Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Life in Italy as a Vegetarian!




When you think of Italy you think of the wonderful cured meats, the regional specialties of perhaps hare or bore.    

If you thought you could not travel and eat well in Italy, Yle shares with us first hand knowledge of the bella vegetarian life in Puglia!
Why not join her and the mammas on veggie cooking adventure?

It took a little time for my parents to understand their child would become a vegetarian.  It just took a little practice but at some point, when they realized I cried every time they suggested I eat meat and that I rescued any possible form of animal,  they easily learned how to best accommodate my foodie needs.   

Vegetarianism is getting more and more popular in Italy and the number of people eating healthy and organic is growing fast. Once it was very unusual for Italians to shop organic food (they had to look for dedicated shops).   Now it is much easier and you can buy excellent food for vegetarians in shops and food markets.   At the beginning when you said you were a vegetarian,   people thought you only ate salads and were ill somehow.   Now it is assumed to be a nutritional choice and a lifestyle.
When travelling, a vegetarian or vegan may find some difficulty without planning:       tasting local food in fact is often a meaningful part of travelling and learning about the culture of the country you’re exploring.   Fortunately the Internet helps a lot,  not only in sharing recipes but also in recommending how to be inspired by the best travel tips.

Being a vegetarian myself I love planning tailored tours and cooking classes that my “green” friends, finding highly rewarding, simply combining ingredients in numerous ways and learning to make tasty meals with only creativity.   This region in Italy is popular for using vegetables, legumes and wild plants, so developing special programs is  natural and intriguing for me.

When I am asked to tailor a tour for vegetarians my goal is to tell them about the many spectacular dishes we prepare with those vegetables in a way that only our mums know how to combine and are so special in developing the preservation of the destination through tradition and healthy principles.   Local farmers do not use chemical products for their fertilization and many people here eat what they grow in their vegetables gardens.

Organic food is now available also in restaurants  and combined with what this destination offer (warm hospitality, unique landscapes, good wine and white sandy beautiful  beaches) makes Puglia very attractive.
Furthermore, this nutritional philosophy goes straight in the direction of sustainable travel, minimizing ecological impact and teaching respect to both travelers and hosts.

Vegetarian travelers looking for a vacation in Puglia will find Puglia particularly vegi–friendly and appreciate the lifestyle of the locals promoting the principles of the good life through sustainability and good healthy organic food.    Basically local people are very passionate in growing their vegetable gardens (big or small) and sharing this pleasure with friends is a joyful experience for them.
Upon our guests arrival, we give any possible information and direction on local farms and markets, where to purchase veggies, cheese, milk and much more information.   We are keen on promoting suppliers who daily use  their special skills (real wooden fire oven, hand-made pasta) employing local people and only fresh products.

Cooking Classes for vegetarians can be a unique experience  during which a local mum teaches our guests how to employ seasonal vegetables and herbs (from our organic vegetable garden and the local markets) in a creative repertoire of unique dishes that locals are fond of.

And remember….once in a restaurant the question you have to ask is…..Avete un piatto vegetariano? Do you have a vegetarian dish?
If you have any queries or questions about our Vegetarian cooking classes (daily and week long programs, recommendations on accommodations) and Holidays in Puglia please don't hesitate to send us an email to: info@yltourcongressi.com


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