Buying Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Spain

There are many supermarkets in Spain, from Lidl and Aldi (the German budget stores) to French Carrefour, Caprabo, Dia and then a host of others depending on the region: Lupa (Cantabria and Galicia), El Arbol (Cantabria), Eroski (Basque Country) – there’s a host of them.

As someone who was obsessed with supplying my body with top-class nutrients that has fallen on hard times, I do prefer to buy fairly decent quality vegetables even though I can no longer afford to shop at the likes of Wholefoods (in the US and UK), BioMarkt (in Germany) or Veritas (in Catalonia). Sob.

Therefore I give the Lidls and Aldis the widest possible berth and head for the larger branches of Carrefour. I’m a food snob, what can I say. And I intend to stay one for as long as possible.

Carrefour is certainly not the cheapest place to buy your fruit and vegetables in Spain but it’s not ridiculously expensive and they tend to have a good range and the quality seems fairly impressive, albeit not up there with Waitrose (UK) and Wholefoods (UK, US, Canada) standard.

Here are some sample Carrefour prices (as at October 2011 in Catalonia):

1 large avocado / €2.44

1 large mango / €1.55

1 small mango – organic / €1.25

1 bunch of grapes /  €0.92

1 head of celery /  €1.35

1 sml head of celery – organic / €1.10

1 huge red pepper / €0.47

250g baby spinach / €1.00

200g feta cheese / €2.50

1 packet of alfalfa sprouts / €1.35

20g fresh basil  /  €1.00

20g fresh cilantro/coriander /  €1.00

500g tomatoes – organic  / €1.59

600g lamb ribs (for Sweep)  /  €5.28

300g rabbit liver (for Sweep)  / €1.77

Another good option is to find out when the local market is open as they often sell cheaper, fairly good quality fruit and vegetables. Also, usually, a good spot to stock up on nuts, seeds and dried fruits by the quarter, half or full kilo. Great for raw food vegans if you are wanting to make nutmylks on the hoof.

For organic stuff, then if you are in Catalonia, head for Veritas the chain of supermarkets or find one of the many little organic stores that are slowly appearing across Spain.

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