TBT | That Bread Dough

Cover for That Bread Dough

Given the audience I assume I’m writing to, I don’t think I need to say much about how food can make one feel a lot more comfortable wherever you are. Whether it’s something that reminds you of home, a great meal that stands on its own, or a little something that helps to expand a meal list, the introduction of new food can turn things around.

For those that travel, I’m sure you understand this all too well. I’m not just talking about the moment when you see “vegan” on a menu or a sandwich board in a town where your luggage includes an empty stomach, I’m also talking about those times when you come across that key ingredient that suddenly lets you make something familiar in a land where everything seems new.

In at least two cases of travelling in my life, bread was that item.

Although this throwback focuses mainly on a simple little bakery that just happened to be near the house I was living in during my time in Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica, I picked it because I’ve also been experiencing a similar thing here in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam due to a little lo banh mi in the neighbourhood.

Ever since my time in Costa Rica, I’ve been eating a lot of beans and rice. Partially because I love the dish, but also because it’s cheap, beans and rice have pretty much been a constant in my home menu whether or not I was in North America, Europe, or Asia. Of course, although I’m not one to complain about having the same thing two or three days in a row (especially when it comes to leftovers of Chinese food, macaroni and cheese, pizza, etc.), I’ll be the first to admit that one cannot live off of beans and rice alone!

So, along with dabbling in whatever new things I could find in the cities I was calling home at the time, I’ve also sought to add more familiar items to my groceries so I could cook something more than that one staple. Needless to say, a good loaf of bread is always high on the shopping list, but it’s rarely found, especially here in Asia (and when one wants to read the ingredients of things).

Thus, when my friends and I landed in a small town just outside of San Jose, Costa Rica, I wasn’t expecting to have the option of beautiful, fresh French bread available to me. Granted, we were living on a budget, so we didn’t eat it all the time, but it sure was great to have the option.

Homemade bean burger in Costa RicaChickpea sandwich in Costa Rica
Tomato lentil soup in Costa RicaChickpea sandwiches in Costa Rica

Now, although Ho Chi Minh City has plenty of amazing veg restaurants, and even a veg grocery store chain, I have to admit that I’ve felt even more comfortable here being able to make a sandwich on a fresh baguette. In fact, one might even say that it’s because of this option that my love for HCMC is rising.

Spicy vegetarian lamb sandwich in VietnamVegetarian duck sandwich in Vietnam

Seriously, given the title, didn’t you expect at least one bread joke in this post? If it came across a little stale to you, maybe you’re just too crusty to enjoy it?

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