I once overheard someone say “how sad” about a vegan co-worker who can’t eat dairy. Yes, dairy products are tasty, especially if you’ve had gourmet cheese and couldn’t get enough of ice cream in your previous, meat-scarfing, pig-chewing, dairy-product chugging life.
Fortunately for “sad vegans,” like me, we have better options these days.
When eating out, we don’t always have to go for the mighty tofu, the usual kangkong, and the reliable mushroom. Because there are restaurants with vegan menus and vegan dining places that actually make good food — without relying on animal products. And more recently, vegetarian groceries across different cities are opening up, offering vegan products without the high street price.
For residents in the south, there’s Try Vegan along El Grande Avenue in BF Homes, Paranaque. It’s a small grocery and soon-to-be cafe serving quick meals. The store is a collaboration of three vegan friends who also happen to be Good Food Sundays regulars: The Real Happy Cow, Delicielo, and Jack’s Produce and Lokalitea.
Ferch Santos-Reynoso of Jack’s Produce says the store caters not just to vegans but to the vegan curious as well. And because a plant-based diet is better for your health, Try Vegan also offers healthy options of food that you grew up loving: barbecue, tocino, sardines, lechon, and all the other meaty, cholesterol drenched food items that are now clogging your arteries.
The store, which had a soft opening on Dec. 22, 2018, has an inviting, light, sort of airy mood to it. It makes sense for people to want to hang out and have a meal. But its cafe is not serving yet; soon, Ferch says as they’ve already done a plating sample and they are working on putting together a final menu.
In the meantime, you can get a few items off the shelf or from the freezer to make your own delectable vegan masterpieces.
Have an Authentic Hearty Meal
Grab a Snack
Dig These Desserts
Stock Your Pantry
So whenever you find yourself picking up a tiny violin or stifling a pent up, ugly cry for vegans, skip the drama.
We’re not sad. We’re not deprived. We’re not missing out.
We’re over the moon because we cut our greenhouse gas emissions (it takes more land and energy to grow animal-based food). We can indulge without worrying about excess pounds and chronic diseases. And we don’t have to roam the earth like sad sacks because with vegan groceries, like Try Vegan, we’ve got access to affordable, heavenly food in the country.
Try Vegan is open Mondays to Saturdays, 11 AM to 8 PM at Unit A, R.A. Suarez Bldg., 363 El Grande Ave., BF Homes, Parañaque
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Joy has been a vegan for over 20 years. She's done a wide range of stories for magazines, from music and movies to business and culture matters. She continues to write professionally to this day — like, right this very minute.