I do truly miss traveling and for so many reasons. Beautiful, walkable cities; exotic food; new customs; and the adventure of it all. Whenever I travel, though, there are always these great ideas that I can’t wait to bring home. Mostly food. And not always the exotic stuff, either.
It strikes me as mildly ironic that I got the closest I have ever been to being vegetarian while I was in Germany. Breakfast was muesli (this is where my love for it stems from) or bread with butter or jam. Dinner was usually a selection of cheeses, cold cuts, bread, pretzels, and vegetables (and I tended toward the mild, herbed cheese with bread and cucumber). Lunch was hot at a sit-down restaurant or a sandwich.
While I was in Munich, I spent a lot of time walking in the Old Town–it’s beautiful, historic, grand, and exciting, so I really do recommend it. I also figured out my favorite places to buy sandwiches and my favorite types. There were actually ton of vegetarian options. There was one with cucumber, tomatoes, and chive butter on a really dense sliced bread. A variation on that included hardboiled eggs. Another bakery had a sandwich with pesto, brie, and roasted vegetables. The simplest was my favorite, though: mozzarella, tomato slices, and black pepper on a crusty French bun.
With three thick slices of mozzarella and three slices of tomato, it was a good source of vitamin C (tomatoes), vitamin B12 (mozzarella), and vitamin A (both). This was full-fat dairy deliciousness–the kind that allows your body to metabolize that vitamin A. The mozzarella even has a nearly 1 to 1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 unsaturated fats, improving the overall ratio of the fats. Since fat and protein are good at helping you stay full and at slowing the breakdown of the carbs in the French bread, the cheese is an essential part of this sandwich and its staying power.
So, what was the take-away for me? That fresh-mozzarella can be used on a sandwich. That tomatoes are yummy with full-fat mozzarella. That simple foods are simple pleasures.
If you want in on this, September is the end of tomato season, so hop on down to the green grocer!