Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Vegan in the City: Frost Burgers (Liverpool)

I, like most other people, do enjoy a good burger. But sometimes as a vegan you can be a bit forgotten about when it comes to them, and be left with what can only be described as lack luster, mushy, and tasteless. So, when I heard about Frost Burgers opening in Liverpool, I was intrigued to say the least.

So what is Frost I hear you ask? Well, it is an entirely vegan burger place opened only in November 2018 by social media star Monami Frost, to absolute rave reviews. The menu is entirely plant based, with gluten free options available so everyone can enjoy these delicious treats. The menu is pretty small, but, it does it incredibly well. To be honest, there is certainly enough combinations to keep you going for a while, especially when you consider the amount of amazing sauces there are to try as well! The prices for the meals are pretty reasonable, with the meal deal of, fries, sauce, a burger, and a drink come in at under £10, but I'm going to be real, you will not want to have a standard can of cola when you see the milkshakes!

The No Chicken Burgers are pretty amazing, and you really couldn't tell the difference between this and an actual chicken burger. This was a hefty burger, packed full of lettuce, tomato, cucumbers and all the amazing stuff which you would expect on a chicken burger, and as a result of such, I really did struggle to fit in my mouth... But perseverance paid off and it was so worth it!
Now, I normally find vegan cheese to be completely intolerable, and I'm always quite grateful that I was never much of a cheese fan to begin with, but this was actually quite pleasant indeed, mainly because there were so many other delicious flavours going on that it was only really in the background, but still! The fries were equally as delicious, crispy and salty, just as you would expect and want in some good fries. I really loved that you got to pick which sauce you wanted from a decent sized list, and would whole hearted recommend that you try the Sriracha Mayo, because it is pretty life changing! Don't judge me for such a statement until you have tried it, because then you will understand!

Now, onto the crowning glory that is, the milkshake! I often find that vegan milkshakes tend to be a bit meh, with them basically being nothing more than flavoured milk, and having that undeniably vegan flavour about them. But these were nothing of the sort, these were thick with ice cream, full of flavour, and pretty much impossible to tell they weren't your typical delicious milkshake!

I'm a bit disappointed that I was too full to try the soft serve ice cream or the cookie, but I shall certainly be back again to sample the whole menu!

So give it a go and try the amazing Frost Burgers, you really won't regret it!

Friday, 4 January 2019

Veganuary 2019: Why I Became Vegan

This is without a doubt the first question that I am asked whenever I reveal to my unsuspecting conversationalist that I am indeed vegan, you know, after they have expressed their deep concern for my protein intake of course...
My standard response to this is just, 'Oh you know, animals, health, the usual', but recently, I have been thinking to myself, what exactly was it that made me decide to give up what was previously a major part of not only my diet, but my life? It certainly wasn't because it was so accessible and easy or even trendy, because seven years ago to say that you were vegan was akin to saying that you ate your cornflakes with apple juice on. I was met with confusion, and the occasional look of what can only be described as utter horror - I know, quite unbelievable to think in 2019 with even Gregg's getting on board with veganism! So it is unsurprising that my once enthusiastic and almost evangelical answer has become increasingly short and defensive.
So I am going to use Veganuary and the incredible hype which exists around it this year to take this opportunity to wax lyrical about my motivations, so, I suppose with that I best begin.

I have been vegan since the age of about 16, after trying for many years on and off to become a vegetarian, with this often lasting little over 24 hours I am ashamed to admit. I think that the issue was that I never really wanted to do it before then. If I ever gave it ago, it was utterly half hearted. More of a fleeting fancy, something done on a whim just to see what it was like, but I put no real effort or thought into it, and subsequently I failed. But let's be honest, I was destined to fail when the only vegetarian things that I had in the house were a packet of salt and vinegar crisps and a box or two of microwave chips..
It really was all because of a single documentary: Earthlings. I remember contemplating watching it for months, after hearing so many people talk about it, but had constantly put it off. Eventually I gave in to curiosity and goodness me it was one hell of an experience. I felt a little traumatised to say the least and horrifically guilty for the way that humans treated animals, and I didn't even manage to get through the whole thing. In some ways I wish that I hadn't watched this documentary because it really wasn't very pleasant, but then again, the reality of the situation isn't very pleasant, and it was then I decided that if I wasn't comfortable with the reality of the meat and dairy industry, then I really shouldn't be supporting it.

It was as simple as that. I had become aware of the realities of the industry and began immediately doing further research into the whole situation, exploring whether it was meat that I wanted to give up or the whole animal farming industry. Ultimately I (along with my horrific lactose intolerance) decided that veganism was the answer for me.

Initially there where quite a few slip ups. Ingredients that I had never heard of, with countless e numbers concealing insect origins- I'm looking at you e120! But these kind of things are inevitable, and you have got to take them as what they are, accidents and things to learn from.

So let's fast forward to now, 23 and a bit of vegan veteran (yes I am aware of just how cringey such a term is). So why have I stayed vegan? Well, ultimately I feel significantly healthier than I ever did eating meat and dairy, my skin and hair are in better condition than they ever where, and if I'm honest, I simply  love being vegan.
I do get frustrated sometimes when my boyfriend is munching on a pack of freshly baked cookies, and I can't, or when my Mum is eating what where my favourite sweets of all time, a bag of Haribo Starmix, but realistically I'm not that bothered and I tend to go and get myself a bar of chocolate to make myself feel better, so the frustration is short lived. Plus, I am blessed with a lovely boyfriend who will go out of his way to take me for vegan cake, doughnuts, and other deliciously sweet things just so I don't feel left out! So I really can't complain, because who else gets that?

So that is my story. It isn't overly exciting, I didn't have 'The Call' or some life changing pinnacle moment, I simply realised that I no longer felt comfortable with something that I was part of and chose to remove or at least distance myself from it, like I would with anything in life.

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