14/07/2012

A (Wannabe) Vegan's Woeful Breakfast Tales




































I love breakfast.

I've never understood those scarily skinny girls with perfect hair and expensive bags that say, "oh, I don't eat breakfast. I just don't have the time."
I'd set my alarm an hour earlier, not do my hair or be half an hour late, but I'd never leave the house without a cup of coffee. Unless I'm leaving the house to have coffee.

Which brings me to today's topic: having breakfast outside of the safe haven of my kitchen. A very enjoyable experience here in Milan - if you are a happy omnivore. In this case, you've got myriads of cozy, adorable little breakfast places to choose from. You can take your pick from countless croissant fillings, cappuccino flavors (vanilla nutmeg, anyone?) and frothy coffee drinks. You can spend lazy hours lounging on a comfy couch with a delicious apple pie or brownie. Breakfast is good. Life is good.




My typical pre-vegan weekend breakfast: a croissant and an Italian cappuccino


Unless you are vegan.


Conversation between me and a Milan barman:


Me: do you make soy milk cappuccino?

Barman: what?

Me: or any other non-cow's milk?

Barman: Non cow? Like...without milk?

Me: yes, you know, like soy milk or almond milk. You see, I don't drink cow's milk.

Barman: ah, you're lactose intolerant. No, sorry. 






Soy cappuccino at JJ Café in Milan



We love animals...and breakfast

You'd think Milan was a city where you can find anything food-wise (ah, la bella Italia, the birthplace of the delectable), from the sinful to the necessary. Instead, all that is animal-friendly is still seen as somewhat outlandish. You don't want to drink another species' breast milk? You don't like eating a chicken's period? What is wrong with you? Here in the land of the tasty, the taste buds' paradise, vegans are confined to "earthy", hippie-ish, patchouli-smelling places with names like "Kudra Kafé" that are extremely few and far between. 




Cupcake and cappuccino at That's Bakery - if anyone knows a vegan version of this, do let me know!



And what if I were lactose intolerant? 

I almost always resort to the "I can't drink cow's milk" excuse, because for some reason, being allergic gains you more respect than being compassionate.

Like I wrote the other day on Twitter:

"If I say that I'm trying to be vegan for health reasons, I get sympathy. If I tell the truth - that it's for ethical reasons - I get treated like a freak".


...why is it okay to care about ourselves but not animals?

But let's just imagine that I were allergic to milk. What would that mean, living in Italy? No more luxurious Saturday breakfasts? No more weekend indulgences? No cappuccinos, ever?
What a crappy life.

Start your morning the yummy vegan way...even if it ain't easy

I'm not going to be boring and tell you to stay at home and get yourself some soy milk and a Nespresso machine. I more than anyone understand the desire to indulge in a lovely breakfast at a nice place that isn't your house. And I don't understand why we have to give that up just because we choose to live compassionately. Until now, I've been solving the problem by skipping the cappuccino and going for an espresso, a wholegrain apple marmalade croissant and a freshly squeezed orange juice. This usually works very well and the orange juice adds a welcome vitamin hit to my morning. 

But if you're really dedicated, you'll find those elusive places that make vegan breakfast. They do exist: I recently discovered JJ Café, a tiny place in Milan's viale Col di Lana, where they make a great vegan cappuccino with vanilla flavor! And if I'm not wrong, I think California Bakery also make soy cappuccino. So if you want to have breakfast sometime, that's is where you'll find me.





Vegan breakfast at Mahler Café in Milan


All photos from my Instagram

10 comments:

  1. I follow you on Instagram!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Audrey, if you tell me your Instagram name, I'll follow you back! Thanks, by the way.

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  3. E' vero, in Italia siamo ancora molto arretrati sotto questo punto di vista. Non sono vegetariana nè vegana, ma da qualche tempo a questa parte sto ponendo maggiore attenzione nei confronti di ciò che mangio. Lo faccio perché ho capito l'importanza di volersi bene e per la stessa ragione ho iniziato a preferire cosmetici naturali.
    Per questo ti capisco quando parli della reazione sconvolta che la gente ha quando parli delle tue scelte. A maggior ragione, se sono scelte etiche come le tue.

    Mi piace il tuo blog perché dimostri sempre che, anche se sembra impossibie, in realtà tutto è realizzabile. Basta sposare con amore e passione una scelta e fare in modo che certe decisioni non diventino la fissazione o la tendenza di un momento, ma stili di vita.

    :)

    http://almenounmilionediscale.blogspot.it/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Grazie Alessandra, che belle parole! Sono veramente felice di leggere questo commento, mi sembra che hai capito perfettamente le mie intenzioni e le mie aspirazioni con questo blog. Sono contenta di avere lettrici come te.

    ReplyDelete
  5. the post is very nice...and your blog is beautiful:)
    I'm following you..if you will follow me :D

    http://thecherrybombdiary.blogspot.it/2012/07/201heppy-birthey-to-me.html

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  6. Wellington is very open minded about soy coffee, no one will blink an eye, but if you don't want eggs (which I've recently stopped eating...yuck) basically your only option is a croissant, cereal or just toast. So I'm sticking to the vegan croissants too. It's funny being the only one without a huge hot breakfast (all day breakfasts are the norm here) but oh well.

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    Replies
    1. Good job, Renee! Today I went out for another one of what's now my typical breakfast: an espresso, orange juice and a vegan croissant. I'm starting to like it. And you know what? I don't even crave Nutella anymore. That's weird.

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  7. ciao! Sono lactose intolerant e non bevo cappuccini al bar da una vita... in Italia ovviamente! All'estero soy latte or mocha or cappuccino senza problemi. Ottimi spunti per me, la prossima volta che sono da quelle parti a Milano mi berrò un buon soy cappuccino!

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  8. Io non sono nè vegetariana e nemmeno vegana, ma ogni persona deve scegliere come vivere la sua vita e merita rispetto (soprattutto per quanto riguarda una scelta come la tua). Una delle mie migliori amiche è vegana da tantissimi anni ed una volta eravamo al bar per la colazione e lei, ovviamente, ha chiesto se poteva avere un cappuccino con il latte di soia. Il barista le ha sbottato "Perchè? Il latte mica fa male, lo danno ai bambini, se lo vuoi c'è solo con il latte vero". Io e lei ci siamo rimaste malissimo, d'accordo, puoi non condividere certi ideali, ma se ti comporti così sei solo un'idiota! Proverò a chiederle se ha una versione vegana del cupcake, cercherò!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oooh, gli é andata bene che non c'ero io, si sarebbe preso una sedia in faccia. Scherzi a parte, risponderei qualcosa tipo, "sí infatti ti ho chiesto del latte vero - non del latte al seno di una mucca, grazie." Poi, "lo danno ai bambini"? Ma vogliamo parlare di tutte le schifezze piene di OGM e altra roba chimica, prodotta magari accanto a un bel inceneritore, che danno ai bambini? Vedi, l'ignoranza.

      Come dici tu, tutte le scelte vanno rispettate. Io a volte rispondo male, ma solo se provocata. A me non dá il minimo fastidio se i miei amici mangiano bistecche e bevono latte - io vivo e lascio vivere. Per quanto riguarda i bar, se non hai il latte di soia basta dirlo educatamente. Non attaccare, come ha fatto questo barista. Allucinante.

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