These are the five vegan products I am totally obsessed with from Eataly - an Italian indoor mega market here in NYC. And these modern (yet some ancient) products could very well be tomorrow's food trends. Check them out...
Eataly (backstory). A few months ago Eataly opened to rave reviews and ginormous crowds eager to step inside this this Batali/Bastianich indoor Italian mega-market. After my first visit, I promptly posted a detailed review of both the products and the Eataly experience. If you read that post, you know my first experience was stress-inducing and just a little weird. There were people in every corner and crevice of the market. Clanking dishes and wandering tourists. Well it's amazing what a little time will do..
Eataly has mellowed out. The feeding frenzy has died down (although a line out the door on a Saturday afternoon is still likely). Eataly has happily made itself comfortable at Madison Square Park NYC. And aside from all the hype, in the end, the products at any store will stand alone. And the amazing Italian food products/finds/innovations make Eataly genius.
Vegan Trendspotting at Eataly. Why would a vegan like me shop at Eataly? I mean there is milk and cheese everywhere. Piles of meat, a live lobster tank :( and the gorgeous dessert bar is not vegan-friendly. But trust me, I've found a few vegan gems at Eataly that I think are so contemporary and forward thinking that they will surely be trends here in the states in the years to come.
And I hope to introduce a few vegan friendly finds to the omnivore Eataly shoppers out there. Eating vegan can be easy, delicious, creative and Batali-approved!..
Here are my five favorite vegan products at Eataly...
1. Farro and Kamut Pasta
I can't find a wide selection of my beloved Farro and Kamut grain pasta anywhere else in NYC. Eataly has about 10 or so different variations too. Light or dark. Penne, Spaghetti and more. If you haven't tried Kamut and Farro pasta yet - be on the lookout for it. Everyone who I have shared it with raves (and some of the ravers were hardcore omnivores).
Curious about why Kamut grains are superior to wheat? visit Kamut.com (Kamut is higher in protein and minerals like selenium, zinc, and magnesium compared to modern wheat. Popular with athletes, kamut is described as "high energy wheat" because of the higher percentage of lipids.)
The Trend: Kamut and Farro grain pastas. Exotic Ancient Grains.
2. Basmati Rice Milk
I raved about this Rice Milk in this post. This Basmati Rice Milk is extra creamy, velvety and sweet. It makes the best rice cocoa ever. Delightful to drink alone. Tastes like vanilla rice. Basmati Rice Milk is not watery like most standard rice milks.
The Trend: Basmati Rice milk. That's as creamy as soy.
3. Really Good EVOO
Chefs say this a lot: "Use a good olive oil" - well keeping a 'good' olive oil in your kitchen is a classic practice that is always 'in'. I splurged on this extra virgin olive oil today. It even comes with its own certificate, signed by The Producer. Tasting notes and all. Fancy. Expensive. Probably the most expensive EVOO I've ever purchased! But I knew it would be amazing. And Eataly was having a Buy 3 for the Price of 2 sale and I couldn't resist stocking up (fyi, you can shop the buy 3 sale online until Feb 15th).
Splurging on EVOO to celebrate your butter-free meal is so Italian. And so vegan!..
The Trend: High quality EVOO will never go out of style as a special treat to heighten the quality of any Italian meal, pasta, salad or veggies.
4. Exotic Rice Cakes
We are done with the 80's fat-free trend, right? And today, most rice cakes are flavorless, not enough texture. But high quality grains in rice cakes make them taste superb. Full of grain flavor. I love to slather them in hummus, spinach dip or cashew cheese for a tasty, healthy vegan snack. below pic: left - rice cakes, right - EVOO
The Trend: Rice Cakes make a comeback. When they have high quality grains.
5. Premium Dried Herbs
Any healthy Chef will tell you that herbs can bring an enormous amount of fat-free flavor to a recipe. So why not change up your herbs for something premium? The cost to upgrade your spices is small, but the flavor impact will be bold.
The Trend: Premium Herbs.
Other vegan products I enjoy..
Cheese-free Pesto Sauce. Who needs the dairy when you have pine nuts, basil and EVOO. Fresh pesto is my favorite, but on a tired night this jar saves the day. So good.
Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Wafers..
..oh and the wine! Eataly has amazing wine and prosecco.
Want to try? Sadly, you do have to come to Eataly to find many of these products. But there are a few basics online at Eataly.com (and thru Feb 15th, the Buy 3 for the price of 2 sale is available online!)
Happy Italian Eating!