At Mainz’s Saturday outdoor market, I found these little courgettes and I was instantly transported back to Arles, France, where I spent a summer during college. During that summer, I lived with a wonderful host family who loved teaching me about the language and culture of Southern France. One night, they proudly served round courgettes (zucchini) stuffed with perfectly seasoned ground beef and vegetables. Both adorable and delicious, those little zucchinis remind me of warm summer nights with the Mistral blowing and the scent of lavender in the air. I have such fond memories of that summer and my host family, that I had to pick up some round courgettes and try my hand at them. Feeling in the mood for something a little less carnivorous than usual, I decided to stuff the vegetables with mashed cauliflower and sautéed onions and mushrooms…and some bacon. I hope you like them!
Each time I visited S last year, I wanted to get a full taste of Germany…literally. I tried all the beers, sampled the flammkuchens and spiral potato chips at the summer wine festivals, ate crepes with Nutella as much as possible, tried each type of danish and roll at the bakery around the corner, and ate my way through the stands of bratwursts, rotwursts, currywursts, pretzels, and chocolate covered marshmallows at the Christmas markets. Needless to say, I came back from each trip carrying a few extra lbs…and not in my luggage.
Another blogger perfectly summed up the pleasure of learning about a new culture through it’s food and getting fat in the process in her post entitled, “The Un-Glorified Rewards of Travel.” My favorite line in her post is, “This reward, of becoming a bit fat, is very special.” I could not agree with her more. My absolute favorite thing about traveling is sampling the local cuisine (as much as possible!). Living in Germany, however, where the local cuisine is primarily breaded meats, breaded bread, beer, and sugar, this practice has my jeans quaking in fear that the next schnitzel may burst their seams!