Life has been slow here, with not being able to drive or walk much, I have been housebound. Anyway, until this last week the weather has not been conducive.
One or two family events but I was not involved (could not get there as unable to travel): it has not been too bad since I am someone who is never bored but I am really beginning to suffer from cabin fever.
But one friend, J, was determined to take me out, so kind of her, and equally determined that I should sample a Raw Food Restaurant here in Sheffield, called Pure on Raw. This cafe serves not just Raw Food but also vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy free.
Being ready to climb the walls here at home I was glad to accept the offer of a trip out, but not so keen on the venue. Raw Food? Cold, chewy, and boring. I wanted bowls of piping hot soup, hot chips with salt and vinegar, some comfort food. In fact I had to be dragged, kicking and screaming to Pure on Raw. Not that I let it show of course, that would have been too ungrateful, but I really was not looking forward to it at all.
On the way we stopped off at a local food cooperative greengrocers for me to do some shopping, a real treat to choose for myself after all these weeks, and as we left we said where we were going. “Lucky you” they said, “Have fun at Inga’s!”
Fun I thought? Hardly.
Well. Didn’t I have to eat (private) humble pie! What followed was an explosion of sensory experiences, every second a treat and a moment to be treasured. Even remembering it makes my mouth water all over again.
Inga’s sunny smile and friendly reception were so welcoming, as she explained the menu choices to us. We agonised over the multiplicity of choices but, having ordered, sat down to read the magazines on offer. It was warm and smelled so fresh and full of lovely finishing touches.
As the lunchhour drew on the cafe quickly filled until all the tables were full, so we were pleased we came early!
Then our food arrived: works of art hardly does them justice. I hesitated to begin eating because my plate looked so wonderful. J. ordered soup with mini pizzas and my order was Enchiladas – (House made dehydrated wrap made out of organic spinach, comes with tantalising cashew- red pepper pate & marinated veg. Served with salad or steamed brown rice and small salad.)
I took a small mouthful of each thing singly first: my taste buds just burst with the depth and strength of the flavours. They were exhilarating and exciting and surprising. We both just sat, eating slowly, savouring each mouthful, with little involuntary sounds of appreciation escaping from us over and over again.
In fact I could not quite finish my food and was offered a Doggy Box to take the salad home in. After all, we needed to leave room for dessert! We ordered a bowl of Blueberry and Vanilla Ice Cream to share, just for pure gluttony. It came with some delicious oat cookie biscuits, all raw of course.
That was also a revelation: the zing of fresh blueberries hit our mouths as if we were sitting on a sunny hillside eating them off the plants. Wow.
After all that, we sat back and digested slowly with glasses of hot tea and tisanes. Also on offer were a multitude of Smoothies, Juices and Cold pressed greens, which other diners came in for, either as a snack in itself, or an accompaniment to their main meal.
I had such a good time that I went back ten days later with another friend, L, who also offered me some time out: this time I had Surprise Parcels while L had the Enchiladas, on my recommendation. Exactly the same experience as the first time: but I knew what was coming, whereas L. did not!
She just sat there, astonished at the flavour and quality and artistry of the food. Another great meal time and she is going to try to get her husband to visit too. We both bought some desserts to take home to share with the rest of the family:
Raw Mocha Pie – with cold brewed coffee & Raw Chocolate, Rich Blueberry Pie and Banana and Vanilla Pie.
L. could not believe how lovely the experience was, and admitted that when I suggested going to a Raw Food Cafe she was not thrilled. I wish there was a different phrase for raw food for those of us philistines who have/had no idea what the food is actually like. Never, never, think of plain salads or beans when thinking of raw foods. This is on another plane altogether and I urge you to give it a try.