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A Vegetarian In France!!


ali-cat
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I'm moving over to France next year & wonder how I will get on as a very strict vegetarian.  I'm not vegan - I do eat butter, cream, eggs etc (& of course, chocolate!!)  but I don't eat any meat, fish, chicken or any animal based products e.g. meat/fish stock, geletine or anything with red food colouring (usually chrushed beetles, if you're wondering!).

I do most of my own cooking from scratch, but somtimes feel like a chilli etc. with soya mince. Does anyone know if you can you get veggi mince or any other "meat" subsitutes in the Poitou Charente area?  Will I be living on vegetables & crepes for the next 30 years??!!

Other veggies - please let me know how you survive or am I the only "weird, tree hugging hippy"  in the area!!

Thanks, Ali.

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Hi Ali

First of all I am NOT a veggie! .....But I don't have a problem with anyone, each to their own, and I love vegetables, I also cook a LOT ...... I see you don't eat fish which has shot down some of my favourite dishes ....... no problem as there is plenty more things to cook..... as I don't live in France YET (soon hopefully) not too sure about soya mince but I am sure I have seen it mentioned in other posts (try doing a search for soya mince).......... Yes vegetables are good and so are crepes...... and pizza ......... and fritters ..... and aubergines in curries are a good meat substitute ........ well there are a few things to get on with ..... there are quiet a few veggies on this site and I am sure you will get plenty of replies that will point you in the right direction and all will be helpful

 

If you want anymore info just ask

 

Bonne Chance

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Hi, not veggies either, but after buying meat or chicken that was "off" (yet still in date) living in a ruin for a while, eating tinned beef casserole day in day out[+o(], we have become increasingly vegetarian over the last 3 years +.  We had friends who were veggie and lived here, I think their local Intermarche stocked soya mince from time time.  If not, there is a v good expat shopping site, run by the Co-Op, with reasonable delivery prices to France, so you should be able to stock up easily once you are here.  We have noticed that there is a small increase in veggie alternatives in the supermarkets ie lasagnes, pies..........bonne appetite

http://www.expatshopping.coop/index.php

 

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Hello- I am also a vegetarian who eats a similar diet to yours, and it is not impossible in France!  Being American, I'm not familiar with the term "soya mince", but I have been able to find some acceptable meat substitutes.  Ask around town or check the phone book for a marche biologique.  We have one outside of Nevers which isn't a huge city, so I think most areas would have one nearby.  They carry all thing organic- what we call a health food store in the states.  They have about 10 different varieties of soy based products- provencal flavored croquets, faux sausages, etc.  I even saw unflavored tofu at the Atac supermarche in Bourges.  That being said, it is still not easy.  I was looking for canned lentils and had to make 2 trips to find ones that weren't made with goose fat.  Label reading (and a good knowledge of all French meat based products) is a necessity.  I certainly end up eating way more eggs and cheese for protein that normal when I am in France!  Good luck!
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  • 2 weeks later...
We share similar veggie diet and have lived here for nearly 2 years.

Bio shops seem to be the nearest thing to wholefood shops - they sell soya products although they are not cheap.

Best to bring packets of dried sausmixes etc from UK as they are light and keep well.

You can stock up by post in UK from The Daily Bread in Northampton they are on www. They sell excellent yeast extract at very good prices.

Grand Frais sell good vegetables, sprouting soya beans and exotic fruits. Though ordinary stuff better from the local market or farmers shop.

I now make my own peanut butter it is tastier, cheaper and salt free made with walnut oil. I buy the 1kilo packs of shelled un roasted peanuts from an Arab shop cost aroun €3. Just lighly roast them and bung them in the liquidiser with a bit of oil.

Cannot find molasses at the moment as I want to make my own veggie Worcester Sauce.

I have not yet found tinned refried beans but dried Coca Rose beans after soaking make a good alternative refried bean.

Good luck...

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Hi Dog

Try this ...............

400g dried beans soaked over night

1 Onion chopped

1 Bay leaf

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Green chilli chopped fine

1 Bouquet garnie (parsley & thyme)

Put ALL ingredients into pot add water to cover, bring to boil partially cover and  simmer until beans are cooked about 1 hour.

You now have Mexican Beans .........................

Put oil or fat or Bacon fat into pan add a chopped onion and cook for 5 mins add garlic to taste and a chopped chilli and cook for 10 mins on a low heat then add your Mexican Beans mash them down, a little more oil / fat add some ground cumin and oregano and mash again and keep stirring, taste and adjust seasonings and fat as necessary, when they are hot and sizzling and have become crispy underneath tip them out onto a large plate  ........... mmmmmmmmmmmm ........yummy ............Mexican Refried Beans.

 

Bonne Chance

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I made 2.1 litres of Worcester sauce yesterday after finally tracking down molasses and tamarind paste. It is pokey old tackle if you are around the Perigueux area and want some let me know. It is free to veggies and vegans.
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[quote user="Lautrec"]Without wishing to advertise, there is an English shop in Ruffec that specialises inVegetarian food called The Cockleshell. It has a wide range of Linda McCarthy soya products! It is well worth a visit![/quote]

Which Ruffec is that - it seems there are three; Charente, Indre or Haute-Vienne?

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Some of my best friends are veggies! (Nothing like a tired old cliché to raise a smile)

We have begun to eat more and more 'bio' (organic) veg which we find to be more competatively priced than in the UK. We don't live in Charente but if your area is anything like ours, you're likely to be well served BIO shops which seem to have increasingly wide ranges. Our veggie friends eat well with little apparent difficulty.

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