Friday, September 30, 2005

A Vegan Downfall

Blame this!

I became a strict vegetarian when I left home at the age of 19. By the time I had gained my degree and moved to London, I had made the transition to vegan. This is when I started eating out too. In those days Cranks [a hugely popular vegetarian chain that I think has since folded], Indian food or spaghetti aglio, olio e pepperonciono from the local Italian were my dining staples.

I had been living in London, eating nothing at all animal for about a year, when my parents drove up from Bristol to take me out for my Birthday lunch in Covent Garden. When my mother arrived she was carrying a tin. She breathlessly exclaimed "granny made you a vegan Birthday cake". My eyes opened so wide, they were almost the size of saucers. "Wow", I think I managed to reply, otherwise struck mute by both awe and incredulity. My mother continued to explain that they'd gone to the effort of sourcing special vegan margarine and special vegan chocolate in order to bake the mouthwatering creation I could see before my eyes.

Eventually, I managed to speak again. "What did granny do for the eggs?", I asked. My mother looked at me, a frown was forming on her brow, she faltered. I could see, by looking into her eyes, that her brain had burst into overdrive as she struggled with how to break the news to me. "Oh", she exclaimed as nonchantly as she could muster, "aren't eggs vegan?"!!

Not only did I not want to disappoint my dear grandmother, I wanted more than anything to eat some of that delicious-looking cake. Hence my fall from total veganism began. I did remain a vegetarian for several years after that, but that's another story.

PS. We've been having a vegan theme week here on Becks & Posh in honour of my hosting IMBB#19 "I can't Believe I ate Vegan". I will be rounding up the entries, in stages, next week, but in the meantime, if you can't wait, many of the Vegan posts from food bloggers around the world can be found under this Technorati Tag here.

Archive Alert! On this date in 2004 we were enjoying a night out at Olive in San Francisco's Tenderloin district which I plan to re-review for the my alphabetical series 'A to Zed' on SFist soon. We were there a few weeks ago and it was much better than last year's review would have you believe.

A Vegan Downfall


  • At 30/9/05 08:38, Blogger Delphine said…

    It's difficult to be a vegan and a gourmet...looks like possible but difficult.

    Plus to me plants are alive, doesn't change much things. I have terrible problems finding a florist for the wedding who won't put too much flowers to die in a vase.
    Call me crazy :)

  • At 30/9/05 10:58, Blogger MizD said…


    But that photo... she looks so sweet and innocent...!

    So, the cake was worth it, right?

  • At 30/9/05 11:08, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had forotten all about that. Trust you to blame me however I can remember how pale and ill you looked so I'm glad granny's cake tempted you. x

  • At 30/9/05 14:08, Blogger Nic said…

    It's tough to disappoint a grandmother. Very tough.

    And I don't think my post is showing up in the roundup, Sam. Advice?
    My post is here, for reference.

  • At 30/9/05 14:46, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, it just takes one bite to begin the metamorphosis from vegan/vegetarian into full-blown omnivore! I enjoy being more omnivorous now because I don't have to limit myself and I can try all types of new flavors. Thanks so much for hosting this vegan event. I loved participating!

  • At 30/9/05 15:11, Blogger nwsjournalism said…

    I think that those of us who were (or are) vegetarians know more about how food really tastes. I know that being a vegetarian for ten years made me into the cook I am today. (even though I love the taste of meat now.) And it was great preparation for going without gluten!

    Great little post, Sam.

  • At 30/9/05 15:41, Blogger rashbre said…

    It seems as if Grandmother and Mum are looking out for you anyway. An interesting story.

    Michele sent me.


  • At 30/9/05 15:53, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that's really nice of your grandmother to try!

    i've been vegetarian for...almost 17 years. i always will be but i will never be vegan. afraid i likes me some cheese just way too much.

    here via michele and i'll be back

  • At 30/9/05 20:26, Blogger Barbara Fisher said…

    I could never be vegan. Vegetarian--yes, I could do that, for a while at least, but vegan--no.

    I like baking too much, and baking requires eggs.

    And I love cheese way, way, way too much.

    And fritatta.

    And huevos rancheros. I couldn't live without those.

    Your Gran--she's adorable!

  • At 30/9/05 21:34, Blogger rae said…

    oh dear,

    gran has a kinda crazy, manical gleam in her eye. i'll bet she was a wild one in her day.

    i totally understand the vegan downfall, the longest upfall i've ever been on (as in strict strict strict) was one year. then it begins with just a bite here. just a nibble there. a couple a "you're not going to throw that away, are you?"s.

    but the transition to meat is what i can't really see. i'd love to hear about that one! and did it really taste sooo good when you went back?

  • At 30/9/05 22:01, Blogger Shauna said…

    Oh dear, apparently I posted my earlier comment through the little blog I've created for my journalism class. No reason to visit that one. It was just me commenting!

  • At 30/9/05 22:34, Blogger glutton rabbit said…

    This is a very comical, about your granny. It must be so tough being a vegan...

  • At 1/10/05 13:28, Blogger Cindy said…

    Very nice of your grandmother to bake an almost vegan cake.
    Vegetarian's ok but vegan is not. I can't imagine myself not eating cheeses, pastries made with eggs...
    Well, first time I visit your blog but I'll be back, it's a nice one.

  • At 1/10/05 21:40, Blogger deborah said…

    I had a good giggle at your first line after clicking the on the link. Your grandma looks so sweet!

    i did the vegetarian thing for about a year, but it was a constant battle with my family anf friends who alway shad a meat a focus to their meals. i doubt i would have lasted that long if i tried a vegan lifestyle.

    ive enjoyed your week of vegan food! look forward to the round up and hearing about your trip to fiji. did you stop in australia?

  • At 2/10/05 11:47, Blogger Sam said…

    del - you are not crazy, just cruel - I saw you murder that Chocolate pot de cremem at Zuni last night.

    mrs d - she is sweet and innocent, really, that's the problem.

    of course the cake was worth it.

    mum - I didn't blame you, I blamed granny!

    Nic - tough? Impossible I reckon

    Beth - hear hear, but I do appreciate having had the experience and it is interesting how much creativity can come from being limited.

    Shauna - i am much more confident cooking vegetables than meat. Probably because of those 10 veggie years.

    rahsbre - hey thats what grans and mums do, eh?!

    honeystrain - yes - the cheese is a downfall of many. I didn't used to like it, but now I love it which doesn't help the waistline much

    Barbara - she is adorable - I wish you all could meet her!

    Rae - she really is sweet and was never wild, but she does have a wicked sense of humour. SOmetimes we laugh so much together we are all crying.

    Glutton Rabbit - yes tough - obviously it was way too tough for me

    Cindy - thanks for visiting - hope to see you again soon

    saffron - we didn't have time for OZ, plus I heard it was still inter there and we needed sun! Can't wait to start writing about Fiji
    we have lots of material waiting in the wings

  • At 1/11/05 14:01, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Blogger, you have a great blog here. A Vegan Downfall caught my eye and I thought I would put a post on it. I'm looking for help.

    The site I have is a work from home pc site. Its all about, need I say it, working from home. I think people should have the choice to build their own income instead of somebody else’s. Freedom of well being and all of that...anyway I was on your site looking for ways to help my business. I'm really looking for ways of building better rapport between recruits.

    Anyways Blogger thanks for the great blog. I'll just have to carry on my search till I find what I'm looking for. Take care.

  • At 9/5/06 04:28, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree but if someone wants to know real italian food visit this:
    Mediterranean Food Diet there are a lot a recipes for vegan and not

  • At 9/5/06 04:29, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wonderful site, thanks !


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