Off the coast of Mid Wales lies a true rarity - a vegan deli! There’ll be no more missing out with Iwtopia who sells a large range of vegan charcuterie (called charciwterie) and vegan cheese (cleverly called fauxmage), along with other vegan groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables and other locally sourced produce.
The deli was opened by owner Sue Davies at the start of last year, just three weeks before our national lockdown started. Sue had been interested in vegan cooking and became a vegan after doing Veganuary in 2018.
‘After a nervous start of just eating vegetables, beans and lentils, I started to experiment and find ways to veganise my cooking. From old family favourites like shepherd's pie and lasagne, to new finds like cauliflower buffalo wings and crispy chilli tofu. One of my favourite food groups has always been pizza, usually with as much pepperoni on it as I could fit. Veganism was fairly simple to navigate, but facing a lifetime without pepperoni every again looked a bit grim, so I started looking online to see if there was anything available.’
Sue was disappointed with the flavours of the meat replacements she had tried, finding nothing that had quite hit the spot for her. She started looking for recipes to make her own meat replacements when she learnt about seitan. Seitan has been around for centuries in China and Japan, and is made from wheat which is washed to get rid of the starch. When cooked, seitan makes a delicious substitute with the look and texture of meat, but is entirely cruelty free.
Sue started experimenting with seitan, and after some trial and error, and a lot of practise, she came up with a recipe for vegan pepperoni that she was happy with. From there she started working on veganising other meats like ham and chicken! The deli sells Sue’s artisan seitan on its own, as well as in freshly made subs and wraps that you can take away, along with selling other meat substitutes for you to try to find your perfect match.
So what are you waiting for? Get down to Iwtopia and impress your friends with a mezze board of vegan meats and cheeses! Right now, Sue is kicking off autumn with her spiced sweet potato and pecan muffins.
Call Iwtopia on 01970 617785 or visit their website https://www.iwtopiadeli.com/