Today is part two of our culinary tour of Italy — this time in Central Italy, characterized by rolling hills, agriculture, viticulture, and forests. In this episode, we cover the cuisines of Rome (Lazio), Abruzzo, le Marche, and Umbria. (Tuscany has its own separate episode coming up!)
We often hear that being vegan is incongruent with being…well, name it. I can’t be vegan, because…I’m Mexican, I’m French . . . My family is Puerto Rican. I have Italian blood . . .I come from Irish stock. You get the idea.
MOST cultures have a history of heavy meat- and/or dairy-consumption, particularly as they became wealthier and more industrialized. (Although if you go back far enough, plant foods played a more significant role than they do now).
Food IS a unique expression of culture, but we have to ask:
“Is my cultural heritage reason enough to not make some changes that are in alignment with my current values?”
“Are there other ways I can celebrate my cultural heritage while still honoring my desire to be vegan?”
After all, despite meat, dairy, and eggs being prevalent in many cuisines, so are plant foods.
With a vegan’s-eye view of the world, we can just as easily and legitimately celebrate our family history and cultural traditions through the vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, lentils, fungi, herbs, and spices that characterize the cuisine of our heritage—whatever that heritage might be.