Visitors to this year’s Oktoberfest in Munich may notice that some of their favorite beer tents will have a few extra-special meal options: For the first time, vegan and vegetarian choices will be available at the traditionally meat-heavy festivities. They include an egg- and dairy-free version of the classic Käsespätzle and a fricassee that replaces the chicken cutlets with soy. One tent is even offering vegan red wine “filtered without the use of animal proteins.”
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What’s the Big Idea?
More Germans are forgoing animal products than ever before, according to the Association of German Vegetarians, with nearly one-tenth of the country’s 7 million vegetarians claiming the title of vegan. In addition, an increase in international visitors means increased awareness of others’ dietary restrictions, says Munich city councilman Wolfgang Nickl. Because of ingredient regulations dating back to the 16th century, beer is safe for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike…but those who avoid gluten are still out of luck. However, noting the presence of gay-celebratory events, beer tent worker Martin Jonas says “[t]here’s always a possibility” that gluten-free beer could be available someday.