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Helen Bennett Harvey promises that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog. Vegging Out is a recipe for a new way of life. Or at least a new way of eating. Pull up a chair. Contact me at: hbennettharvey@nhregister.com

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Intimidation at a grocery store


My confidence has been shaken by trips this weekend to two different area natural food stores. I entered both shopping experiences full of excited anticipation, and left feeling defeated. I purchased nothing at the first one, Edge of the Woods in New Haven, and only a few measly items at Whole Foods in Westport.

Surrounded by a veritable cornucopia of vegan food options, I realized that I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I had planned to buy vegan cheese for the first time, but which was best--rice, soy, almond?? I asked a Whole Foods employee for help, and he helpfully told me that they were all terrible. He finally recommended with very little enthusiasm that I get one of the the rice "cheeses," then left to attend his record-setting breaking open of a giant wheel of Parmesan cheese. Free cheese samples were given out to customers who attended the momentous occasion. I wanted one. I didn't buy any vegan cheese.

I realized that with the exception of produce, most things I buy on a weekly basis are no longer available to me as a vegan. That sent all my accrued consumer experience about the best brands, prices, varieties, etc. out the window. I was left asking, is this a good price for tofu? Which brand of soy milk tastes best? Vanilla or plain? Is this type of granola bar vegan? No. How about this one? Am I ready to commit to a big expensive jar of vegan mayonnaise? Is there such a thing as vegan freezer waffles? (There are, and I bought them. I'll let you know how they are).**

In the end, I left with only a few items I felt comfortable with. Oh well, there's always next week. I just hope I bought enough food to get me through the week.

**Update: They're Vans multigrain waffles, and they're pretty good.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Mary Lawrence said...

Try shopping at Trader Joe's in Milford for vegan staples. They have a 6-page PDF of all the vegan products in the store (http://www.traderjoes.com/attachments/vegan.pdf), including such deliciousness as Meatless Meatballs, Panang Curry, and Wheat-free Toaster Waffles.

Vegan cheeses that don't taste like waxy crayons are hard to come by, but Follow Your Heart and Tofutti Singles are available in grocery stores and taste ok. The only one worth raving about is Daiya cheese, which can be ordered online from Pangea, Vegan Essentials, and Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe. It's soy-free, non-hydrogenated, and tastes like a blend of cheddar and mozzarella. Most importantly, it melts.

March 12, 2010 7:31 PM 

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