CAPE TOWN CITY OPENS ITS FIRST 100% VEGAN CAFÉ
Cape Town, South Africa – In a country famed for its meat-eaters and a city celebrated for its seafood cuisine, Adien Aggenbach has done the unconscionable – she’s opened a 100% vegan café in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa’s second biggest city. The much-anticipated opening of Plant will take place in February.
The name, which is a both a verb and a noun, conjures up connotations of growth, green and goodness. Items on the menu are sourced with the well being of earth and the animals that walk it, in mind. Many of the ingredients have been hand-produced in their kitchen to ensure food free of preservatives and harsh ingredients – from the smooth dairy-free cream cheese on a bagel, to the dollops of eggless mayo and the tasty non-bacon strips on the scrumptious BLT, everything is 100% plant based and prepared without harming a single animal. On offer daily for breakfast and lunch is a delicious assortment of muffins, pies and salads, with gluten-free options to choose from for breakfast and lunch. There is also a meritorious medley of cold-pressed fruit juice and smoothies to titillate the taste buds.
Aggenbach who also runs African Vegan Outreach (AVO) a non-profit organization aimed at bringing the vegan message of compassion and non-violence to South African consumers, says that the opening of Plant is long overdue because there are such limited options for vegans in a city that boasts thousands of restaurants. However, she says the main reason for Plant “is to find a different way to do education and outreach. We do outreach with African Vegan Outreach but I find that people are more open to ideas when you show them that there are so many delicious food options. My goal is to make plant-based food readily available in South Africa and to educate while we are serving amazing meals.”
The vegan message, according to www.africanveganoutreach.org is that eating non-animal products is “not just a diet or a label. Veganism is the principle that human-animals should live without exploiting other animals” but at the same time going vegan “can guarantee you better health (mentally and physically) and the knowing that you are indeed making this world a better place.”
This is a bold move given the prevailing preference for consuming animal foodstuff in South Africa. Asked what she thought of a 100% vegan restaurant in Cape Town one local facetiously quipped that “it would be hard in an environment gripped in the thrall of a protein-fat feeding frenzy” but Adien believes she can make a difference. South Africans are very good at adapting to new concepts and Capetonians pride themselves on being eclectic. Perhaps this may be a new trend for a city renowned for its gastronomic variety and excellence.