I made my own vegan pizza in the Wanderers Kneaded van and it was delicious

A huge pro: Warming up by the fire

Veganuary may be over, but for those of us who remain vegan for the other 11 months of the year, finding an authentic Italian pizza is a struggle.

That all changed when I popped over to Wanderers Kneaded’s food truck by the Meadows, where I got to make my very own all vegan, all Italian pizza. This iconic van is located just off Marchmont Road but they now have another location, Brunstane Road North on Portobello, as well as another travelling van for events.

There I met Sam who taught me the ins and outs of making one of Edinburgh’s tastiest pizzas. All the ingredients used in these pizzas (minus the fresh vegetables) have travelled straight from Italy to Edinburgh.

First, the dough (that had been fermented for 72 hours in the central WK kitchen). Although Sam effortlessly was able to roll out the dough into a perfect circle, mine took a tad more effort, as I forgot to leave enough dough to make the crusts and had to start again.

Next was the most exciting part for me: the toppings. I first put on their fresh tomato and basil sauce, before dumping on an incredibly generous amount of vegan mozzarella cheese.

Despite the single digit temperature outside, inside the van with the 600 degrees stone oven, I felt toasty warm, which I imagine is a huge perk of the job.

Sam popped the pizzas into the oven (it was a skill only the most experienced connoisseur could do I was told). Getting the pizzas into the oven involves a very complicated push-and-pull motion, having to be careful not to stretch them out and break them, whilst also ensuring you don’t get burnt from the heat.

Getting to stand next to the oven watching the pizzas cook was my favourite part besides actually eating them – I cannot tell you how nice it was to actually feel warm for once. We waited a few minutes as Sam would swivel the pizzas around the oven without breaking them or mushing them together before taking them out, which turns out, is way harder than it looks.

Its safe to say that the pizzas were a big success – although I ate most of the pizza before anyone else could get a bite, some friends who did have a try didn’t believe me when I told them that it was in fact vegan, which is a massive plus. I mean, I’m more of a pasta girl myself but even I was impressed.

Talking to the owner of WK, I had a lot of questions – like with so many pizza places around Edinburgh, how does he ensure that WK stays popular? He explained it was done by ensuring that the quality of the ingredients stayed good, and trying to pass on as little of the effects of the cost of living crisis onto customers. Moreover, he and the owners of other pizza places in Edinburgh don’t really compete with each other, and he’s not concerned about WK having much competition.

Wanderers Kneaded almost needs no introduction – it’s a staple on a sunny day on the Meadows but if, for some reason, you haven’t been I would pay them a visit, especially if you’re looking for a diss-induced comfort meal.

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