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Vegan Spain
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Thread: Vegan Spain

  1. #1
    tigerbabe's Avatar
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    Default Vegan Spain

    Does anyone have any experience of what it's like to be a vegan in Spain??

    My parents are thinking of moving to spain and want me to go with them, so I'm just trying to find out even simple things like can you but vegan margarine over there???

  2. #2
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    My parents live in Spain, near Pilar de la Horadada.
    I haven't looked for Vegan marg there, I always just use Olive Oil as it is so good there. Soya Milk is very easy to get hold of. I have found Veggie foods for my son, (such as Linda Mc.Cartneys) in 'Quick Save' stores, but haven't really looked for Vegan stuff, as you can get all the Fruits and Veg, and Herbal Teas, and plain Pittas. Good enough for me!

  3. #3
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    I never been to Spain so I'm unsure. But Spain would have lovely fresh fruits and vegetables!

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys, I know it's probably daft but I love mash potato with Pure (the sunflower one) in it... and jacket potatoes with Pure (ths soya one) on

    I think I'd quite miss them if I couldn't get them out there

  5. #5

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    I lived in Spain for a while, but I was a vegetarian then, not a vegan. Still, it isn't impossible to be a vegan if you're cooking for yourself. Going out is another matter altogether.

    The fresh fruits and veggies are excellent, readily available, and cheap. Olive oil and excellent olives are abundant, excellent, and cheap. I'd think that you could find margarine easily. In the bigger cities, there are health food stores that stock lots of veggie stuff, and Marks and Spencer (in the big cities in Spain) likely has some of the foods that you'll be missing. In sum, you can readily get lentils, soy milk, tofu (esp. at the Corte Ingles in the bigger cities), and some other goodies like seitan if you live somewhere relatively big.

    Smaller towns that aren't touristy can be hard to find such things in.

    Going out to eat is a challenge. Chicken is considered "vegetarian." So is fish. You have to be very very clear about what you won't eat, which means making demands in Spanish to the wait staff. Most bars actually have cured pig legs hanging from the ceiling, so you might be right if you imagine that there's anything from puzzlement to hostility towards vegans. You can almost always get bread with olive oil or tomatoes (pan con tomate or pa amb tomaquet in Catalunya) that's good and vegan.

    In sum, if you're cooking for yourself, it is really easy. Going out, however, will require due vigilance. Most spaniards won't get the whole concept, and unless it is carefully explained to waitstaff, you'll likely end up with some kind of animal product in almost anything that you order, not out of malice, just out of misunderstanding. Overall, Spaniards are great folks, but just not real progressive on the meat front.

  6. #6
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    He-He, my brother used to live with a Spanish girl. We were eating dinner together once. She looked at my food and said - "You are Vegetarian, right? You eat no meat?".
    I agreed.
    She just simply replied "But why????".
    She looked so confused that I had to laugh!!

  7. #7

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    Quote PinkFluffyCloud
    She just simply replied "But why????".
    She looked so confused that I had to laugh!!
    A perfect example of what I mean! Generally, there's no real malice, but just a real puzzlement, like if you were growing a third eye on your forehead or something.

  8. #8
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    Yeah, there really was NO malice intended - this girl, Laia, was generally a lovely girl, but she hated Vegetables, she was just fed Meat, Meat, Meat at home. If I'd have had more time to explain, maybe I could have, but it would have been a very long and difficult discussion!

  9. #9
    Useless Dork Tofu Monster's Avatar
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    i lived in spain for a few years too but i was only veggie then as well. i once went to a sandwich bar at the main shopping centre on the island (tenerife) and ordered the advertised vegetarian sandwich - they tend to list the ingredients of each sandwich so you can choose what you want so mine was supposed to be like cheese, lettuce, tomato and asparagus. when it turned up, it had all those - plus tuna!

    when i questioned the chef bloke it wasn't that he'd made a mistake, he just thought that he was doing me a favour cos he had this spare tuna from a previous order and he gave it to me for free in my sandwich! he was really quite miffed when i asked him to prepare another one without the tuna! he just didn't get it. so yeah, the concept of vegetarian is not well understood, at least in smaller provincial places i'd say. as for vegan, well forget it. make sure you learn how to explain yourself in spanish or be prepared for the unexpected!

