Thursday, October 4, 2012

European food II - vegan snacks from London

When I proclaimed my love of London, I didn't make it to the details of what I actually bought when I was left to wander supermarkets and food stores for an hour.


Here, we have some of the products that we I purchased. Not all, mind you, because a number are being carried back to Australia and it seems more sensible to review products after they have been eaten than before. For the purposes of Vegan MoFo, I am also overlooking the ones that were vegetarian but not vegan.

A subset of Waitrose purchases

First up, that raw, vegan food aisle.


I bought the beetroot flax crackers, a raw cacao bean bar, and a small pack of raw vegan truffles (shown in the top photo but not the one immediately above). The chocolate bar and truffles both featured cacao beans, coconut, nuts, and dried fruit (raisins and dates). I found them to taste like the raw truffle balls I so love to make at home, but more chocolatey. They were dense and soft and chewy all at once, and rather wonderful all up.

Despite my enjoyment of the cacao-based snacks, I actually liked the flax crackers even more. The crackers were made of flax seeds, raw air dried beetroot, apples, banana, cinnamon, lemon juice and coconut. They managed to taste of all of these ingredients, which gave a quite magical result. I ate them with a chai latte and highly recommend the combination.


Waitrose also provided me with my first proper cereal since we left Australia. Spain and Portugal didn't seem to do cereal outside of sweetened children's varieties, and occasionally muesli (neither of which I like). The flakes I bought featured raisins, dates, dried apple, and a mix of wheat flakes and bran. I ate them in London from a bowl (as we had a kitchen) and around the country out of cups and mugs (when we didn't have bowls) and the box lasted me right up until the end of our trip.


I had a lot of trouble deciding on a flavour of Nakd bars. They had chocolate mint, apple pie and berry, amongst others, but banana bread won out on a whim. I would love to try the rest of the range as these were definitely a step above your standard fruit-based cereal bar. They even managed to taste of banana bread, which was fortunate, because if they had just been banana I would have been a bit disappointed.


Most of the chocolate I bought is being carried home, but we did choose some to eat on our travels and this Divine 70% cocoa chocolate with ginger and orange (sorry, Hannah!) was one of the ones selected.


It has quite a long ingredient list as the orange is provided as 'orange granules', but the block is dairy free and I found the orange and ginger to be subtle - desirable, in my view - with the chocolate being of the deep and intense variety. Indeed, it was almost reminiscent of coffee with the depth of flavour.


Waitrose also provided me with Marmite rice cakes. Marmite, for those not in the know, is a yeast spread that could be called an English version of Vegemite. I have blogged about it and Australian Vegemite and Promite previously. It turns out that it works wonderfully in rice cake form.



In a related category to rice cakes, I bought 'Heat 'n Sweet' popcorn and Thai Sweet Chilli chickpeas for further savoury snacking. The popcorn was mildy spicy and included paprika and lemon in the ingredient list. The chickpeas were barely spicy but seriously enjoyable.


I ate the chickpeas as part of a slightly random picnic lunch, accompanied by the Marmite rice cakes and some Marks & Spencer's grapes and carrot sticks with hummus. The lunch preceded a walk in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which was probably one of my favourite activities for the trip.

Scenery like this makes Yorkshire fully deserving of its reputation for beauty...

...as does this.

On that note, it is with some sadness that I leave travel snacking for the time being. As this goes out, we will be about to board our flight home, something that I suspect will make my heart ache. I shall remind it that we have been fortunate to have such a wonderful month - as indeed we have been.

From a blog perspective, stay tuned for some vegan recipes to commemorate the rest of Vegan MoFo, before a return to travel posts in November!

This post is part of my Vegan Month of Food contributions for October 2012.


22 comments:

  1. What an amazing time you guys have had! :) It's been so cool seeing all of the pictures and living vicariously through them. :) Safe travels home!! :)

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  2. I really feel for you coming home after such a wonderful long trip! The Marmite rice cakes sound great, I would have gone crazy on them.

