If you are a vegetarian always in despair during vacations, trying to rack your brain about what and where to eat, maybe choosing one of these destinations for your next holiday might be a lifesaver
By: Aditya Bhide, Marketing Head, Countryside Adventure Holidays
Posted on: October 25, 2018
A common problem faced by those who don’t eat meat is availability of vegetarian options on holiday. But as the herbivore population increases due to many happily leaving their carnivorous habits, options for vegetarians are increasing too. It’s no longer just salads and tasteless boiled veggies for these poor people, but innovative recipes, colourful presentation and multiple, contrasting flavors to revel in.
So if you are a vegetarian, a foodie and a travel addict, here are a few countries you may want to consider for your next holiday destination.
Home to the largest population of vegetarians on the planet, India is a country with an extremely diverse cuisine. Nearly 40% of the country’s population is vegetarian and does not eat meat and eggs.
The most predominant religion in India is Hinduism which has some religious principles and dietary laws relating to the consumption of meat. As a result of this, a very robust vegetarian cuisine based on grain, dairy and vegetables has developed. Dairy products are a mainstay, with cottage cheese, milk and yoghurt finding their way into almost every vegetarian preparation.
Some of the most popular vegetarian preparations are saag paneer, cottage cheese cooked together with assorted greens; the ubiquitous daal tadka - tempered lentils usually eaten with rice and an array of assorted breads, both leavened and unleavened; and idli sambar, rice cakes eaten with tangy lentil preparation. The western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, especially, have a unique vegetarian cuisine owing to their geographic location and history.
When you think of Thai cuisine, big bold flavours and fresh ingredients instantly come to mind. In the larger cities in Thailand, vegetarian restaurants are very easy to come by and offer a myriad of vegetarian options. Since the cuisine uses vegetables and soy extensively, finding meat free options should not be difficult - just be sure to ask for the correct things!
One thing that vegetarians may want to watch out for is the fish sauce that is used everywhere as a seasoning. Thailand’s street food is the stuff of legends - cheap, filling and absolutely delicious. More often than not, the vendors will be happy to customize your order if you cannot eat meat.
ISREAL & LEBANON
Falafel restaurants all over Israel and Lebanon will ensure that vegetarians never have to go hungry while on holiday. Israeli cuisine has a lot of vegetarian options - a lot of mezze preparations like tabbouleh - a salad of broken wheat and greens, baba ganoush - a smoked brinjal dip, and a wide variety of other vegetable and dairy options. Laban, a fermented yogurt drink is also consumed here, and so is Kuboos – their local bread.
The healthy Mediterranean diet of vegetables, fruits and whole grains make up a lot of the cuisine, ensuring that a vegetarian has more than enough options. The Israeli capital of Tel Aviv also hosts a vegan food festival - Vegan-Fest Tel Aviv , the largest of its kind in the world!
It might be hard to believe but 13% of this predominantly Buddhist nation is vegetarian friendly - which means a lot of vegetarian options. Apart from the usual delicacies like gua bao and oyster omelette, there are a lot of vegetable and tofu preparations.
The capital city Taipei has numerous vegetarian restaurants offering not just Taiwanese cuisine but a variety of other cuisines as well.
Japan is a heaven for all food lovers with its superior quality produce and the natural ingredients focused cuisine. Another one of those countries where you might not think that vegetarian dishes may be available, but they are! Amid the sushi and sashimi, vegetarians need not worry, since there are many vegetarian options available - miso soup, tofu and vegetable preparations abound. Make sure to let people know beforehand that you don’t eat meat. Keep an eye out for the dashi stock - a mainstay of Japanese cuisine that is usually prepared with seaweed and dried fish flakes that give it its distinctive taste.
Marketing Head at Countryside Adventure Holidays, Aditya is a running and cycling aficionado and loves exploring new cuisines and cultures. He is a music lover and plays the guitar too.