all regional travel notes by:
Sonja and Dirk
Subject: vegan taffy in Kuranda
If you go up to Kuranda from Cairns, check out Stillwater Workshops. They sell sweets they call "Australian Kisses". It's basically vegan taffy in multiple flavors and it's delicious! You can even watch them make it. The owners are a couple from Canada and the wife told us that it took them years to find the right recipe that was less sticky, vegan, and gluten & peanut free. Everyone can have them!
Subject: veggie pate
For anyone who likes veggie pates as we do, you must stock up while in Germany since they are made there. Try both Tartex and Alnatura. They have so many more types available than what is imported into the US. Dirk was especially excited about the soja leberwurst (soy liverwurst) since he used to eat the real stuff growing up (yuck!). We picked up them up at "dm" stores (a drugstore chain) since they are all over, including city centers where we were staying, and carry both brands. They also have breads, etc, so you can pick up some good snack food without finding a health food store, like Alnatura and Basic Bio. "dm" (drogerie markt) stores are in neighboring countries too (Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, etc), so we stopped at each one we saw to get more for the next train ride! ;-)
Subject: Pizzerias, etc.
With such close proximity to Italy, there are pizzerias all over the place. We chose one on the riverfront and expected to request no cheese, but from the menu of like 100 pizzas, 3 of them didn't have any cheese to begin with! The pizza was huge and tasty. The riverfront makes for great scenery and people watching. Having a coffee or espresso at a riverfront cafe is nice as well. Also, go to the farmers market. The fruit is so fresh, but do not touch it. The vendor will pick out the best ones for you.
Subject: Vegan Egypt
We went on a two week tour of Egypt last Thanksgiving. We were concerned about the food issue, but our guide ordered everything. We had thoroughly explained it to her beforehand as she booked our whole tour.
Many dishes are naturally vegetarian/vegan as the meat is only added at the end. The national dish, koshari, is vegetarian. It's a mix of noodles, lentils, rice and chickpeas with a spicy tomato sauce added on top with carmelized onions. Tasty. Our guide made sure it wasn't cooked with butter (although many places don't use it).
We also ate lots of hummus, babaganoush, tahini, tamiyya (like falafel but with fava beans) and foul (a bean dish - get the basic one without eggs, etc. added). We also tried rice stuffed vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, etc). Our guide also special ordered a vegetable tagen (tagine) for us (instead of chicken or lamb).
The biggest problem was the Nile cruise dining. Our ship had mainly Germans on it, so the food was heavily geared towards them. We were very grateful when they had "Egyptian night" on the ship. We could eat most of that!
The thing to remember is that their food generally starts off as veggie, but they don't understand why someone who can afford meat/dairy/eggs wouldn't eat it, so watch out that it doesn't end up in your dish. We encountered the same mindset on our China tour as well.