheese to potatoes to spinach or a combination of these three ingredients and was honestly quite nice.
So it isn’t so bad for the veggie in you 🙂 Enjoy your trip and eat well, you need those calories for all the walking-about!
Felafel in Krakow and Arepas in New York