Thoughts on Vegetarianism

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On the first date with the boyfriend, we went for sushi, and he sat down and told me that he’s vegetarian. I’ve never dated a vegetarian before so I freaked out wondering what the etiquette is and ended up ordering the same veggie sushi set as him, even though I love fish based sushi so very much.

As we got to know each other more, and when it was obvious that we would end up together, I made the decision to be vegetarian when I am around him – if I was the veggie one, I would think it gross to kiss someone who had just eaten a load of meat, and also I don’t want to make him feel uncomfortable so it just made sense to me. What’s more, at home I rarely buy meat and the only time I eat it normally is when I’m out for a burger or some German food.

Since making this decision, I’ve seen food in a new light. Checking food labels all the time is kinda a hassle and finding that things I thought were clean actually having animal products in them makes me sad – things like Worcestershire Sauce and kimchi. I’d say that overall, Frankfurt is pretty good with vegetarians but still sometimes there are places with only one or two options. That kinda sucks too, especially when I’m restricted by my gluten allergy as well.

But when we cook together, it’s amazing. I’ve learnt that there are two types of vegetarian food – one type that pretends to be meat with all the fake mince and fake bacon and whatnot, and the other type that is just meatless by nature. He’s been teaching me lots about cooking the second type of food, though when I cook for myself I still like a good slab of pineapple curry flavoured tofu to replace the chicken I would have had otherwise.

I enjoy this new way of eating and I don’t feel like it’s a negative choice, or that he is forcing me to do this. However, I have been surprised by some people’s reactions to this small change. People turn their noses up at food I’ve chosen because it has no meat in it, even when it’s still veyr yummy. In this day and age where I can go to a bakery in Germany and get gluten free bread and where there are whole supermarkets dedicated to people who have special diets (Denn’s… you are heaven!), it should go without saying that you can live as vegetarian and still really enjoy food. But it seems that even now people sometimes treat vegetarians like they are just being that way to be difficult. It’s pretty shocking, really.

The only worry I have is that some day, I’d like to take the boyfriend to Japan and show him my “hometown” and all the places I used to go – Japan uses fish stock in pretty much EVERYTHING. So it will be a challenge like no other. But we’ll see. Maybe it’ll still be do-able…

Spring in Frankfurt!

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Spring is a good time in Frankfurt. The dark days of winter are finally over and the Germans start to very VERY VERY excited about things. One of the things they like to get excited about is spargel – asparagus. You would not believe how excited these white sticks make the locals…

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This was the area outside department store Galeria this morning – a man on a mic, lots of official veggie people, SO many people crowding round to get their hands on asparagus… and a bored sound man eating a sausage sandwich.

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But this is what we came for – the green sauce festival! Green sauce is a big thing here in Frankfurt and so we wanted to check out the festival dedicated to this herby, eggy sauce.

There is a closed off section that I think wasn’t open when we went. There are a handful of stalls outside, though, with 3 different green sauces to try with eggs, potatoes and sausages. Sushi circle have some special green sauce themed sushi variaties (none of which are vegetarian friendly) so there are a few things to check out there!

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Our potatoes, eggs and sauce was so yummy we forgot to take a photo before we dug in! The sauce was pretty sweet and creamy. I much prefer it when it’s chunky and herby but it was still very yummy! The festival is lasting through to next weekend so check it out at the Roßmarkt in Frankfurt!

The Train

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It was a weekend that had had a lot of football in it. I didn’t know much about it, but I heard the people cheering from the boy’s apartment – he lives in the “party” area of town, where there are lots of hen parties and people just going out getting drunk.

The walk to the nearest station had been tricky all weekend – there were more rowdy people in the streets than normal and the amount of graffiti on the shops’ walls in the area had doubled overnight.

I was getting a Sunday afternoon train back home, and the walk to the station wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I ducked past a group of 6 women in tutus taking photos with young boys who were leering at their breasts.

Getting on the train I managed to find 4 seats free so I sat in the corner. At the next stop, however, there was a large group of football fans – mainly men – that got on the train and were followed up by a couple of policemen.

They piled in around me. One young lad of about 18 sat next to me, making his friend nudge him and shout “waaay heeeeey!!!” Opposite me sat another young guy with his girlfriend.

“Offenbach!! Offenbach is shiiiiiiiit!!!” shouts one guy sat in the next set of seats. “Offenbach is shiiiiit!” reply all the other fans. A couple of men start a song to the tune of Waltzing Matilda, and they start bouncing up and down to the tune as everyone joins in.

Another guy in the next set of seats has the loudest voice of those around me. He seems to be really caught up in the excitement and is yelling at the top of his lungs. He also gets up to bounce to Waltzing Matilda, but then shouts “Kassel!!! Kassel is shiiiiiiiiit!”

No one replies with yells as they did with Offenbach. One thing Frankfurters can unite with is their dislike for neighbouring Offenbach, but apparently Kassel is spared the same loathing. The guy looks embarrassed and sits back down. More shouting starts and so he soon perks up when he can join in again.

While the shouting is going on, the girlfriend opposite me is wincing at the noise. We catch each others’ eye and give a look of understanding – “yeah, these guys are morons”.

Luckily the train pulls into the main station and the football fans and I go our separate ways. The girl and I nod at each other one last time – “good luck with those guys”. And she is gone in the jumping, yelling crowd.

Piknickbank, Frankfurt (omg is that hummus?)

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We had a busy Saturday running around town buying toasters and things to cook that evening. We planned a lovely lunch at Piknickbank, a Moroccan cafe/restaurant we went past once, and it was the perfect end to a busy afternoon.

The place itself is like a back-to-front Tardis – it’s much smaller on the inside than it seemed from the outside. Luckily we got the last table for two but other people were made to wait in the rain for tables.

The waitress was fairly aloof but she replied to our German in German and so she was all right by me.

I had the large Piknick Teller which wasn’t quite as large as I had imagined, but still filled me up. Boy had the vegetarian tajine and though he said I had ordered the best thing, his meal was very good too (though had hidden olives! Grown-up food alert!!) My hummus was lovely and the carrots were so good I am going to try to recreate them at home next week!

The other people there were surprisingly not young hipsters, but older, middle class groups. I don’t know what it says about the place but it was interesting anyway!

I hope to go there again soon – we both said we wanted to try all the things on the menu.

You can find Piknickbank at Weißadlergasse 7, 60311 Frankfurt am Main

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