Dear cheese, I already miss you.

When I was first in Lisbon, I learned about the unique concept of saudade, described as “a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves”.

That sounds accurate about how I currently feel about cheese, the evening before I attempt to go vegan for 40 days.

cheese-rolling

These people are running down a hill chasing cheese. I get it.

 

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My upcoming 40-day challenge : veganism.

As the kind of person who likes planning my weekly meals with giddy pleasure — this is the first week that I’ve ever stared at my lists with worry.

Starting Wednesday I am challenging myself to see if I can do something unthinkable: go (temporarily) vegan for 40 days….as much as I can, anyway.

This is unfathomable, because this is how I act at a Brazilian rodizio grill (an all you can eat insanity meat buffet where low-carb dieters consider breadbaskets a table centerpiece):

giphy

The trick is to limit any sort of direct eye contact with others.

You might wonder, why? How? And… how?

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Eating flowers at Demel, Vienna

Ah Vienna. A modern city that still manages to continue time-honored traditions in culture, from opera, ballet, and cuisine. So much so, that even Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) continues in the same places with the same recipes for hundreds of years. Though many think of Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel when they think of Vienna, I strongly suggest my new favorite cake: the Demeltorte (Demel cake), a walnut chocolate cake strewn with candied violets (see above), which carries the name of one of the most famous pastry shops in town.

The interior is gorgeous, see for yourself:

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