Leading restaurant critic Guy Diamond names the TOP 5 countries where vegetarian food can be easy and enjoyable, contrary to possible expectations and prejudices. Why is Israel the most vegan country in the developed world, and which European power offers the best plant-based meals?
Among the country’s 8 million people, hundreds of thousands of people identify as vegan, making Israel the most vegan country in the developed world. This fact is reflected in the burgeoning cafes and restaurants (particularly in Tel Aviv), where quality vegetarian and vegan options are available almost everywhere on the menu. And it’s not just falafel: just remember the experimental cooking of a Jerusalem chef and culinary writer.
The former Ottoman, and before that Byzantine, empire has honed its gourmet cuisine for thousands of years. Central Anatolia, with its rich variety of timber and field crops, has definitely contributed to the development of the local vegetarian cuisine: . Turkish chefs are able to cook eggplant in hundreds of different ways so that you will never get bored with this vegetable! Stuffed, smoked, baked, grilled.
Historical location of the Fertile Crescent – the land from which agriculture began. Then the Phoenicians came to Lebanon, who were excellent traders. Then the Ottomans are excellent cooks. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Orthodox communities flourished with their fasts: for many Christians in the Middle East, this meant Wednesday, Friday and 6 weeks before Easter – without meat. Thus, Lebanese cuisine is rich in colorful vegetarian dishes, and in authentic restaurants around the world you will find the wonderful taste of meze. They also have hummus and falafel, but you should also try the eggplant stick, fatayers (walnut cakes), ful (bean puree) and, of course, tabbouleh.
Nearly half of the Ethiopian population are Orthodox Christians who fast on Wednesday, Friday and 6 weeks before Easter. Vegetarian cuisine has evolved here over the centuries. Most of the dishes are centered around the Ethiopian injera bread (porous flatbread that is used as a tablecloth, spoon, fork and bread at the same time). It is often served on a large plate with several servings of various spicy stews and beans.
Vegetarian dishes Italians do really well and a lot. It is rare to find a menu without a “green” column, with 7-9% of the population identifying themselves as vegetarians. It is unlikely that the waiter will move an eyebrow if you tell him (from Italian – “I am a vegetarian”). Here you will find pizza and pasta, risotto, fried and stewed vegetables and … charming desserts! As a rule, in southern Italy the situation with plant-based dishes is even better (the south was historically poorer, and meat is less available).