Italians have been given something of a bad rap when it comes to understanding the dietary preferences of vegetarians and vegans. After all, what’s a little pancetta between friends?
I can certainly vouch from years of living and eating in Italy that there was a time when pasta al pomodoro was the best a hungry vegetarian could hope for. But there are some interesting signs of change: just last week my local supermarket – in the province of Treviso – was promoting tofu on deep discount and the nearby pizzeria is offering vegan mozzarella on the menu. You read right. A vegan and vegetarian friendly cheese pizza. In Italy. Served at an honest-to-goodness authentic pizzeria heavy on the wooden decor and red-and-white checked tablecloths.