Goodness, Brighton is so vegan-friendly! I mean, we already came to appreciate that when we visited for the first time during Septofu, but it is so so nice to be able to eat so freely and easily (except for when a seagull stole my sandwich on the pier… come on, if I’m giving animals a month off being eaten, surely they can cut me a break too??).
We’re still planning to move down to that neck of the woods in the near future, so we took advantage of me having a meeting at Brighton Museum to then spend the afternoon pottering and exploring and getting a really good feel for the place. It’s such an interesting town – so many quirky shops and cool historical buildings – and of course, the pier is great fun (though patrolled by scarily fast seagulls!) – but what’s really lovely is the diversity of places to eat. We never struggle to find lovely vegan-friendly places to eat – there are whole pubs and restaurants and icecream parlours where the entire menu is plant-based 🙂
Today we had dinner at a lovely little restaurant called Purezza (we have since learned that there’s also one in Camden, hooray!) that specialises in vegan pizzas. More than that, though – the thing that we thought that would never be has finally come to pass: we’ve found some vegan cheese that’s both convincing AND delicious! We’ve tried quite a few, and while some have been quite nice, there has always been something missing. But tonight we had the most wondrous vegan cheeseboard that we could have ever imagined…
The board held a generous selection of cashew cheeses: a reddish paprika one, one dotted with goji berries and studded on the top with pink peppercorns, an almost charcoal-y looking one dusted with ground chia seeds, and a honey-coloured ‘parmesan’, as well as a smear of cashew cream cheese. This was served with a selection of gluten free biscuits and a little bowl of agave syrup. My word, it was all lovely.
The paprika cheese had a deep, smokey flavour (my verdict: ‘it tastes like the Jorvik Viking Centre smells!) and a touch of heat too; the goji berry one was mostly lovely (like a Wensleydale with cranberries) though I found the fruity power of the peppercorns a little too strong – Si loved them though!);the chia seed one had a biscuity, melt-in-your-mouth quality; and the cashew cream was beautifully nutty and rich – but it was the parmesan that was my favourite, with an almost toffee taste. Better still, the texture was wonderful – properly firm, like ‘real cheese’. We were starving, which always makes everything taste better, but this stuff was honestly beautiful – a bit of a revelation!
We also sampled two of Purezza’s award-winning pizzas (winner of the Pizza Award for 2018 dontcha know). Mine was a take on a BBQ pulled pork, with melted ‘cheddar’, mixed wild forest mushrooms, marinated pulled BBQ ‘pieces’ (possibly jackfruit?) and sundried tomatoes, while Si went for the day’s special. This had a cauliflower ‘cheese’ cream base, topped with marinated tempeh, mixed forest mushrooms, pak choi, paprika, and lemon – man alive, it was beautiful! Mine was perfectly nice, though a bit sweet, but Si’s had the most savoury, beautiful flavour – the cauliflower really sang through and it was absolutely delicious. Fortunately Si agreed to swap a couple of slices, as I had serious food envy!
The pizzas also came on a hemp base, which had a great springy texture. It was filling, though – we couldn’t quite finish, so we’ve got a couple of slices each for tomorrow’s dinner – I cannot wait!
Today I ate/drank:
- Tea with soya milk
- Bag of hula hoops and half a jackfruit wrap (pesky seagull had the other half)
- Half a bottle of Fanta Zero
- Becks Blue
- Shared vegan cheeseboard
- Most of a BBQ pizza and 2 slices of cauliflower tempeh pizza
- Nanny State Alcohol Free Beer
- Fizzy squash