While an immense gray cloud darkened the city of Barcelona, about to bring aquatic doomsday on that otherwise Catalan summer Saturday, I headed to the bicing bicycle system, pondering how fast I could get to where I was headed, before I would become diluted amidst the storm. I was soon riding without sight of what lay a meter ahead and my pants and shoes were so soaked that my phone would not work properly for the next 3 days. Makes you think what's the use of clothes during monsoons. When I got to Vegania, a vegan store in the north-east side of the Eixample district I thought they would not let me in, but they were nice and did (a later offer of a two for one deal of Tofutti confirmed their overall goodness). The store had not opened yet so the grate was open midway and the lights were off. The free food was down stairs so I headed there as fast as I could, but food had not been served yet, a testament that in Barcelona I'm always in time, but never timely. It did give me a chance to talk with the people behind the event and know more about the project.
Xavi is hiulit's cuisine blogger and the man of that day, with his girlfriend and graphic designer Iona and the help of the straight edge vegan food delivery service Vegetales a Pedales (Veggies on Pedals) we were all served some of the best and most original vegan food I've had in a while. Most of the cooking was done by Xavi, representing the kind of dishes appearing on his blog, healthy home made Mediterranean food, predominantly Catalan, with easy to shop ingredients and fast to cook recipes. I do not think I will ever forget that first croqueta de xampinyons (mushroom croquette) I tried, with its béchamel sauce melting in my mouth, it really had an impact. There were quinoa and carrot croquettes too, enough truita de patates (potato omelet) and pà amb tomàquet (a Catalan institution comprised by a slice of bread where garlic and tomato are rubbed and olive oil and salt that are added on top of it) and desserts, including little puddings, carrot cake and an assortment of apple, banana and chocolate muffins. The whole menu was enough to satisfy even the most hungry (me). Diego from Vegetales a pedales made mind blowing food too, their spreads (cashew pâté and baba ghamoush) and grill veggies and seitan pinchos (the pesto sauce on it was such a good idea!) were delicious. They also made chocolate chips oat cookies for dessert and drinks like fresh orange juice and one of the most refreshing beverage I have ever had, lemonade with mint in a blender I think, so green and tasty.
Sadly the rain was a drawback for many invitees, which or came much later (after we had all finished the mushroom croquettes and the pinchos, that is) or did not come at all. All I can say is they really missed out, this kind of events don't happen a lot in Barcelona, and the chance to meet fellow minded vegans and enjoy excellent food for free is even more rare.
By the end of August recipes on the blog should be translated to English and German, we will be reviewing the site then. As an ending note, all of the people involved on the event are searching for investors to consolidate their project in a restaurant, be their angel investor if you can, and if not, and you happen to spend a few days in Barcelona, get some good vegan food brought to your hotel/apartment by the people at Vegetales a Pedales.
Enjoy the recipes!
Vegetales a Pedales
Event and website graphic design