Sunday, May 22, 2011

más alimento del vegano, por favor

Hola amigos! Yes, it's true... (sigh)... Mexico is the last country on my vegan junk-food journey around World Showcase.

Actually, truth be told, it was really my first country. It was here that I got the idea for this series of blog posts. While I always make it a point to wander around the little shops and stalls inside the pyramid, this time I actually made the effort to pick up many of the food offerings and read the ingredients... and I was amazed at how many of them were vegan! I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised. I love Mexican food in general, and much of it is vegan (or veganizable). Rice, beans, tortillas, salsa... I'm getting hungry already!

Because the idea was only just starting to form in my mind, I didn't take as many pix or notes as I should have. I'm afraid I'm still learning how to be a diligent vegan journalist. Some of the items I didn't photograph won't be a surprise; things like chips and salsa and tequila. Well, as long as the tequila doesn't have a worm in it.

(Okay, I just had to Wikipedia this. Why in the world would anyone put a worm in a bottle of booze? Turns out it really was just a marketing gimmick. Thank goodness it's not a very common practice.)

In addition to a huge selection of exotic salsas, I also found a surprisingly large selection of vegan candy. I'm not going to pretend to know how to pronounce all of these, but I'm happy to report that they all had the ingredients listed on the back in English, for those of us who's Spanish doesn't extend much past "hasta la vista".

This first one is some sort of fruit candy that, silly me, I forgot to note the ingredients on.

The next one, if my notes are correct, just contained sugar, peanuts and artificial flavor, which seems odd because I'm pretty sure that the name derives from marzipan, which is generally made from almonds.

The next one was another peanut candy - I think the ingredients were almost the same as the one above, though obviously a much different type of candy. (The name, cacahuate, actually means "peanuts", in Spanish.)

Last but not least, I found a colorful coconut treat. Ingredients were natural coconut, sugar, corn syrup, artificial colors (red #40, yellow #5, blue #1).

(As an aside, I was concerned about the red #40, but according to the Vegetarian Resource Group, it does not contain cochineal, and is considered vegan. But as with everything I list on this blog, please do your own research, and feel free to arrive at your own conclusions. There are many "questionable" ingredients that each vegan must decide for themselves to accept or avoid.)

As I mentioned at the beginning, there were actually a lot more treats that I did not think to photograph or record. And since products change all the time you'll certainly want to investigate for yourself, and read packages. However, I really feel that this pavilion would be a good place to look for sugary vegan treats.

And of course, how can you *not* want to explore this amazing pavilion? I see people walk right on by the pyramid without stopping, and I can't help but thing they are missing out. I just love the contrast here. The inside is always kept dark, to remind you of the night sky... but the decor and souvenirs are so colorful! In addition to the usual turquoise and silver jewelry I would expect to find, they also have these wonderful little brightly colored, carved wooden animals.

And I must confess that there is something about all the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) merchandise that just fascinates me.

Well, I'm afraid this wraps up my latest blog series. I will share a little teaser for a later blog series, though: this experience inspired me to try something daring on my next trip. Despite the fact that I recommend - and will continue to recommend - that vegans bring some of their own favorite treats with them when they go to Walt Disney World, I have decided to throw caution to the wind, and try a trip without that safety net, in the name of research. Instead, I will save my pennies and actually buy and try some of these little goodies I discovered last time.
I'm going to make it a point to be a more adventurous vegan eater, and of course, share my findings with all of you.

But sadly, that next trip is still many months away. In the meantime, I will try and keep an eye out for anything I think might be of interest to vegan Disney fans. Thanks for following along!

No comments: