Vegan In Guyana….

Georgetown, Guyana

Georgetown, Guyana

I recently spent some time in Georgetown, Guyana. Although I mostly prepared my meals, I visited a few restaurants. The purpose of this post is to provide info for Vegans travelling to Guyana but I must confess that I unexpectedly ate some questionable items.

It all began on the first night, when my friend took me to the Maharaja Palace. This place is fun to visit. On the first floor, they have East Indian items for sale like jewelry, incense burners, musical instruments, statues and portraits of Hindu deities. On the second floor, they have clothing but I only recall the clothing for women…beautiful Lehengas , Sarees and Salwar Kameez.

The restaurant is on the third floor and you can see why my friend’s cousin calls it the “Bling-Bling…”

Maharaja Palace

Maharaja Palace

The menu has Indian food as well as Asian food. A waiter suggested  I order the Conje Vegetable Appetizer and Baby Corn Mushroom Masala, when I asked for no dairy….

Maharaja Palace Asian Side of the Menu

Maharaja Palace Asian Side of the Menu

Maharaja Palace Indian Side of the Menu

Maharaja Palace Indian Side of the Menu

My friend also ordered food for herself and her children. We took the food back to her place and, in the absence of labels, could not figure out what we were eating. The food was good, for the most part, but there were some questionable “veggies.”  I also had concerns about my “vegan” Masala sauce.

I kept  going back to Maharaja for more of the Conje Vegetables …

Maharaja Palace: Conje Vegetables

Maharaja Palace: Conje Vegetables

The vegetables are fried and covered in a delicious sauce. There were baby corn, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes or Yucca and there was some other white, sort of fleshy, “veggie.” I never found out what it was but it tasted so good. Hopefully, it was a vegetable.

The second time around, my friend ordered the Mix Veg (Maharaja Special)…

Maharaja Palace: Mixed Vegetable (Maharaja Special)

Maharaja Palace: Mixed Vegetable (Maharaja Special)

The only other place that I sat in for a “meal” was the Oasis Café

Oasis Paradiso

Oasis Paradiso

There were a few vegan-friendly items on the menu. For breakfast, I requested a non-dairy banana shake and you can see what my new friend ate…

Oasis Paradiso: Breakfast

Oasis Paradiso: Breakfast

I feel really lucky to have met Ayo. She took time out of her day to show me this special place.

Oasis Paradiso

Oasis Paradiso

Apparently, it is a very popular, upscale and touristy hang-out. One American woman told me she goes there to feel “at home.”

Oasis Paradiso

Oasis Paradiso

For the sake of vegan-hood, I felt compelled to visit the ISUN vegetarian restaurant…

ISUN Health Conscious Place: Georgetown, Guyana

ISUN Health Conscious Place: Georgetown, Guyana

I usually avoid veggie restaurants because of the soy.

ISUN Health Conscious Place: Georgetown Guyana

ISUN Health Conscious Place: Georgetown Guyana

Many of the items were soy and the only thing that looked appealing to me was the cabbage. It was one of the first places I visited before I became accustomed to the way local restaurants display food in glass cases. The cabbage tasted great but I felt their version of Puri was bland.

Ahh, Dhal Puri! It was the one thing I was planning to eat without even knowing it. The Trini shops in New York call it Roti; so that is what I initially asked for. Dhal Puri is an East Indian styled flatbread filled with curried yellow split peas.

I had stopped eating it in the US  but I craved it in Guyana. I also ate Roti (another flatbread), seriously back-sliding from my ideal Mucusless diet. I refuse to admit everything I ate but I  have definitely paid for my transgressions.

After visiting a few Roti Shops, I favorited Roti Plus…

Roti Plus: Georgetown

Roti Plus: Georgetown

 

Roti Plus: Georgetown

Roti Plus: Georgetown

I tried their Pumpkin and Callaloo but their food was too salty for me.(Note: I avoid using salt

Roti Plus: Georgetown

Roti Plus: Georgetown

For the rest of my visit, I opted to buy the Dhal Puri and prepared a salt-free curried pumpkin.

