Sunday 27 July 2014

Vegan Survival Guide: Costa Blanca (Spain)- Part 1- The airport and eating in.

This was my first time abroad as a fully fledged vegan staying in a private villa nearby a town called Moraira in the Costa Blanca region of Spain. I'm not going to lie- it didn't all go to plan.

But being vegan is a learning curve, and here are some of the things that did go to plan.

A revelation for me was that you can actually take food in your hand luggage and unless you take anything liquid (e.g. hummus, peanut butter etc) there are no limits. I managed to find some 'lunchbox' packs of oreos and lotus biscuits and took one of each type on the plane and the rest in my checked in baggage for holiday snacking. For a bit of savoury, I bought a pack of New York bagels (marked vegan) and wrapped one in clingfilm to take in my hold luggage and a mini tub of Tofutti cream cheese that went in as part of my liquid allowance in my hold baggage.  

My attempt at a in-flight meal are bit amateur, for more ideas, see Vegan in Brighton's post on packing and preparing.  

Getting up at 2am meant that by the time we got to departures I was in need of some serious caffeine, however I was also thirsty and hot drinks don't quench my thirst.  So I was very happy when I discovered this coconut drink in the W H Smith at Terminal 2, from reading the ingredients it looked vegan. 

It was very nice, you could really taste the espresso.  They also do a chocolate one that I want to try.

Once we got off the plane, the first stop was the huge Carrefour supermarket near Alicante airport to stock up on supplies.

I was surprised at the amount of choice there was, I picked up some seitan steak type things (that I forgot to take a picture of), some yogurts and Vive Soy almond milk, a few people have been raving about Vive Soy on Facebook, but you can only get them in Waitrose and Tesco so I was excited to give it a try.

They had quite a few choices of yogurt, but I decided to go with one breakfast one and a dessert one.  I have to say, the yogurts and the almond milk tasted very different to the UK and the yogurts tasted quite strongly of soya- but ya work with what your given! The blueberry ones formed part of my everyday breakfast along with the chocolate mini weetabix I picked up. We ate breakfast by the pool each morning.

At home, I'm fascinated by Chinese and Asian supermarkets and will ages browsing the shelves. Over in Spain, I was fascinated by Spanish supermarkets and found a few gems in the supermarkets by the villa.

After walking around towns and not being able to indulge in ice cream (sorbets are not the same!) I was super excited when I spotted these in Mercadona. They also sold tubs of dairy free vanilla ice cream.

When walking around our nearest town, Moraira we went in a Pepe La Sal supermarket and I spotted these burgers, which were actually marked 'Vegano'.

Later on in the week, we popped down to our local Carrefour Market (which was the size of a regular supermarket), I bought a vegetable noodle ready meal, some vegan burgers for our BBQ on the last night (our villa came with a BBQ- we were uber excited!).  And I treated myself to some chocolate soya milk, with which I created my own 'unique' cocktail of Malibu and chocolate soy milk- Yum!

All in all, eating in was the easy part, it was the eating out which was tricky, however I did manage to have some good meals, which I'll write about in my next blog post.

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