In Holland the range of products and options for vegetarian and vegan people is getting bigger and more interesting. In the supermarkets you can find all sorts of meat replacements of all sorts of different kinds of meat. Name it and you will find a place in Holland where you can get it.
We have a vegetarian butcher. We have a vegetarian snack bar. These and other people are thinking of other interesting initiatives. I like it. I am not a vegetarian, but I love that everybody, even vegetarians and vegans, can go to a snack bar and get some kebab. Another great thing about this movement is that people keep on thinking of better and tastier alternatives.
My grandmother even fooled her neighbor once with vegetarian chicken. An old lady, who is very critical with her food. My granny served the vegetarian chicken as being real chicken and her neighbor didn’t notice. She was even surprised when my grandmother told her!
In France it is a whole other story. Even for me, as a non-vegetarian, the vegetarian options are very disappointing. When you go to a restaurant, most of the times they just don’t have a vegetarian option. When they do, it is mostly an ‘assiette de légumes’. The menu just says ‘plate of vegetables’. Doesn’t sound tasty to me.
The supermarkets don’t offer a lot more. They have some dry ‘galettes’, a few soy burgers and last week I found vegetarian minced ‘meat’. As I said before, I am disappointed. When going to a restaurant I first glare if there are nice vegetarian meals on the menu, but since the options don’t make my mouth water – when they have options – I will have to do with whatever they do offer.
At home of course it is less of a big deal, as vegetarians can get rather creative with their food, but sometimes it is nice to throw in something easy. Some tasty meal replacement, chicken for example. I start disliking chicken more and more, so a ‘fake chicken’ would be nice in meals that can’t really go without chicken. Like coconut chicken. I could add some other fillings, but the chicken will be missed.
So, my point of this blog is that France definitely has a lot of work to do for the vegetarian Frenchies amongst us. Maybe it is their patriotic love for their own food that makes it hard for them to bring some new items on the market, but as the number of vegetarians keeps on rising, they should also start thinking of them. It might even be a great idea to open a vegetarian bouchon, with all the French dishes converted in vegetarian meals. If it is possible in Holland, it should also be possible in France! Just be creative guys.