Vegan vibes in Berlin – a vegan food tour of Friedrichshain
Many of us are starting to think about the health aspects of what we eat, bringing us ever closer to the vegan way of living. Others come at the issue from an animal welfare perspective, others again are motivated by the need to protect the environment. Livestock farming is estimated to be responsible for 15 percent of global climate gas emissions, and 70 percent of water use all around the world goes on meat production. These are all good reasons to try an animal-free diet, and trust me, this Vegan Food Tour will convince you that there’s no need to worry about a lack of flavour or variety – quite the contrary!
Asian fusion cuisine for startersWe start our tour with some crispy Asian fusion dishes. The sophisticated menu of this small establishment features delights such as “Give Peas a Chance”, “Jungle Book” and “Wannabe Fish”. I could actually eat my fill right here, on the very first stop on our tour – those aromatic summer rolls with the chef’s own sauce are to die for! The salads on offer - mango strips, avocado and peanuts – are so light and fresh that our group can’t get enough of them. But the cardinal rule of all food tours is always leave some room for the next stop!!
After our Asian stopover, we are off to Africa, more specifically Ethiopia. I have never travelled there, but the country is well known for its appetising delicacies. The special sourdough flatbread called Injera is served with a variety of sauces and sides, or wots. Vegan dishes are widely used in Ethiopian cooking because of the Christian Orthodox fasting tradition. The sheer variety of this type of cuisine is illustrated by the large mixed platters served in this restaurant. As in many African countries, the practice is to eat with your fingers, using pieces of flatbread to scoop up the other ingredients and soak up the delicious sauces. I really like this way of eating, as a completely different experience for the touch and the senses in general.
A culinary excursion to Ethiopia
Finale: vegan sushi prepared by a masterAfter a further brief stop at a small Kurdish-inspired snack bar, we round off our tour with a true highlight: wonderful, creative sushi, with such intense aromas that you quickly stop wondering what happened to the usual fish component. Instead of the habitual sticky rice, this establishment uses black rice, forming a supremely colourful ensemble with fresh ingredients like pumpkin, red beet, green asparagus and mango. For afters I try the mousse au chocolat, made from silken tofu, and the avocado matcha cheesecake – then I lean back in my chair, content and replete. Both desserts are creamy and delicious, but not too sweet.
I must admit I am now full – very full, even. But the great thing about vegan cuisine is that you don’t feel bloated and weighed down in the same way as after a conventional banquet. Instead I just enjoy feeling satisfied, relishing the aftertaste and memories of the many and varied flavours I have sampled on this unforgettable tour.
Ethiopian mixed platter
Fresh Asian fusion cuisine
Gourmet vegan sushi
Avocado matcha cheesecake
Full details on the Berlin Secret Vegan Tour can be found on the Secret Food Tours website.
The truly delicious and well prepared food was complemented by our excellent guide, who led our group with skill and charisma, with lots of fascinating insider details about Berlin, the food scene, the vegan diet and a seemingly never-ending supply of jokes.