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Cardiff food joints ready to meet the growing wave of veganism

This new year, veganism has reached its pinnacle worldwide. Are Cardiff food joints ready to step up their game?

Kelp noodles, a typical vegan dish

If 2018 was the year veganism got sexy, 2019 seems likely to be the year it gets massive. Instagram and YouTube are full of huge accounts showcasing manicured and mouthwatering meat-free treats, Netflix is loaded up with exposés of the alleged horrors of the dairy industry, and every supermarket and restaurant chain has vegan choices sitting prominently in their aisles and menus.

What do you mean weak, limpy and weedy? In 2019 the vegan category is robust, energetic and flush with crowdfunding cash. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health, environmental and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet. The health advantages have been endorsed by the World Health Organization which recommends “a nutritious diet based on a variety of foods originating mainly from plants rather than animals.”

We asked vegan and vegetarian food joints in Cardiff if they see a significant rise in veganism in the recent times among their customers.

A chickpea-spinach pie, one of Crumb’s speciality dishes

Polina, employee of Crumb’s Kitchen in Royal Arcade, Cardiff,  started working there last September. She has observed a remarkable rise in the the number of people coming in this new year and their desire to change the  ways they indulge in 2019. “Here at Crumb’s Kitchen, we specialise in creating healthy, tasty and homemade dishes for breakfast and lunch.We understand that the best flavours are born from the very best ingredients, that’s why we use locally sourced, sustainable and seasonal produce whenever possible.’’

It’s not just fresh salads, beautiful breakfasts, generously-filled jacket potatoes, homemade soups, bread, delicious curries and chillies served at Crumb’s Kitchen: the dessert menu is full of delectable treats that are almost guilt-free. The speciality dishes are chickpea-spinach vegan pie and sweet potato-coconut soup.

Sweet-potato and coconut soup at Crumb’s Kitchen, a featured vegetarian dish

Crumb’s Kitchen was the first vegan/vegetarian restaurant in Cardiff and would celebrate the golden jubilee of its opening this year. Mr Paul Colbey bought the place seven years back and has been running the place ever since without making any significant changes to the original menu. Crumb’s has been nostalgic for its customers as the majority of customers are elderly. . They have been coming here for years now and it’s become a hub for them. Whether it’s great vegan and vegetarian food that you’re searching for, or creative dishes made from the best local produce, Crumb’s Kitchen is the place for you.

What looks like an unassuming wooden stall, Clancy’s Vegetarian Emporium situated in Cardiff Market is actually a treasure trove of vegetarian and vegan takeaway food, dairy-free sweet treats and pretty much every herb or spice a recipe might call for.

Darren and Angus, both vegetarians, have been running the place for six years now. They specialise in Indian vegan/vegetarian snacks, cakes and also make their own fresh chilli everyday. The duo has noticed a massive rise in vegans and vegetarians over the past few years and a remarkable rise specifically last year. “The movement is being driven by the young – close to half of all vegans are aged 15-34.The student population is clearly turning towards veganism.”

Clancy’s Vegetarian Emporium in Cardiff Market, a haven for vegans and vegetarians

Darren says: “Clancy’s has never made any alterations to its menu to accommodate the changing demands.We never had to.” Clancy’s sells spices too and according to them everything that tastes wonderful is better with a bit of spice. The trademark lentil daal topped with fresh ginger and seeds is a must-try.

Keeping healthy is critical to being successful as a vegan. It is very important to research what to eat before or while changing one’s diet.Veganism in Cardiff is definitely more common among young people now and social media  has played a major part in the spread of this trend.The shift toward plant-based food is being driven by millennials, who are most likely to consider the food source, animal welfare and environmental impacts when making their purchasing decisions.

So the generation that is often accused of being lazy, self-entitled and selfish, is arguably the complete opposite. As the generation of people who have to live with the decisions of today, they are actively taking measures to ensure that this planet is worth living on in the future.