It’s common knowledge that food in Europe simply tastes… better. It might be that they’re just fancier, tastier and superior to Americans in nearly every way (except the job market, get your shit together EU!).
But what about vegan duds in the supermarket? On my recent trip abroad to La Coruña, I was able to find quite a selection of vegan goodies that weren’t even explicitly marketed as “vegan.” They just were vegan. #mindblown!
Here’s a quick rundown of what I found:
- Vegan Buttery Spreads -Sure, you can find margarine in the dairy aisle of an American supermarket that’s technically vegan. But that margarine usually has icky, nasty trans fat in it. And it tastes like an old tire.
Enter the totally healthy, yummy and even omega rich buttery spreads I found at Mercadona, in all respects a typical Spanish grocer. There were spreads made from corn, sunflower seeds and even olive oil.
I tried the sunflower seed one, and it tasted pretty much like Country Crock or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter — but better, because those two aren’t vegan (both contain whey).
- Chocolates -Mercadona had lots of vegan chocolate varieties, also not explicitly marketed as such. The key here is to look for the word “negro” which signifies “dark” type chocolate. These chocolates usually don’t have milk in them.
There was a mint-cream filled one (never had that in the States before), chocolate-covered peanuts (also hard to come by in the U.S.) and straight up dark chocolate. I think I died and went to European chocolate heaven.
- Biscuits -Europeans are big on their biscuits at breakfast: I must have counted at least 20 different biscuit varieties at the store. Most of them did have milk derivatives or eggs in them, but I did find two very tasty ones that didn’t.
I liked that the biscuits tasted like a healthy version of the Danish cookies I used to eat from the circular tin when I was a kiddo. Finally, my childhood has come full circle.