A local woman told me that it is expensive to be vegan in Guyana. I think most people in the states would say the same thing. Fruit and vegetables are more expensive than meat  in the US, simply because the government does not designate our taxes to subsidize healthy food. Is this a conspiracy to weaken the population? Food for thought…

You can buy almost everything at the big outdoor markets where the local vendors haggle for your business.  In retrospect, I probably could have negotiated prices. Instead, I walked away from perceived unfair prices. I failed to take pictures in the market because everyone, everywhere, in Guyana kept warning me to watch my purse. There was too much movement in the market so the camera stayed in my purse.

In Guyana, items like apples, grapes and broccoli are more expensive because they are imported. I preferred to eat locally grown fruit and veggies like bananas, guava, mangoes, passion fruit, pineapple, green “Oranges,”  green squash, Bok Choy, lettuce, colored peppers, tomatoes and what they called “Pumpkin.”

I did not see anything resembling the orange pumpkin ritually carved in the states every October. Instead, I found what is commonly labeled  “Squash” in the US..lots of Kabocha and Calabaza-looking squash. Nigels Supermarket sells imported items, like Broccoli and grapes and specialty items that you may not find in the Market.

If I had to rate Guyana for Veganism, I would have to give them a C- because most of the cuisine contains an animal product. Regardless, I enjoyed my food and would love an opportunity to eat more Conje Vegetables.

Do you like this article? Subscribe, below, to receive the latest divinewiz posts. Please spread the love: share your favorite posts and like divinewiz on Facebook.

Sources:

Farm Bill: Why Don’t Taxpayers Subsidize The Foods That Are Better For Us?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/farm-bill-why-dont-taxpayers-subsidize-the-foods-that-are-better-for-us/2014/02/14/d7642a3c-9434-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html

Agriculture Subsidies Promote Obesity, Charges New Study

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/18/agriculture-subsidies-obesity_n_3607481.html

Agriculture and Health Policies In Conflict: How Tax Subsidies Tax Our Health

http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/agriculture-and-health-policies-unhealthful-foods

Dhal Puri (Guyana)

http://www.gotoguyana.org/food-recipes/dhal-puri-guyana/

7 Replies to “Vegan In Guyana….”

  1. I am hopeful in the future that meat will be looked down upon for consuming and fruits, veggies will be honored more and more. Its a pity that society in general has adopted a view that makes killing living souls cheaper than what is produced by the earth naturally. It just shows us that the amount of work they put in to kill millions of animals really means nothing to them, yet what only needs a seed, water and good soil they charge extra. You’re right its like they want to keep population weak because this makes absolutely NO sense. Continue to support vegan lifestyle and organic especially even when $ are running out because I know its worth it and I’m sticking to it. Thanks for the article because I have not visit the South America yet and wondered what its like there. At the end of the day IMO its better to support a market with fruits and veggie as opposed to a restaurant which is always over charging for a plate. Even if my $ run out, I know its time to fast on water until I receive more. But I will always know its important to think in abundance, money will always be here for whatever we need, so the price shouldn’t be an issue. Discipline, and Staying with the fight.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Soul Szun:) I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your profound reminder that it’s important to think in abundance. Imagine a world where we all did this all of the time…

      • 🙂 yes I can imagine. If everyone was in abundance of well being, we will be all in harmony and everything is free flowing in the highest frequency. Last few days I have had visions of Atlantis.. And even Khemet which some wonder why was so successful. Because everyone and everything was in cosmic harmony. We can all live this magical life that is within us and bring it back into the external world. We did it before many times. Its just all of us must remember how its really supposed to be. And those of us who have returned to it within will be the shining light for the rest to come back home.

  2. I loved this article. Its really a task to try and eat properly when the cravings for the wrong foods that have set up home in my system seem to beckon. But not only does the experience in the travel appeal to me but the adventure in trying so many foods is exciting. When describing the foods and the visits the descriptive words effortlessly fall onto your paper as you visually depict with words the entire experience. How captivating!

    Thank you for this wonderful excerpt as I mentally strolled from restaurant to restaurant along beside you.

    Fredrica

    • Thank YOU, Fredrica! It’s very sweet of you to take the time to read and comment. That’s the best compliment that I have received, so far, because you also have a way with words…

Leave a Reply to SŌūL SzŪN☥ॐ (@soulszun) Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*