During the half term Molly and I went to Westfield for a ‘wander around the shops’ afternoon.
We were delighted to come across the Evening Standards’ Food Festival – most importantly including a Yorica van selling Vegan Ice cream…and wait for it…waffles! Suddenly seeing the shops was much less important than tying the vegan treats on offer.
Let me start off by talking a little bit about Yorica. All of their products are vegan. All. That means that Molly can choose from ice cream, sauces, waffles, crepes and all the sprinkles and marshmallows. This is a rare treat for us. Not to be limited to a special menu. But to be able to eat everything…absolutely everything on the menu.
That doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but really it is. So rarely can Molly choose what she wants, rather then what she has to have, or can have. There is a lot of talk about the stress of severe allergic reactions, which is understandable. Food suddenly being something that can kill you is an astonishing concept for children to get their heads around and turns something that should be a daily joy, into a threat. It really does suck the fun out of eating. Less discussed is the impact of less sever allergies and how it impacts daily life, and shared eating experiences. It is so tiring, and a bit depressing, to always have to go through ingredients when eating anywhere but at home. Spontaneous treats are not something we enjoy. We need to pack food, snacks and our determination every time we head out for the day. We can’t slack, or not be vigilant, as Molly will end up being quite ill. That’s why places like Yorica are so important to us. Not just because we get to eat wonderful ice cream. But because we can choose from the entire menu. This is a real, real joy and not to be underestimated.
Molly has to be careful with sugar due to her reflux. But I didn’t want to be a kill joy as her face just lit up when she realised she could choose anything she wanted. So as a precaution she had an omeprazole and then got choosing!
So…a waffle, with mint chocolate ice cream, caramel sauce and marshmallows followed.
It was absurdly huge. I…in my middle aged way…opted for a small tube of chocolate mint ice cream. It’s my absolute favourite. Often mint ice cream can taste a bit fake, depending on how it’s made. We needn’t have worried.
The ice cream was amazing. Wonderful, fresh mint flavour and rich chocolate. The waffle was huge, and Molly loved it. She didn’t eat it all as she was afraid of feeling ill from too much sugar but that didn’t take away from the wonderful experience of getting to choose what to have. Astonishingly the waffles are gluten free. Now usually gluten free means egg is used. But no…they are vegan as well. So this means I can eat the waffles and crepes. Truly wonderful.
I just hope that places like Yorica continue to thrive and grow. They have three shops in London (Notting Hill, Greenwich Market and Wardour Street), fingers crossed that they are able to expand.
Next time I’m going for Cookies & Cream, or maybe Banoffee? Who knows? Maybe Molly will have a Salted Caramel Shake? She’s never had a shake before…there’s a summer treat!
You can visit their web site to find out more.
Finally let me quote what they say about themselves:
We’re a friendly, curious bunch. Always learning, growing and creating fab free-from treats for everyone. Free-from means freedom. Simple. So everyone’s invited to indulge without worry. All recipes and ingredients are free from wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts and all entirely vegan. Yorica! is where the love is. From process to product. Bye-bye allergens and intolerances! It’s our outta this world, earth-bound ingredients that makes Yorica! so divine. All free-from. All certified and traced, from crop to cone.
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Allergy UK is a great charity providing information and help for people with allergies.
Their hotline is staffed by wonderful people offering their help free of charge.
Their number is: 01322 619 898
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