I have to say it was like entering a whole new world of food when it came to eating breakfast in Germany. My husband and I stayed with family which meant more home-y breakfasts and meals, which was lovely but so different from home.
Breakfast always consisted of sliced meats, cheeses, breads and a selection of marmalades and jams. Initially, I actually panicked.. as I don’t normally eat any of these kinds of foods and figured I’d just have to go hungry, but then I remembered a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks before we left who mentioned that the foods in Europe are so different they may not bother me the same as they do at home.
For those of you that don’t know, I am lactose intolerant. At least, that’s what the Doctors said and considering every time I got near dairy my stomach would cringe and I’d get all bloated, I never questioned them. Plus, after being vegan for such a long time I never wanted to touch the stuff anyways. I also, for the most part, choose not to eat products with gluten or that are overly processed. But. In Germany, things changed.
The first morning I decided to go for it.. Bread, cheese and all! I grabbed a little piece of cheese on my bread and waited for the unpleasant feelings to overwhelm me for the rest of the day. but… nothing happened. I continued on the day as if I was high on life, free to explore the world with all the energy and curiosity of an adventure seeking traveler. It was amazing.
The next morning, I tested it again. Nothing. It was a miracle. A victory, to say the least. I couldn’t believe the food that would wreak havoc on my digestive system at home was working so well for me in another country.
I personally haven’t delved deeper into the issue, looked up Canadian and European food laws and regulations, but I do know that Europe has a far stricter policy on foods that we do here. The ingredients are better quality, there’s less fillers and additives, if any at all. So, I opened my palate to lots of pasta, bread and cheeses, because I could. Because it felt so good to go into a restaurant and eat what I wanted, it felt nice not to have to tell our foreign relatives that I couldn’t eat their food.
I have to say the entire time eating in Germany was a pleasant experience! There are also lots of healthy options, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian if you can do your research and ordering a salad is honestly, not a challenge! If you’re looking for a specific resource: HappyCow is very helpful in finding vegan & veg-friendly restaurants.
Have you had a similar experience in Europe with food? What are some of your favourite European meals?