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    1. I kind of did :P Vegemite should bring out a similar product here, I think I'd love that too!

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  3. I had no idea that london has so much good snack food! I want to munch on all of these.

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    1. And there was so much more I didn't buy!

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  4. This makes me look forward to travelling to the UK thought i am not sure if we will encounter waitrose. We are really into popcorn right now and I loved the Naked bars on my last trip so will be sure to taste more of them. The carrot sticks and hummus is just the sort of snack I would love to by - far preferable to premade sandwiches. All looks exciting - hope you enjoy coming home and it is not too sad to be back in oz :-)

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    1. Thank you Johanna...it is a bit sad, but at least coming home has the benefits of familiarity and one's own things. I am sure you'll find great food when you're next in the UK even if Waitrose doesn't appear. Just about every supermarket I set foot in made me smile and they have so much fresh prepared food to complement sandwiches!

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  5. THE WORST THE WORST THE WORST TWO FLAVOURS FOR CHOCOLATE IN THE HISTORY OF ALL TIME!

    But s'cool, I've eaten two incredible blocks of dark chocolate from Cocova and a Sticky Fingers vegan brownie and a full packet of baked caribeean tofu tonight, so I don't mind. I do feel a little bit like throwing up, though, but it's worth it.

    Wheeeeeee! Except boo because I think you're home soon?

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    1. Now, darling, if that is your reaction from the other side of the world I really would hate to see how you cope if ginger / orange chocolate is in the same room as you. I promise never to try it.

      We are home :( But at least we had a good month!

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  6. oh my gosh, it's almost enough to make we want to go full vegan! :) haha. sooooo awesome u had such a wonderful month and trip...thanks for taking us along for the ride a bit! going home can kinda stink, but u've got some snacks that should last for a bit longer. ;)

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    1. There were plenty of non-vegan goodies too Cait :) And yes, thank goodness I have some snacks to soothe the return to normal life!

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  7. I imagine the sadness of returning home after such a beautiful journey! I want to investigate a bit more the Vegan MoFo??? I have very recently transitioned into a plant based diet myself. I love your inspiring product posts. I love, love, love beets and those crackers look amazing!!! I also love ginger and chocolate combo too :) Happy return!!!

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    1. You might enjoy checking out the Vegan MoFo website if you're transitioning to a plant based diet - it's basically a celebration of vegan food for the month of October, and bloggers all over the world participate by posting at least 20 vegan-focused posts in the month. There's a long list of bloggers you could dip in and out of!

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  8. Nutridude and I were so excited when we read your post! One of our favorite discoveries in london were the Nakd bars, I know we tried a blue and a red package variety. The banana sounds awesome though, totally jealous! Safe travels home!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed it :) I wonder what flavour the blue and red was (in the Nakd bars)...they all looked great though so I can imagine whatever it was it was good! I'm already wanting to be back to try more :P

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  9. How wonderful to be coming home with a suitcase full of treasures but I can't believe a month has gone by. It really did race by. Welcome home! Looking forward to seeing what you bake with all your new goodies xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie! I can't believe it's been a month either. I have no idea where the time went, at all!

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  10. Oh YAY you bought the beetroot crackers!! I had my eye on that flavour! Sounds awesome. I tried some of those Nakd bars when a friend sent me some - SO GOOD... the chocolate mint ones were great.

    Those chickpeas sound like my kinda snackage too. Oh how fun are foodie products from other countries? Wheeeee!

    I reckon WE should do an inter-state foodie swap - Perth/QLD? You keen?

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    1. Ooh, yes! Email me when you're back in Queensland and we should arrange something?!

      (PS. Now I want to go back to try the chocolate mint Nakd bars :P)

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  11. I'm very impressed that you're being a mofo despite being overseas! Safe travels back to Perth, and hopefully the snack you bring home will help to soften the heartache of not being overseas!

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    1. Thank you Theresa :) The snacks and photos are being clung to dearly at this stage.

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