What for many years had been seen as a minority following amongst people who feel passionate about animal welfare and those with intolerances to dairy, has all of a sudden 'mushroomed' on to the mainstream food agenda. What is behind this development and what does it mean for the café and restaurant owners in our region?
We're used to 'dry-January' but this New Year has heralded a new detox regime - Veganuary. And there seems to be a very different make up of those taking part, as traditional meat-eaters selectively opt to be meat and dairy free for the first month of the year. Does this reflect a deeper interest in our planet and the animals who inhabit it? Or is the motivation down to the perceived health benefits of abstaining? Whilst it's tempting to make broad assumptions, it's clearly a very personal thing so the fact that so many people are choosing this path now may point to another influence….taste. There has been a response from chefs to this growing demand, and it's been to introduce 'Dirty' vegan dishes - dishes that look to pack a level of flavour and taste that until now, had never been associated with the more traditional Vegan offerings.
Black Goo @ Home & Colonial is a great example of a local business responding to this need. Having recruited a Vegan cook late last Spring, Charlotte has brought her flair and passion for creative, delicious Vegan dishes. To showcase these, a Vegan Wednesday was launched that provided a range of hot dishes to go alongside the regular counter selection of Vegan cakes. The great feedback and loyal following has encouraged Black Goo to extend this concept to Tring, which recently launched a Vegan Thursday. Typically offerings include Bhuda Bowls, Falafel pitta, Portobello garlic mushooms on a avocado salad and my personal favourite, the Jack Fruit burger (see pic); it has the look of pulled pork and packs a taste so good that many people exclaim 'is this really Vegan???'.
The New Year is a great time to change a habit or try something new so If this has whetted your appetite, then why not give it a go and visit us at Black Goo next time you're in Berkhamsted or Tring ? It could be the start of something beautiful….