  10. #10
    Useless Dork Tofu Monster's Avatar
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    talking about people not 'getting it', my ex wife is ukrainian and years ago, when it was still the soviet union, i was going over there and meeting her family and other people and saying i didn't eat meat and stuff, and they just didn't get it. they just didn't comprehend the whole concept of not eating meat. understandable really i guess, as these were people who had to struggle, sometimes quite literally, to get food for the table, so for them, hearing that i didn't eat meat by choice was quite mind-blowing. when they didn't eat meat it was only cos they couldn't get any!

    now i have some friends from zimbabwe, they came here to escape the nightmares of mugabi's oppressive and violent dictatorship (if they had oil, bush and blair might want to help them out, poor fuckers - same for tibet of course, but i digress) and over there food can be scarce as well due to economic mismanagement and government corruption and suchlike, so i get the same reaction from them - why the hell would you choose not to eat certain foods if they are readily available?! are you crazy?? they really don't understand the concept that to my mind animals are actually not a food source! it's totally alien to them.

  11. #11
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    Quote tigerbabe
    Does anyone have any experience of what it's like to be a vegan in Spain??

    My parents are thinking of moving to spain and want me to go with them, so I'm just trying to find out even simple things like can you but vegan margarine over there???
    Try contacting the Spanish Vegan Society tigerbabe.

  12. #12
    tigerbabe's Avatar
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    It didn't occur to me there would be a spanish vegan society
    Thanks for the link gertvegan

  13. #13
    gertvegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    This may also help tigerbabe, or anyone else.
    The New Spain - Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants

    By vegan chef and restaurateur Jean-Claude Juston

    Over 100 vegetarian and vegan restaurants throughout Spain, Mallorca and the Canary islands. Includes 18 restaurants in Barcelona, a dozen places in Madrid, plus Alicante, Gerona, Granada, Las Palmas, Malaga, Murcia, Navarra, Pontevedra, Seville, Tarragona, Tenerife, Valladolid, Valencia, Vizcaya, Zaragoza and others. Also things to do in each area, places to see and shop, bookshops, cinemas, tourist offices, vegetarian magazines and websites and associations in Spain, and even some Spanish vegan recipes, for when you get home.
    130 pages.
    Available from Vegetarian Guides.

  14. #14

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    Question Eating vegan in Spain

    Hello can anyone recommend anywhere in the Benal madena area of Spain which might have vegan food?( eating out) I plan to take some food with me, but will probably be eating out as well. (with a bunch of omni's!!)

  15. #15

    Default Vegan people in Spain?

    Hi there! I'm new in this forum, found it about a week ago thanks to a friend of mine, who happens to be a member as well .

    I've been a vegetarian for more than 3 years, and went vegan about a month ago... the worst part of it, is to be born in this part of the world... Most of you guys tend to complain about the way society behaves towards vegetarians... but I bet most of you haven't experienced what it is to live in a country like Spain, at least in animal rights and open-mindedness.

    I barely know 3 or 4 vegetarians in the whole country (there are approximately 400,000, vegans included), and none of my friends even understand why one would go veggie... it's pretty sad.
    Well, I just wanted to say hi to everyone, you seem to be awesome people, and I'm very excited to be able to share some experiences and thoughts with you guys .

    And of course, if there were some people from/living in Spain (I currently live in the capital, Madrid), I would be definitely keen on meeting them.

    Thanks to you all, and thanks for reading me

    Greetings from Madrid


    "Nuestras vidas comienzan a apagarse el da en que permanecemos impasibles ante lo que de verdad importa"
    :rolleyes: www.greenpeach.org :D Vegan forum for Animal Liberation - /Spain /

  16. #16

    Default Re: Vegan people in Spain?

    Hi !!! I am Sharon, I live in Madrid ( aluche), I have been a vegan for 5 years, I live with 4 other vegans, I also have an AR org, that promotes Animal equality in the Spanis stae.
    You can e-mail me at; sharon@antiespecista.org


  17. #17
    antony abrennan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan people in Spain?

    Viva Espana


    welcome in

    looking forward to seeing some great spanish recipies from you

    hasta manyana

    Antony

  18. #18

    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    raise your hands those who want the Spanish vegan recipe to cook a tortilla de patata (potatoes omelette)!
    Check out my blog about animal equality, antispeciesism, veganism and activism!

