Despite it’s global reputation for steak and dairy filled desserts, Buenos Aires has an increasing vegetarian and vegan community.
Located in the centre of Palermo Hollywood, Pizza Vegana (Fitz Roy 1968), provides a vegan pizza take-away service in the city of Buenos Aires. This small chain is also spotted around the areas of Belgrano, Caballito, Lomas de Zamora, Recoleta, San Telmo and Vicente Lopez. This stop is the perfect ‘grab-and-go’ location, unlike it’s partner restaurant La Casona Vegana, famous for it’s homely atmosphere.
Rushing through the streets of Palermo in search for this renowned Pizza Vegana, with an entrance so green and so bright, it is impossible to miss. Priced at 129 Argentinian Pesos (approximately £6.50), it’s fair to say that Pizza Vegana’s delicacies are very unique.
The interior itself isn’t anything spectacular, in fact there is no available seating apart from a few high stools and a table fixed onto the wall, but the pizza options are endless. It’s fair to say that in this case, it’s certainly taste over appearance; quality over quantity. The pizza base is made using 2 simple ingredients; rice flour dough and water. The toppings and creations however, are a different story. In the case of indecisiveness, it is always best to opt for local recommendation and ask for the best-sellers. Here, the leaders on the board are “Carmelita”, “de la Mamma”, “Vegalitana”, “Super Mario” and “de la India”, but for those who are still undecided, there is a choice to go half-half.
I highly recommend the ‘Carmelita’ (caramelised onions, oregano, brown sugar and olive oil) and ‘Super Mario’ (mushroom, garlic, sunflower seeds and aioli). In addition to these mouth-watering recipes, Pizza Vegana also serves ‘canastitas’ for only 20 pesos each. It would only be fair to describe these mini bites as a combination of a deep filled mini pizza and a quiche. Undeniably delicious, predictably filling.
The cheese used on the pizza base is called ‘paparella’, an Argentinian paste made from potatoes. Even though this unique take-away has produced it’s own secret recipe, it is very simple to make your own paparella at home.* If you are interested and would like to learn more about the baking and creative processes of these pizzas, José, the young man taking the telephone orders will be more than happy to explain these to you.
The take-away here at Pizza Vegana is much healthier than the stereotypical cheesy pizza we all know. As they contain no animal products this also means that they contain no cholesterol which is certainly a huge plus for us all. The “cheese” is hand-made in the kitchen from potatoes and is therefore lactose free. These pizzas are also free from gluten which means easier digestion even for those who do not have an intolerance. Furthermore, they use organic brown sugar for flavours such as the carmelita and pink Himalayan rock salt for everything else. All of the above are clearly displayed in the form of posters across the green walls. From nutritional statistics to nearby vegan events, Pizza Vegana also provides it’s customers with visual information about the topic of veganism as a whole.
As you can see, a vegan diet not only supports a cruelty-free lifestyle and contributes to a better environment, but also allows indulgence without all the nasties. Unfortunately, many possess the idea that vegans cannot enjoy desserts, fast food or snacks, and places like these prove that this is not true. In fact, I’d personally say that vegans are more likely to appreciate their meals knowing that no other being was harmed to create the food in front of them. Moral guilt level: 0.
Next time you are in Buenos Aires, I would highly recommend a take-out from Pizza Vegana for those lazy Sunday nights in..
*Boil and peel 2 medium potatoes and place in a blender along with 1/2 cup of water (from the boiled potatoes), ¾ vegetable oil, ½ cup nutritional yeast, lemon, salt and pepper..and blend! The final product should result in a soft and fondue-ish sauce which is perfect to use as a cheese replacement as well as a dip.*