Scottish Vegan Festival + Zizzi Vegan Pizza

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Last Saturday was a wonderful food day and we all know that those are the best kind of days. I went to the Scottish Vegan Festival in Edinburgh with my lovely friend Charlene (her blog tartanmouth is one of my favourites so you should definitely all pay it a visit) where we bought one too many vegan cakes, sampled some incredible chocolate and went heart eyed over almost everything that was there. The festival was pretty similar to the Edinburgh Vegan Festival back in August but there were definitely quite a few stalls and brands we hadn't seen before too which made it a bit different.

There were so many exhibitors so we went around the whole lot around three times, just to make sure we weren't missing anything (and to make sure we sampled everything that was on offer). We even got the chance to try some of the new Sainsbury's vegan cheese at the Go Vegan Scotland stall, which we were so excited about having not been able to get our hands on it yet. The two we tried were delicious so I can't wait to try the rest of the range. It was so lovely to meet some of the GVS team too as until then I'd only ever interacted with them on social media. 

After stocking up on all the cakes, brownies, and salted caramel donuts (yes, VEGAN SALTED CARAMEL DONUTS!), we went along to the chocolate tasting workshop that was being run by Pacari because as if anyone can resist a tasting workshop. Pacari wasn't a brand I had heard of before this workshop but it is one I have been totally converted to. Unlike other chocolate makers who simply import the beans from growing countries, Pacari makes their whole product from tree to bar in Ecuador meaning so much more of the wealth stays in the country. As a small family run company, they really do go the extra mile to ensure their product is delicious, high quality, and that it makes a difference too. It was wonderful to hear about a company who truly cares about the local community. If you ever do spot Pacari chocolate then I'd definitely recommend giving it a try, it really does taste even better when you know how much of a difference it is making to the lives of others. 

We headed back into the city centre after the festival and popped to Hula Juice Bar for a drink before going for a wander around the lovely Edinburgh streets in the sunshine. Due to some unexpected train problems, we decided to head up Calton Hill and ended up going to Zizzi for dinner to try out their new autumn menu (and because I was dying to go having never been before). 

It was incredible. I got the classic vegan margherita topped with caramelised balsamic onions, fire roasted peppers and spinach and I think it was one of the best pizzas I have ever had - not just the best vegan pizza. The toppings were so tasty, especially the caramelised onions, and the cheese was so cheese-like, perhaps not quite as stringy as mozzarella is but that's the only difference. I truly think that if you gave this pizza to a non-vegan, they wouldn't notice the difference. Despite having a bag full of cakes from the festival under the table, we obviously just had to try the new vegan calzone dessert. Warm dough stuffed with banana, caramelised pecans and blueberries served with coconut ice cream - we just couldn't say no! I think it could have done with a sauce along with the ice cream (I'm sure the non-vegan version comes with a sauce) but other than that it was perfect. It's so wonderful that such a big chain have introduced a vegan menu and have so many options on it. Everything was incredible, like 12/10 good, and I can't wait to go back! I'm going to be dreaming of that pizza for weeks to come. 

Here's a little tip too - I used my Tesco clubcard points and traded them into Zizzi vouchers using the clubcard boost. There are quite a few restaurants you can do this with and some you get better value than others, Zizzi is one of the best because you can trade £2.50 of Tesco points into £10 food vouchers. I had £20 worth so this whole meal only cost us £5.50! Thanks to my dad for that little tip. 

It was a truly wonderful day out, filled with lovely company, beautiful scenery and lots of delicious food. It's always a good sign when the 'mmm' noise and the words yummy, incredible and wow come out of your mouth constantly all day.

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