    VeganActivist.net (English version)

    VeganActivist.net/es (Spanish version)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Well, I've just become vegan and I'm Spanish. I don't think you have any problems, depending on the area you're moving to (the bigger, the better chance to get "special food", as usual). Anyway, you'll always find fine fruit and vegetables and cheap and high quality olive oil You can't live on that, but I'm sure you won't have any probs and, even if you need to get something special, such as egg replacer (the ones you can find within the UK) and that stuff, you can always order online and get it from abroad!

    I know there are some other vegans in Spain and they're doing OK so, smile and welcome to Spain!!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Hi!
    I'm looking for someone who would be able to help me translate my Why Vegan clip into Spanish.

    If you are interested in helping, then please contact me!

  21. #21

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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Was living in spain for some time too, and have been there lots of times since. It’s just fine being vegan there, as with any place, you just need to adapt. As a general rule for spain, ready-made foods are limited, so for vegans it is as well. In large supermarkets (hipermercados) there’s very likely to be some shelf with ’productos biologicos’, there you can find veggie brugers, soya puddings & yoghurts etc.

    Nearly all supermarkets have (very cheap) soya milk. Many have some soya drinks (the alpro flavoured kind). There are a few soya drinks, new on the market, that are vegan, but check labels because lots say ”soy” on the side but are really milk drinks/yoghurts with soya added (new ’health trend’ of spain…!). Lots of vegan margerine, if you want. Just check labels, as many say ”100% vegetal” but have dairy or gelatine..! Lots of biscuits are vegan, as vegetable fats and oils are usually cheaper than dairy equivalents. Just check through shelves. Respostería Martínez and Dulcesol and similar brands have lots of vegan sweet breads (’palmeras’ and ’palmeritas’, ’cañas de crema’/chocolate, etc). In large supermarkets/department stores (alcampo, carrefour, el corte inglés) you can sometimes get soya ice cream, it seems they only carry it in summer though.. And there is a lot of vegan chocolate.

    That’s that about ”special” foods. But do go for the fruit and veg!!! Great quality, and CHEAP.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Hey
    Still need somebody to translate the "why vegan" clip into Spanish?

    If so, contact me: cyberpaella@yahoo.es

    "Nuestras vidas comienzan a apagarse el da en que permanecemos impasibles ante lo que de verdad importa"
    :rolleyes: www.greenpeach.org :D Vegan forum for Animal Liberation - /Spain /

  23. #23
    Wanda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    That is really sweet of you!!!
    But the clip has been translated already.
    You can find the Spanish version here.
    I really appreciate your offer though!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Hi! I've been a vegetarian for about 8 years now, but I made the transition to vegan last year. While I can't say the market has as much to offer as in other parts of the world, it isn't that hard, either. "El Corte Ingles", the best known department stores chain in the country, sells many vegetarian/vegan food in their health food section, and there are health food stores almost everywhere. Besides, we're lucky here in the sense that olive oil (and the extra virgin one, in particular, which is possibly the best vegan fat as far as health and taste are concerned) is not expensive at all. Veggies and fruit are generally popular.

    Bear in mind that many of the typical dishes, those in almost every bar's menu, are not vegan: serrano ham & manchego cheese; original paella has seafood, although it can be done without it; ensaladilla's distinctive ingredient is mayonnaise; spanish tortilla (with potatoes)...One noteworthy exception is gazpacho, a cold soup, popular in Andalucia, made of tomato, pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and bread. Don't forget that tuna is almost mandatory in salads, so be specific when asking for one.

    Let me add that I live in the Canary Islands, which is far from the mainland. OTOH, I'm in one of the two biggest cities here , so I have no real experience of what being a vegan in smaller towns is like, but I haven't had any problems yet. I agree with someone that said that cooking at home shouldn't be a problem, but eating out can be an adventure.

    Hope this helps.

  25. #25
    VEGANMAN1961
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    Default vegan spain

    Going to Spain late feb/early march.Walking mainly.Any advice for a vegan in Spain?Vegan groups/people/restaurants/B&b's or places to volunteer on?
    mark
    Last edited by flutterby; Nov 25th, 2006 at 12:39 AM. Reason: this was the 1st post in a similar thread

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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    hi.i'm also a vegan moving to spain.i'm taking my two small children and they also would miss vegan margerine.if anyone knows of some brand names i can look out for in the larger supermercados i will be truely grateful.love and peace.gyp

  27. #27

    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    there are plenty of them. For instance, "ARTUA" (made from corn) is available in most supermarkets of the country.

