The advantages of being confused
I've always said that one of the reasons I like vegan cooking is the creativity it inspires. Without use of certain canonical ingredients, you're forced to rethink recipes and flavor combinations and challenge your notions of what makes a meal. In a way, the same can be said of traveling. Lacking the regular faculties at your disposal (language, culture, ect) you can sometimes come up with something bizarre and wonderful. But like veganism, it takes a little getting used to.
This was especially true of me at the cool bio-market I found in Kreutzberg. I was so stoked to find an organic market with plenty of veggie options, but it was also completely overwhelming. I went with the intention of making enchiladas, since German living has made me heavily crave some Mexican food. (It just isn't done here, man!)Walking around though, even armed with a dictionary, I had massive problems finding the needed ingredients. They had bizarre and enticing items but not some of the normal stuff I live for. (A thick soy creamer that was awesome, but no tortillas or chipotles, for instance.) The prices made no sense. (1 euro for apple-juice but 5 euros for veggie dogs?) I ended up deciding to make a simple pasta with soy-sausage, just to test things out. (And to stop walking around the store in circles like a weirdo.) Among my loot was vegan chorizo and an ostensibly normal pasta sauce- papaya chile!? Is this what Germans eat? Evidently not, as meine freund was equally surprised by the combo.
The dinner, however, turned out fabulously. The pasta sauce was slightly fruity and spicy and perfectly complemented the smoky chorizo. With some whole wheat pasta and a beer I was in heaven. The sausage was especially impressive- which only makes sense given the over-availability of all kinds of sausage in these parts.
Now, by baby steps, I feel a bit more prepared to take on something slightly more complicated... maybe bagels? Or a plum-cake? Maybe I should just stick to the ingredients that are readily available before I start getting fancy. :)
Song of the Day: Metric- Gimme Sympathy