Luxembourg holiday update #3 and a bonus chocolate review

Well today I got much more adventurous with my culinary world tour (or as much as you can be when you’re vegan and not really exercising or, indeed, moving at all).

Started the day off with my Vegan Blend protein, a banana, a multivitamin and a green tea. A little later I nibbled at some apple chipshazelnuts and a plain soy yoghurt. Seems like I am after textures and broad general tastes (ie sweet or savoury, nothing more precise) these days – I just need to either crunch something or absolutely not crunch anything.

We wandered off to the International Bazaar again, and this time I was determined to try more than one thing.

I could leave without trying a curry, and I was quite in the mood for something warm and plentiful (again with the texture and sensation thing). After reviewing several stands we ended up at the Bangladesh stand where I had a truly lovely and surprisingly spicy vegetable curry with white rice.

Bangladeshi vegetable curry

I was a bit hesitant about getting curry when there were all these things I had never seen or heard of, but it was really very good, flavourful and not overly greasy, so I am happy with my decision!

We wandered around a bit more and I realised I had not stopped thinking about that feijoa juice, so I went to the New Zealand stand and got one… it is for charity after all! Oh, and they appear to be high in vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and are alkaline. So there you go.

After a fair bit of walking and talking I distinctly needed another snack and ended up with a falafel pita from the Israeli stand. €4 for one of the most lovingly made pitas I have ever seen – a squirt of tahini, a few small falafels, a scoop of salad, another few little falafels, another squirt of tahini and some chili sauce! I have never seen a commercial food stand go to the effort of layering a sandwich, and it was much appreciated.

Israeli falafel

It’s obviously a bit hard to take a good picture of a pita sandwich, but believe me every bite of this guy was as good as the first (Ben would like credit for his hand modelling). I then finished off my afternoon of culinary delights with a cup of chai tea from the Indian stand. I desperately wanted some Lebanese/Greek/Iranian/Turkish/Egyptian/Israeli pastries, some of which I know are sometimes vegan, but couldn’t know which were which and really couldn’t be bothered to ask busy people probably speaking their second or third language. Especially when I really have no need for more sugary treats! (though when has that ever stopped me…?)

The world needs more events like these… where you can celebrate food and culture, prove that vegans can eat a variety of delicious foods, and support various charities while doing so. Now just soothing my stomach with a cup of green tea.

Edit – I have just seen Mitsu and Sasha‘s new post about all the incredible vegan food they had in New York… my weekend’s culinary experience seems distinctly average in comparison!

In other news, I have now hit 40 various chocolate product reviews in my Chocolate section! The lucky 40th was a bar of Godiva’s 72% Dark Chocolate with Almonds, which I was very impressed by. Ever since I got my little bag of birthday goodies from Ben’s family I have been much more attentive to the nuances of different chocolates, which is why I started that dedicated section. I had never understood the point of “single-origin” bars until I tried a couple of bars from Hotel Chocolat’s Purist range. Some chocolates are richly fruity, some taste of roasted coffee beans, some are woodsy and intense, some are creamy with hints of vanilla… I never wanted to become one of “those” people but if it gives me license to eat more chocolate for comparative purposes, I’ll run with it!

Apart from the Hotel Chocolat 80% Dark from Ecuador, this bar was the first time I noticed a real richly roasted flavour. With the subtle crunch of almonds – which I was sceptical I would taste or notice at all – it made for a perfectly intense and mature bar of chocolate. As much as I love Green & Blacks, these chocolates just don’t even compare. I really didn’t think I could be impressed with a thin bar of chocolate bought in an airport duty-free shop, but this is the whole point of me dedicating myself to reviewing chocolate – I still have so much to learn!

Interestingly, most chocolate bars list their serving size as 40g – and 2.5 servings in a 100g bar, which seems odd to me when they could just say 2 servings, or admit that 40g of chocolate (about 200-300kcal depending on the chocolate) is really quite a lot for a casual snack. I normally have 20g as a standard serving in one go, so about 100-150kcal (normally towards the lower end of that estimate). The Godiva bar, however, listed a serving size as 10g – or just one little square – for 60kcal! Is it just me or is that a little harsh not to mention unrealistic? I really would like to know who decided the serving sizes and why. Surely it would be in a company’s interest to make people think they can/should eat more in one go, so they buy more? Anyway, I just thought that was interesting. You won’t catch me eating a mere 10g of chocolate at a time…

So I’m only 10 products away from 50 now… I will take requests 😉 Hard job but somebody’s got to do it!