    Where is it that you're moving to?

    If you need some help, there are lots of people in the forum who will be more than willing to lend you guys a hand: www.greenpeach.org Most of them vegans of course.

    I don't live in Spain anymore, but I used to live in Madrid and still keep lots of good friends there. Just send me a pm if you need any kind of help.

    Greetings from Berlin!
    "Nuestras vidas comienzan a apagarse el da en que permanecemos impasibles ante lo que de verdad importa"
    :rolleyes: www.greenpeach.org :D Vegan forum for Animal Liberation - /Spain /

  28. #28

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    Wink Re: Vegan in Spain??

    gracias toma,thats really helpful as we're going back over in 10 days to see some properties.my sister lives in los altos,so we're looking in that area to be close to family and also we know the area.I know there is a health food shop in valencia so i'm going to check that out.we're hoping to be on line when we eventually move so i reckon shopping via internet for vegan luxuries is my best bet.cheers again.

  29. #29

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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Hiya!
    I live in madrid, el corte ingles has a healthfood section where you can find veggie burgers, soy yogs/milk etc, but if you can find an "alcampo" supermarket they have soyasun yogs and stuff a lot cheaper, danone also do vegan yogs under the name "savia" but I'm not mad on them...as for vegan margarine brands, i dont eat marg, just olive oil, which you can find anywhere...I can recommend some restaurants if you were to come to madrid, give us a shout if tou need any help!
    cait.

  30. #30

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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    cheers caitlin,will look out for those.we have a large supermarket called carrefour.they have some vegan food such as soya ices,milk and milkshake cartons.it's fun exploring the food ranges and have been really surprised at the variety.i don't think there's much chance of us getting to madrid soon as the murcia egion is quite a distance but thanks anyways.love and peace Gypdog.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    is cordoba vegan friendly?, (as far as "special foods" go, i dont need restaurants) or is madrid the smartest place to live? i lived in spain when i was veggie but moving there again now and dunno how to make up my mind.
    Last edited by berta_the_aspie; Apr 10th, 2007 at 11:59 PM. Reason: forgot to put in the specifics
    det e bedre at den e dyr - enn at den e dde dyr

  32. #32
    Manzana Manzana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Madrid is always the safest option but if you are happy to cook your food it doesn't really matter... I would take other things into consideration: Madrid and Cordoba are like chalk and cheese in terms of cities! You will be able to work out what you can eat wherever but where would you prefer living? (I am originally from Madrid but i think i'd rather live in Cordoba given the choice and if I had a job there)

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    a colleague and i had excellent lunch at http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...estaurant.html in barcelona.
    food was the kind that comforts you.
    recommend.

    Last edited by dada; Apr 12th, 2007 at 01:09 PM. Reason: added pics

  34. #34

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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    hiya!
    Well its really easy to find vegan food such as soy milk,yogurts and tofu at an allright price cuase they sell it in supermarkes, and tofu in "chinos", I'm not sure what the deals like in cordoba, but on the other hand, madrid's the most expensive place to buy fruit and veg...
    still, if you decide to move back to madrid I can recomend a few restaurants(including where I work!, its lactovegetarian, but the only non vegan stuff is kefir and honey,so pretty v. friendly!) ... madrid is pretty chaotic at the moment, but you won't get bored!...I love it...anyway lots of luck whatever your decision!

  35. #35
    berta_the_aspie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    whats a chino?
    i doubt that madrids veggies are more expensive and look worse than the ones of my arctic town...
    oh that Barca restaurant seems cool but i already lived there. (tho wasnt a vegan so 0 experience there.)
    but something stupid is that(acording to happycow) spain seems to have no health food stores even my stupid little town has loads. so i dont get it.
    det e bedre at den e dyr - enn at den e dde dyr

  36. #36
    Manzana Manzana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    A chino is a chinese shop run by chinese people (although it can sell anything not just chinese/asian stuff)

    there are loads of health food stores but we call them HERBOLARIOS so they are not just health food shops, they sell homeopathic herbs and other stuff as well... they are tiny shops not shop chains so they would not advertise in Happy Cow

