Germany is a great place to buy vegan groceries and we are lucky enough to have some brought over from time to time. Doppelkekse (sandwich biscuits) are popular over there and these organic ones from Pural are really good. They are like digestive biscuits sandwiched with the vanilla fondant you'd get in a custard cream:
Guest blogger Karra Rothery looks at the EU ban on animal-tested cosmetics that came into force earlier this month. Originally published on Karra's blog http://karrarothery.blogspot.co.uk
11th of March will be a day to remember. A day that will go down in history for animal welfare. It was the day that any cosmetics that have been, or had their ingredients tested on animals, were banned from being sold in the EU. Hip hip hooray! Since 2004 companies in the EU were banned from using animal tests for cosmetics, however they were still allowed to sell them if they had been animal tested abroad. So now we have real reason to celebrate!?
Instant vegan coffee creamer / tea creamer. This is powdered creamer in single-serve sachets produced by Saving Opus One of Georgia USA. There have been several attempts to fill this gap in the market and none have yet been successful (anyone remember Soya Maid from Pritchitts, the makers of the ubiquitous Millac Maid?). Does this latest creamer finally give vegans a break from black coffee when away from home?
A range of vegan-certified organic teas from Beyond The Bean in Bristol. The teas come in 9 flavours ranging from English Breakfast, to green teas and fruity teas. Some of the range is Fairtrade certified. We felt like a tea binge, so we made them all at once, pointed our little fingers out and and set about tea-tasting:
Vegan smoked salmon slices from the Redwood Vegideli range. We looked for these at Christmas but couldn't find them, and only recently saw some lurking at the back of a wholefood store fridge. Vegan smoked salmon is so ridiculous, this couldn't possibly work... could it?
A raw chocolate treat for your dairy-free Easter. We've reviewed the 'Vanoffe' bar before as part of our wider review of the goodies available from The Raw Chocolate Co, but the Dark version is now available in a new 44g bar. That's 15 chunks of caramel / vanilla / toffee chocolate goodness for your Easter pleasure:
Vegan sausages, German/Austrian style, from Swiss firm Vegusto. The definition of Wieners or Vienna sausages varies wildly, and this is even more the case with vegan versions. German firm Taifun produce tofu wieners which are now widely available in the UK (even in Waitrose), but those and these have nothing in common except the name:
Meat-free deli cuts from Swiss firm Vegusto. Since arriving in the UK in 2011, Vegusto's range and reach have continued to expand. We found a large selection of Vegusto's vegan meats and cheeses at Out of This World in Nottingham, which is a sure sign of the push into the provinces. Amongst other things, we grabbed a pack of deli cuts which are gluten-based and dubbed 'sandwich slices':
More vegan hot dogs, to show Granovita how it should be done. The Frys Family range of frozen vegan food is now rebranded and looking great. It's worth noting that VEGAN gets the top spot in the dietary claims on the front of the pack, without the need for the word 'vegetarian' to appear anywhere... Consumers can now be assumed to know that 'vegan' covers both. These not-dogs come frozen, in packs of 8. How do they compare to the Redwood hot dogs we reviewed last week?
Easter means chocolate right? But not always eggs. Departing with tradition (and orthodoxy), this box of chocolates would make a great gift for a vegan Easter. We often find vegan Easter eggs come without any goodies within... which is boring... so why not skip that, and just buy some great chocolates? This Sjaaaks assortment is a delicious selection of caramels and nutty chews with a rice-milk covering:
The perfect burger for our earlier review of Violife vegan cheese. Frys are the South African family firm that produce a fantastic range of frozen vegan foods. The packaging for their meat-free goodies has recently undergone a bit of re-branding and they do look a bit more sophisticated as a result. We haven't reviewed their burgers before, so we took the opportunity to do so along with the Violife cheese.
Dairy-free cheese slices from Greece, via German firm Veganic. The cheese has just launched in the UK, along with a grated pizza cheese bearing the Veganic name. The Violife slices are produced by Viotros, a specialist cheese producer that makes dairy as well as non-dairy cheeses. The Violife cheese slices are Vegan approved and come in packs of ten slices. Could this new cheese finally mark the arrival of a vegan cheese worthy of the name?
