A veggie abroad

I recently went to new Zealand and I was told “good luck with being a veggie in New Zealand” in fact New Zealand proved to be one of the best vegetarian secrets in the world, a far cry from the days when our choices were a margarita pizza or a cheese omelette and a bit of salad.

Most places have moved forward now and rediscovered vegetables and how versatile they are. The places nowadays that are the most challenging tend to be places that import absolutely everything either because of poor soil or economics which is understandable

The Americas are particularly difficult from canada right the way down to argentina and chile because their diet is so predominantly beef.

Ireland is still quite difficult. The vegetarian “choice” in our hotel was unchanged in the three years since our last visit

Another dish I get irritated by is risotto. I once went in a top London restaurant where they served a risotto starter with a risotto main. I don’t dislike risotto but I just see the main course for the meat eaters lovingly prepared with thought and creativity and mine just looks like a school dinner

Some island nations are more self sufficient and grow spices and vegetables and tend to be very adventurous with herbs, spices and vegetables. Some of the Caribbean islands like Grenada are very good and so is Mauritius which is influenced by French creole and Indian cuisine, a really interesting fusion

Strangely enough sometimes we have had to use steakhouses to get vegetarian food as you can get a good selection of salad and a baked potato and we normally have to resort to this in Scandinavia

You would expect eastern Europe to be difficult, but actually Poland estonia Hungary and czech republic were no problem at all

Italy isn’t too bad as pizza and pasta are always an option and the same in France, Austria and Switzerland

My preference if I have a choice is half board. Hotels normally have a vegetarian choice that is rotated, useful in places like Greece where I would otherwise have to find an Italian restaurant

Places that serve Indian food normally have good vegetarian options as some religions do not eat pork or beef

I found hong kong extremely difficult and so did most of our party. Meat and fish are often served together in the same dish so this is difficult for all sorts of diets and allergies. They cannot however be beaten for tofu which they really do know how to cook

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