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    oooh, i see
    det e bedre at den e dyr - enn at den e dde dyr

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    i don´t live in sapin, but i go to madrid very often because of my family. there are many vegan friendly options there, as well as groups you can contact to keep in touch with other vegans (other than this or other forums). one of those is called defensa animal or proteccion animal, i don´t remember well, but they have a website, so i guess you could check it out (i´ll check it out now anyway). they put stands in public and touristic places and give information about what they do, as well as the sell pins and stickers in order to collect money; they also organise meetings and protests. you could join them, they´re cool people.

    i know in madrid some stores that are very veg frindly. there are mini-markets that only sell organic products any lots of animal free foods and cosmetics.
    there are also "soap shops" where you can buy soaps and shampoos, as well as lotions and make-up, all natural an animal free testing/ingredients.
    i hope this can help you.

  39. #39
    berta_the_aspie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    oh. i'm not into AR and not into groups, but yeah thanx for the tip
    det e bedre at den e dyr - enn at den e dde dyr

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    I'm off on holiday to Spain in a few weeks and its the first time since I turned vegan. I'm not sure how I am going to get on - I think I will be living on pasta and paella!

    Does anyone know the word for vegan in Spanish? Is it vegano/a? I'm sure I will get by for one week

  41. #41
    Manzana Manzana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Hi Linxie,

    Be careful with the paella as it is often made with FIsh Stock. Salads always have tuna or ham so make sure you make the point very clear: Ensalada solo verdura

    The word for vegan is VEGANO/a as you said but not very many people at all know the meaning. If your spanish is ok, you are better off explaining, otherwise I strongly recommend a vegan passport or checking happycow.net

    Best of luck!

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    The fact that I didn't know and couldn't find the word for vegan made me think that it wasn't well used! I'll stick to listing everything I can't eat

    My Spanish is pretty good so I can can make sure they are using caldo vegetal in my paella!

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Hi!!!
    Im vegan and Im from Spain.
    Dont worry, you will survive (easy)!!!
    :P

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    I Am Of To Alicante City Next Summer , And Would Like To Know If Anyone Can Tell Me If I Can Get Vegan Ice Cream Anywhere, And Any Other Advice About Where I Can Get Vegan SuppliES

  45. #45
    Manzana Manzana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    herbolarios (health shops) are a good place to buy non dairy milk and soya products (plus nuts, seeds...)

    Also try happycow.net for restaurants...

    As far as I know, all sorbets are vegan, and the spanish word is sorbete.

  46. #46
    Piticli
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    the "Mercadona" market had got good soy milk,i buy it there.The name of it is Alitey.
    "Galerias" market had got more taste soy milk but not much soy,only the 3% the rest is water and things so.
    I buy vegeburgers in a health shop.
    And good ice cream in "Hipercor" mark of "El corte ingles".

  47. #47

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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    I'm going to Spain in August to teach English. I've never been there but I do speak Spanish (long stint in Chile) and I have a British passport (thanks Dad) and I'm a qualified ESL teacher with 6 years experience. I'm just putting money away for the trip at the moment.

    Madrid seems like the obvious choice but I've never been obvious. I don't mind cooking for myself as I'm pretty good. Eating plainly (tinned beans & fresh fruit and vegies) is fine in a pinch.

    I guess I want advice where to try to set up shop. I'm interested more in smaller cities/towns you love. Any recommendations?

  48. #48
    Piticli
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    I live in Zaragoza and here is a lot of good vegan meal and vegetarian restaurants.And vegan people too,that they have got the called comedor popular.And Zaragoza is more quietly and here we havent polution because the Ebros wind clean the atmosphere.I was liveing in Madrid and i dont know nothing about vegan,and on summer is a hell!!!

  49. #49

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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    Great. I will check it out online. I not a fan of really hot weather, which is why I'm going to go at the end of summer. I get enough hot weather in Australia.

  50. #50
    Manzana Manzana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in Spain??

    oviedo is a great town (although a bit rainy at times)... the beach is very close, not too big (you can walk from one end to the other in about 30 minutes ) and also, it has the beautiful Picos deEuropa mountains very close by!... the only problem is that in many places up north they love meat and sea food...

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