Voting is now open for the 10th Anniversary VegFestUK Awards. Categories include Best Caterer, Best City for Vegans, Best Place to Eat... and Best Vegan Blogger. Veganoo is pleased to report that we've been nominated in the latter category... more on that below. Voting runs until September 15th and the winners will be announced at London VegFest on October 5th/6th (at London Olympia):
Three sorts of vegan Oreos... from Poundland. That's right... Oreo biscuits are not normally vegan in the UK, but if you pop down to Poundland you'll find some vegan ones. Cheap ones too...Oreos are two packs for a pound for the standard packs. You can have Original, Chocolate Cream, or Original Snack Packs...but beware...the Chocolate Cream Snack Packs have whey in them. We grabbed a glass of rice milk, did the twist, the lick... and tucked in:
A dairy-free white chocolate Easter egg with buttons. Celtic and their sister brand Choices have a monopoly on the dairy-free Easter section in Holland and Barrett stores, but it's a fine selection they offer so we're not complaining. Vegans can waltz in to a H&B and choose milk, dark or white chocolate eggs this year - is this a first? We naturally opted for the most exotic choice... the white chocolate egg:
Mint chocolate, but not as you know it! This is dairy-free milk chocolate with mint crisp, from the lovely people at Moo Free. We've eaten many versions of mint chocolate (just check out our Christmas reviews for lots of examples) but nothing compares to this. Even if you don't normally like faux-milk chocolate you should try this...it really is great:
Could this now be the archetypal vegan easter egg? The standard Moo Free faux-milk easter egg has quickly become a benchmark...widely available, reasonably priced and very good. Moo Free's version of rice milk chocolate is a favourite among vegans who will often name it as their first choice chocolate.
An easter chocolate idea that isn't an egg. Faux-milk chocolate bars from Zero Zebra, a brand of Marthomi Allergy Free Foods from Germany. Each batch of these bars is tested for allergens to ensure they are completely dairy, gluten and nut free. The bars come in regular, rice crisp and strawberry flavour. We're reviewing the regular and strawberry flavours:
Swiss firm Vegusto's chilled dip range is slowly making its way to more stores across the UK, along with their vegan meats and cheeses. We picked up a pot of their 'Classic B12' vegi-dip for our review:
Today we show @GranoVitaUK how easy it is to make vegan sausages. After yesterday's UNVEGAN post, we thought it would be great to follow up with a feature on making great vegan sausages. Anyone can make commercial-looking vegan sausages at home, using the recipes from our friends over at Thifty Living.
Dark chocolate mini eggs from fairtrade producer Divine. A nice easter gift for dark chocolate lovers. These dairy-free mini eggs are not over-packaged like many easter eggs, so they score extra ethical points on that front too. Each little egg is foil wrapped, which makes them ideal for easter egg hunts.
A large chocolate bunny for under a quid. The Choceur range at Aldi is always good value but this is exceptional at 99p for a full-sized Easter bunny. Clearly taking inspiration from Lindt bunnies, but at a fraction of the price. The dark and milk chocolate bunnies are distinguished by the colour of their bows and you'll have to dig deep into the display box to find the dairy-free one:
Vegan ice cream cornets with a chocolate coating. The sun was out at the weekend and it's perfect timing for us to notice these tasty new waffle cones from Tesco. Crispy sweet cones dipped in thick chocolate...it's almost the shortcut to a 'cornetto' style ice cream. We filled them with some dairy-free vanilla ice cream and took them out into the sunshine:
A vegan version of black pudding (blood pudding / blood sausage) from the makers of... well the makers of real black puddings - The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Co. Don't let the fact that this is made by a butcher bother you - it's veggie and vegan certified. Surely better that this pudding will be seen by their own customers too, than hidden away in wholefood shops. We've never tried black pudding so we have no idea if the taste is in any way authentic, but read on for our thoughts: