The Real Cucina Povera Is Vegetarian

These are salad greens, which are different from cooking greens.

In almost all cooking or travel shows about Rome, “cucina povera” — the poor kitchen, is featured with the host shown noshing at the offal of some animal. Invariably, they will also mention the fifth quarter, the quinto quarto, which is what is left after the other parts were shared between the nobles, clergy, bourgeoisie, and military.

Borage. I think.

What if you were vegetarian? I’m being facetious, because if you are poor, you eat what you can. Most poor people, through history, have been vegetarian. On a side note, the pig is the only barnyard animal that is worth more when dead. Most animals are worth more for their eggs, milk, wool, etc.

Cooked chicory greens. Available every single day.

Italians have been poor for most of their history (from long before there was a nation called Italy — created in 1861) and their cuisine has grown from necessity. As recently as a few generations ago, there were times of famine. Eating offal such as heart, tripe, and other organ meat, would have been rare. The daily food would have been vegetables, bread, pasta, and legumes, such as wild greens and beans. Even today, there are dishes such as puree of fava beans served with chicory greens. Vegetables that would be considered weeds are normal food in Italy. Dandelion and other wild greens that are now on Michelin star menus have been normal food here for centuries. Things like beet tops/greens which would be animal feed in other countries, is normal human fodder.

Dandelion?

Parmesan cheese has over thirty percent protein so it is considered a good source of protein when meat is not available. It is called “the poor man’s meat” or was, but it certainly is not for the poor anymore. Meat is cheaper. There are even recipes that call for toasted breadcrumbs — this was if you could not even afford cheese.

Broccoli greens.

I recently discovered another frugal use of dairy. Ricotta is made from the whey leftover from the making of cheese. In Puglia, they take the ricotta and let it ferment to become “Ricotta Forte” a strong cream cheese product that is picante because its sourness will bite you in the back of the throat. I have not asked but it’s probably “good for you” which normally means they need to convince you to eat it…

Fortunately, there is olive oil. Even the poor can afford it. Italy was a mostly agricultural society and even today there are many small farmers. Many big city families still own an olive tree orchard and produce their own olive oil each year.

Today is mother’s day in Italy, but really, every day is mother’s day in Italy. While men are often the famous chefs, it’s the mothers who do the majority of the cooking. They can even turn weeds into comfort food.

Vegan Restaurants in Lima

b-9SqtGuypabK3fyZCyne8G_VrX3AhDJqri-sK7NkmkUzYIShTflpULlq_9uSfTPBBSK02gx0DlS0DCDVCldhtpu-v7zTWavThmbQSahfzVGo22Sq9sjM7tKR4dQy-XKCIuayrpI6cliMp8N8PE4Ve5zHfESmqZSvLyNnB41oU7154v2SuWxVyG2f2Vegan food in Lima? Yes, apparently. I asked some vegans for their list of places to eat. This blog posting is cribbed off of their list (though, I think you can ask at any place and then can probably make it vegan for you.)

Miraflores:

Raw Café (also in Surco), Calle Independencia 587

El Jardín de Jazmín, Av La Paz 838

Bao!, Manuel Bonilla 105 (has 2 vegan options)

Veda Restaurante, Av. Schell 630

Tierra Santa, Av. Schell 354 (has various vegan options)

Seitan–Urban Bistro, Calle Alfonso Urgarte 150

La Verde, Bío Factoría, Calle Gral. Recavarren 315

there are several restaurants right around La Verde that also offer vegan food

Armonica Café, Mariscal La Mar 1167

Trattoria dei Prati, Cantuarias 239, Miraflores: They wiill make changes in their menu to accommodate for vegans

Panchita, Calle 2 de Mayo 298, Miraflores, has a great salad bar with lots of vegan options, as well as a number of side dishes that fit the bill.

Rasson, Calle Gral Mendiburu 1007, Miraflores

Jeronimo, Av Mariscal La Mar 1209, Miraflores: Also, guessing that they can make vegan considering the international experience of the owner.

Statera, Av. Mariscal La Mar 463: They have some delicious items that happen to be vegan. You could probably challenge the chef into making an all vegan menu…

Veggie Pizza: They will probably also accommodate vegans if you ask them.

San Isidro:

Cosme, Tudela y Varela 162, San Isidro: Ask them.

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Barranco:

Germinando Vida, Av Almirante Miguel Grau 209A, Barranco  (Possibly closed…)

Las Vecinas, Domeyer 219, Barranco

La Isolina, Av San Martin 101, will make you vegan food if you ask for it.

Veggie Pizza: This is a chain so there is also a location in Barranco. This location is right under the chocolate shop (and many of the chocolates are vegan…)

WThYwZC_-QnGLtfH1A6RFVsaKnuQI5zOgP0HoTOZUA47R0HCk1Eng-Ktr5FGSbPz7MeTlW_87_uZPMdsafsJW1irmdvwfaQ8VgRhDXkzoXVfz8BT3MsKxV65rOC7P7nqPWL1bHJK7zBFuuIoViumunLqcBGfL_fBLcTQ_6wTokkl1PBhrMwuldlYygSan Borja:

Mozart Cafe, Av. Primavera 605, San Borja,  also has a massive salad bar.

Given the rise of the Peruvian food culture, I would guess that most restaurants on my list of 100 restaurants to try can do various vegan options (You can ask, “tiene platos veganos?” or “tienes opciones para veganos?”) Let me know what you try by commenting on my blog.

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Vegan Cupcakes

a04sdX9AIQig5W1ny11L_kHUMWpBEbZdepJny9hYS9PKr6PxrhDDgur8F_WaaAtLHEm7SfzUgOxNvSnAnzK3vcbcQWsb9jHH-78keimoscK7swnPjZ_qkaGddPF3Vnp1BlShp-K5DIE_5-7p2g5ayh9OQJXcZXvU6ghknJPNvqPmfsA9ThDsVYCOAzI try not to discriminate. So when invited to a vegan’s birthday, I do my research online, mostly yelp and google, to find a place where I can buy some vegan cupcakes. This particular birthday party was northwest of Miami, so I went to a vegan bakery called Parlour, in Plantation, Florida. Those cupcakes cost $4 each. The shop is hidden in a strip mall, but it’s a cute store once you get there.

3_qiVbciznS6xhBwtPvRpM21RKzdMXq8bAm2Zvzz_qSASk_Xh0pu_Tl7zNukN6pjoRAV1kcVSjuD0F01SYy1wfhsPK2AAZBOrGcGsueYLHseUGJFdseq6GIoWgcRBoQFvLy-kaUiMUB_7nt3p0uVg1T8uiZnbdbyg-56CA-puxEvZEl0LJMfEynY6MMy verdict on the cupcakes was that they were dry. I was told that this is not usually the case. No fear, I still licked the frosting off them.