Though it may be surprising, Italy and the food it curates is surprisingly vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Many Italians were vegetarian back during the industrial revolution, solely because meat was seen as a luxury. Communities worked to create rich foods based on soups, casseroles, and nutritious dishes made with lentils & beans. These days veganism and vegetarianism are gaining momentum, there is no denying that. Italy has the fastest-growing vegan population in Europe, so of course, you will have vegan options - whether you are in Italy or the Italian restaurant down the block.
One of the most popular and well-known Italian dishes that we all love is pizza. Whether you like to order it with lots of toppings or stick with the classic mozzarella and basil, you’ll always find a delicious vegetarian option to spoil yourself. In Italian cultures, pizza should be considered its own food group. With tons of different options, you could even find an entirely vegan pizza - no cheese and lots of veggie toppings! So next time you are invited to go to the Italian restaurant down the street, like the Venetian in Weymouth - don’t be hesitant! You can find great options to match up with your vegetarian diet.
Watching gelato being served in Italy is truly an act of art. It’s hard not to drool over the creamy delight, whether you’re watching it being made or picking out a flavor in the grocery store. For vegetarians, obviously, this delicacy can be enjoyed in any fashion. The good news for those following a vegan diet, though, is that Italians have a high rate of lactose intolerance. With this, many stores or gelato places may have a dairy-free option - so don’t hesitate to ask! Just ask for gelato senza latte (without milk) or soia gelato (soy gelato).
Pasta, Pasta, Pasta!
Pasta dishes most of the time can be made to order, so if you are eyeing a dish that just had scraps of bacon or sausage mixed it, don’t fear asking. The traditional red sauce with spaghetti is always hard to beat. On top of this, pasta can be made with or without eggs, and sauce can be made with or without dairy. A good phrase to remember for those following a vegan diet is ‘Ci sono delle uova,’ which translates to ‘Is it made with eggs?’.Most restaurants will happily work with you on ordering something that works with your diet. So next time you are at the Venetian in Weymouth, ask us what we can do for you.
At The Venetian restaurant in Weymouth, MA, we provide our guests with meat options and vegetarian options. When relatives are in town this holiday season, visit us at the Venetian to try our variety of traditional Italian dishes.