My feet are starting to get sore, and the staff are starting to look at me. I’ve been walking up and down this shop too many times to simply not find what I’m looking for.

The problem is I feel hungry, and counterproductively, guilty. Despite continuing to do it every now and then, I feel bad eating animals. So, I walk. Up and down the isles looking for something to eat that is tasty, preferably easy, and hasn’t caused pain to an animal.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t spend my weekends protesting outside fast food joints. OK, there was one time, but there was a very cute girl involved, so I don’t think it really counts.

Having friends with pet chickens, and friends that rescue rabbits, I’ve gotten to know their distinct personalities. Sadly though, I’ve eaten both chicken and rabbit. Lots of them. To be fair, almost all of them were prior to befriending these creatures, but still, when I’m walking through a supermarket, I can see the shapes of animal parts wrapped in plastic, so I keep walking.

The second part of the reason I get my 10K steps in on most days at supermarkets is that I am lactose intolerant.  It seems everything has dairy in it, so I spend a lot of time reading labels.

SO, when I heard about Col’Cacchio’s vegan options I jumped at the opportunity.

A quick note on vegan cheese: it’s expensive, and people are often let down because they are expecting an exact analogue of a dairy product. I think it would be better for the vegan community to rename it, and not even compare it to cheese, after all it can be delicious in it’s own right as something else. So, with this in mind, I was a little sceptical to try out their vegan cheese.

I went for Zucca pizza – vegan cheese, butternut and tomato base, roasted butternut, roasted beetroot, rocket, avo, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

The first thing I did was taste the cheese on it’s own, and I have to say that I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t regular cheese. It wasn’t a strong full bodied cheesiness, but it was cheesy enough. If AIs could pass the Turing test as easily as this passed for real cheese, then SkyNet would’ve probably wiped us out by now.

The 2nd thing that concerned me were the seeds, but the pizza would have definitely been at a loss without them. They gave an added slight crunchiness and extra bit of umami to the dish.

Obviously it wasn’t very rich, but you don’t always want to end a meal feeling like you’ve swallowed a bag full of pennies now do you?

I thought I’d be remiss if I didn’t try the vegan dessert Col’Cacchio offers. The Amitoso – cashew cream, caramel pineapple, orange flavoured crumble and coconut shavings.

This is a light dessert (perfect in my mind as an ending to a meal, but I don’t have much of sweet-tooth), but it was definitely a large portion, and I wasn’t able to finish it. It’s creamy, it’s crunchy, it’s what I didn’t know I wanted.

All in all it was a great meal, and I would recommend it not only to vegans/vegetarians/lactose-iffy people, but to anyone that felt like a good meal without the stupefying richness, or needless animal suffering. I will be ordering it again.

I would recommend  a good glass of red for accompaniment, particularly the Terra Del Capo Sangiovese or the Leopard’s Leap Shiraz, which will add some extra richness, and are served by the glass.

{Note: I was a guest of Col’Cacchio. All images and views are my own.}