A Foodbuzz friend of mine asked me a vital question today:
“Is my relation with my new vegetarian boyfriend doomed because I’m an omnivore?”
My personal reply would be that there is little reason for her relation to fail. But I sometimes tend to be a bit too simplistic, so I thought this was a good opportunity to delve on an ever growing issue.
I do not pretend to know all the solutions/answers, and I would be honoured if anyone could offer her/his opinions on that matter!
I think that the key is to be positive about this gastronomic divergence.
Instead of considering it a matter of contention, it should be taken as a chance to expand one’s horizons.
I know of many vegans who cook for their omnivore halves. The opposite should hold true.
As long as it is not a religious issue (I’m agnostic), I see it as a source of daily joy and contentment.
I also see it as household cooperation.
If you decide to live together, why not have one take care of all the food (and washing the dishes!), and the other take care of all the house chores regardless of his/her gender? You can’t start to imagine how much time you would have left to enjoy each other’s company!
Yasai Kushiyaki/Vegetables brochettes.
Having two different culinary priorities can become a lot of fun at parties:
You’re planning a BBQ? No problem!
Prepare two plates/grills over the same fire.
Hamburgers: meat ones on one side, tofu vegetables patties on the other one.
Yakitori/brochettes: meat ones one side, yasai kushiyaki/vegetables brochettes on the other.
Even vegetarian sausages exist!
You can always have two sets of sauces to make everyone happy!
And so on!
Even if your vegetarian half is strict, eating no eggs should not be much of a hindrance.
Use your imagination and ask around!
Tempura can be made without the egg white for example (use cornstarch)!
You are going to a restaurant?
In this case, try to find a restaurant which serves both cuisines.
Any good restaurant should be willing and able to tackle the challenge.
After all, one should go to a restaurant to learn and enjoy food. If you can make it at home, go to the market and spend a bit more money of your food. Remember that the more you pay on good food, the less you will pay a doctor!
As for restaurants, in my own city, Shizuoka, I know at least two French, one Italian, one Japanese, two izakaya and one sushi restaurant capable of devising a vegetarian meal in a pinch. And of course I do not include the vegetarian cuisine par excellence that Indian gastronomy is!
Even if you live in meat-eating Texas, there should not be a problem!
Do not forget that as an omnivore (which I am), you will have one day to reduce your meat consumption and eat more vegetables to hold in check your cholesterol, fat and blood pressure (come to Japan! OL), whereas vegetarians will need to limit their sugar intake with all those cakes.
Great team work, no?
Looking forward to debating this (very tasty) issue!