Guest Post: Aurelia D'Andrea presents Plant-based Paris

Kale Soup at Verjus (75001). One example of an amazing meat-free dish.  

This week I am delighted to share a guest post by Aurelia D'Andrea, whose articles on vegetarian living and travel are invaluable guides to anyone who wants to be both meat-free and worldly.

Aurelia D'Andrea's writing has appeared in publications such as Vegetarian Times and Veg News as well as on her blog, My Vegan Parisian Adventure. Her articles advocate creativity in the kitchen as well as in life and encourage vegetarians to accept, and embrace, the challenges that may come with living abroad- especially in meat-loving countries such as France.

Faux Gras!

Aurelia writes for the benefit of vegetarians around the world, proving that a plant-based lifestyle is a viable (and ethical) option no matter where your path may lead.

Vegetarians, vegans and the veggie-curious who are living in Paris can learn from Aurelia's knowledge of vegetarian life abroad by attending her Vegetarian Living in Paris class.

Aurelia was kind enough to give Paris Paysanne readers a preview of what her class will cover. Space is limited so be sure to sign up for the course, which will be held on February 28th. It promises to be an informative, inspiring, and eye-opening introduction to Vegetarian Living in Paris! *******************************************************************************************

Fresh noisettes

If It weren’t for Paris Paysanne, I might still be staring at the rutabagas I bought on a whim at my local marché, pondering whether to cook them, eat them raw, or use them as doorstops. Without a gentle guide to feed me information and ideas on a subject I’m very much interested in—local food—I’d be wallowing in a sea of mysterious fruits, tubers, and greens, praying for a culinary lifeboat to save me from certain starvation.

Since moving to Paris three years ago, I’ve met others who, like me, need help with food-related matters—though not necessarily with their rutabagas. In this country where meat-heavy culinary traditions hold firm, some of us need help navigating the tricky world of vegetarianism.

Vegetarian brunch at Cafe Pinson (75003)

When friends and family heard I was moving to a country where frogs, snails, and horsemeat are all served in restaurants, their excitement for me was sullied by concern. “Does tofu even exist there?” they asked, as if the stuff were the foundation of my diet to begin with. “And aren’t the frites cooked in duck fat?”

The answers are “Yes!” and “Sadly, yes, sometimes.” (I learned the latter the hard way.) But the truth is that vegetarian living in Paris is about the same as anyplace else: When armed with the right tools, it’s possible to enjoy meals at restaurants both fancy and pedestrian, participate in local culinary traditions, and even host your own wine-and-cheese party with faux fromages and meat-free charcuterie if you wanted to.

Meat-free Charcuterie!

To help others on their journey exploring plant-based Paris, I’m teaching a class called Vegetarian Living in Paris through WICE, a local non-profit cultural organization for Anglophones. In three hours, I’ll teach you how to shop for veg staples at traditional produce markets and American-style hypermarches, unravel the mysteries of French restaurant menus, introduce you to the exciting world of vegetarian entertaining, and fill you with ideas on how to make the most of your French experience without compromising your dietary preferences. Students will leave the class with helpful resources and a veritable taste of vegetarian France. (What would any class on vegetarianism be without food samples?!)

Vegan burger and fries at the Gentle Gourmet (75012)

If you or someone you know needs a helping hand navigating the mysterious, occasionally confounding place called Paris sans viande, I am offering myself up as a lifeboat. If it’s root vegetables you need help with, you and I are both better off right here, in the capable hands of Paris Paysanne.

Aurelia d’Andrea is the former editorial director of VegNews magazine and a frequent contributor to Vegetarian Times. Her next book, Moon Metro Paris, will be published by Avalon Travel in 2014.

Raw veggies are a vegetarian's delight!

Thanks so much Aurelia ! Paris, and its veggie loving community, are so lucky to have you!

Sign up here for Aurelia's class!