I have been living on the Faroe Islands since January (with a break for the summer), and it has been such an amazing experience. I had no idea what it was like before I came here, but now I've learned to both love and hate it.
It's such a small place (50,000 inhabitants spread out on 18 islands), so far away from everything else and it's hard to find friends where we live (in a village with 1000 people). There's nothing going on outside the capital and you feel cut off from the rest of the world. And did I mention it rains 270 days of the year? No? Well, it does. But it's also the most beautiful place I've ever seen. It's only mountains, mountains and more mountains, with valleys between them and villages at the foot. The ocean is always nearby and you will always have an amazing view. A lot of the mountains can be climbed and when you reach the top, it's just heartbreaking how beautiful it is. I can not describe the feeling when reaching the top with heavy breathing and tired legs from the climb, but rest assure, it's amazing. I can't stop smiling. The people hare are also very friendly, and you can be sure to get help if needed.
|Water break during a hike.|
To the topic; being vegan here. The Faroese cuisine is based on lamb and fish, and also includes, whale and birds. It's a very harsh place for growing vegetables, and it's basically only potatoes and rhubarb that is grown here. For obvious reasons it has been isolated for a very long time (hey, electricity came in the 60s) and that has of course had a big impact on their eating habits. It is not possible to pursue a vegan lifestyle here without relying on imported foods. Now, the supermarkets are filled with more international products and produce, but it's still very unusual to be vegetarian or vegan.
When I came here, I was ready for having to fight to find things to eat. In reality, it wasn't so hard. You can find a lot of dried beans and grains, there are soy/oat and rice milk, as well as non-dairy margarine. In some stores you can even find an "ecological shelf" and they carry soy creamer, yoghurt, tofu and sometimes even ice cream, but I've never bought it because it's CRAZY expensive. The hardest part is the veggies. They do not sell any local produce at all, so everything is being imported at least from Denmark (or Iceland!!), but mostly from really far away, like Spain. That yields veggies and fruit that had to ripen in a box somewhere on the ocean = it does not taste very much. And I mean, even in Sweden it can be hard to find more than the basics of vegan food.
But we have learned to make the most out of the little we have. We do everything from scratch, as there is no short cut's available. Also, food is very expensive here. It can very a lot between different foods, but we really try not to buy the most expensive stuff, meaning we almost only have basics. I mean, even chocolate for baking is a luxury here! Come on. Since we never buy tofu, we get bored with beans. So we make seitan from scratch ( by kneading the starch out of wheat flour) at least once a month. Lately, there has been a lot of different offers every week for produce and we have found ourselves with much more veggies than usual and it's such a relief. I wonder how long it will last...