Raw, uncooked food is the new black in the world of eating and the trend is just starting to show its face in Vienna. One of the city’s pioneers in introducing the city to living raw is Maja, a confectioner, who has opened the city’s first raw shop, and has done so in style.
For those of you not in the know, raw food or ‘live food’ dishes are made from produce – usually but not always unprocessed, organic and vegan – cooked at a temperature below 48 °C (warmer than body temperature, but still under half way between frozen and boiling water). Some theories suggest that uncooked ‘live’ foods have more enzymes and a higher nutrient content than cooked ‘dead’ foods.
Alive or dead, the food at Lovely Food will certainly bring your tastebuds to life. In November 2013, Maja opened up the shop dubbed "Raw Shop" at the ripe age of 23. "To me, it was always clear that eventually I was going to open up a shop," Maja says. "I always cared about eating healthily, and have been a vegetarian for almost all my life. But this wasn't enough for the concept of my first shop.”
But like in all great pioneers of the past, Maja found her inspiration in her mum. “Mum inspired me. She had been making her raw chocolates - and in the end I realised that was something missing in Vienna." The entrance of this world of raw is tiny, but once you're inside the ceiling rises high above you, with colorful lampshades hanging from it.
Colour is everywhere, from the upholstery down to the petite cakes on display. The menu is a mix of cakes, muffins, chocolates, and due to popular demand, a few savoury dishes which change daily, such as raw rucola, tomato and mushrooms pizza, raw (and vegan) sushi, various salads and fresh lasagna. Seasonal juices are also on offer. We recommend the warm ginger cocoa. The question is: is all raw food automatically vegan?
"Not really," Maja tells me. "But in my shop it is. All of my food is 100% biologically sourced, lactose, sugar and gluten free – and vegan.” But Maja says if you like your milk from a cow, she has no problem making your coffee with it. However, we recommend, for vegans and non-vegans alike, trying the almond milk in your coffee. Nutty coffee is the bomb!
Meanwhile, other raw shops has sprung up around Vienna to as the hunger for the trend grows. However, if you want to know where it all started, visit Maja and her colourful little hideaway. Every dish here looks and tastes delicious. And to adapt to the customer's wishes, Maja started to also prepare dishes that are vegan yet cooked.
Lovely Food: The colourful world of raw food
Vienna Würstelstand's Team