Guy Warner

We can all en­joy a ve­gan bite

Cotswold Life - - INSIDE - GUY WARNER

Fes­ti­vals – there’s a fes­ti­val for ev­ery­thing these days isn’t there? Just in case you’re pin­ing for all those sum­mer fes­ti­vals, I’ve got some good news for you – Ve­gan Ok­to­ber­fest is com­ing to the Cotswolds! Ok, it might not sound the most stim­u­lat­ing thing af­ter Corn­bury, but it’s cer­tainly big news in the food world. Novem­ber is World Ve­gan Month and this is the first year that the world-fa­mous Ve­gan Ok­to­ber­fest is com­ing to the UK: if you’re keen to see what all the fuss is about, head over to the Malt­house Bar & Kitchen in Stroud on Oc­to­ber 20 to taste a few ve­gan de­lights.

You’ll cer­tainly not be alone. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, the num­ber of ve­g­ans in Bri­tain has in­creased by 360% in the last 10 years and there’s been a 62% growth in the sale of plant-based foods be­tween 2013-2017. And when a brand like Domino’s Pizza an­nounces they are to trial a new ve­gan cheese top­ping in the UK this au­tumn, you can see where this is head­ing!

Whether this is a fad or a new re­al­ity, it’s cer­tainly helped to open up a whole new market.

Wan­der around Stroud Farmers’ Market at the week­end and you’ll see a host of ve­gan treats on of­fer – onion bhaji wraps from Girish’s Ve­gan In­dian Food, Moroc­can falafel salad boxes from Funky Falafels, cashew, al­mond or peanut but­ters from Nifty Nut But­ters, chick­pea frit­tatas and puy len­til po­lenta from The Veg­gie Deli. Even main­stream brands are pro­duc­ing ve­gan al­ter­na­tives – Stroud Brew­ery’s bot­tled beers are all ve­gan, and brownie mae­stro Sarah Jaskowska from Fair & Square Brown­ies has de­vel­oped ve­gan al­ter­na­tives which are fly­ing off her stall. Many cur­ries are nat­u­rally ve­gan, and cer­tainly the veg­etable and len­til or the spinach and rhubarb curry found on Saira’s South Asian Savouries prove how de­li­cious ve­gan food can be.

Per­haps the most ex­cit­ing lo­cal de­vel­op­ment in the ve­gan world is the ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity of Coco Car­a­van choco­late, pro­duced here in the Cotswolds and avail­able at Stroud Farmers’ Market, as well as other out­lets and on­line (co­co­car­a­van.co.uk). Cre­ated by Jac­ques Cop, a for­mer ecol­o­gist, this unique choco­late bar ticks all the right food trend boxes: ve­gan, or­ganic, raw, gluten free, un­re­fined, Fairtrade. But it’s cer­tainly no gim­mick. Jac­ques is a first-rate cho­co­latier who puts first-class in­gre­di­ents at the top of his agenda. As he says, choco­late can be very sim­ple – ground ca­cao beans and a sweet­ener. Noth­ing more, noth­ing less, and it cer­tainly doesn’t need any­thing from an an­i­mal-based prod­uct.

To make his choco­late, Jac­ques uses the an­cient criollo ca­cao bean, sweet­ened with un­re­fined, creamy co­conut blos­som nec­tar which com­bine to pro­duce a choco­late that’s as good – if not bet­ter – than any Dairy Milk or Galaxy. As well as a sin­gle es­tate bean to bar range, Coco Car­a­van of­fers flavoured choco­late in­clud­ing sweet choco­late or­ange, full minty choco­late and hazel­nut and cur­rant, as well as the more in­ven­tive dark cin­na­mon and chilli, chai dark, and tamari al­mond choco­lates, plus a range of soft-cen­tred caramels and blonde choco­lates. Add to that the strik­ing pack­ag­ing with its sug­ges­tion of a su­pe­rior, classy prod­uct, and you’ve got one cool ve­gan brand. N Lo­cally-owned com­pany Warner’s Bud­gens have six stores in the area - Bid­ford-on-avon, Broad­way, More­ton-in-marsh, Quedge­ley, Tewkes­bury and Winch­combe. More in­for­ma­tion at warn­ers­bud­gens.co.uk

ABOVE: Ve­gan, or­ganic, raw, glutenfree, un­re­fined, Fairtrade... choco­late that ticks all the boxes

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.