Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Post-Prandial Parisian Conversion

Veganized chèvre chaud I made after my Paris vacation
It might come as a surprise that visiting Paris made me vegan, but it did: I went to Paris a vegetarian and left as a vegan.
I don't know if things have changed, but in 2008, restaurants in Paris were not entirely happy to serve a vegetarian. A couple of the things I ordered that listed vegetarian ingredients on the menu came with ham as well. Probably half of any menu included both cheese and ham. If you stood still too long in Paris, you would turn around to find you had ham and cheese sprinkled on you. Which meant as vegetarian, most of meals were pretty cheese-heavy.
After almost two weeks in Paris, I was getting pretty sick of cheese. At the same time, I was reading Skinny Bitch--because, well, it was 2008 and that book was still everywhere, despite its own problematic moments. But I also had it because I was ready to go vegan. So when at the end of my Paris vacation I was literally sick of cheese, it was timely. When I arrived back home, I was still sick of cheese, and I never ate dairy or eggs again.
However, I really missed chèvre chaud, which one of the few vegetarian French dishes I could eat while in Paris.I really enjoyed it while I was there, and it was a simple dish--greens and simple dressing topped with goat cheese melted on a toasted slice of baguette. But since my transition ti vegan food was rocky--I didn't buy a vegan cookbook for probably six month after I started eated vegan--it took me a while to discover vegan cheese. When I finally did, I was delighted! Cashew cheese, are you kidding me?? IT went on everything, and I could find eat the chèvre chaud I missed, this time deliciously topped with cashew cheese.

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