Skipping the Bread and Going Directly to Snack-Sized Sandwiches

PBA-sandwichesInteresting things happen when you have to – or choose to – stay away from traditional (i.e., gluten-oriented) breads and baked goods.  First you go through bread withdrawal.  Then you start exploring the wide world of non-wheat-containing breads and crackers and cookies and cakes and realize that life is not all about French baguettes.  Globally speaking, in most places, life is about corn tortillas or crepes made of rice and lentils (Indian dosas) or fluffy flatbread made from teff (Ethiopian injera).

Then you realize that actually some things that have become bread-oriented in our culture just don’t need to be about bread at all, and in fact taste better when they’re unencumbered by non-essentials like bread.  Cheese, for example.  Exquisite cheese is best eaten alone at room temperature and perhaps alternated with sweet fruit for contrast.  Creamy cheeses like Brie only need a thin cracker (say, a corn tortilla chip) to make them practical to eat.  Less bread = a more flavorful cheese = you need less cheese = you can afford to spend a bit more on cheese (plus you save the money you would have spent on bread) = you can buy better-quality cheese = the cheese is so tasty you wouldn’t want to mar its flavor with bread = less bread.  Talk about a non-vicious circle!

My latest take-the-bread-away foray was into the world of the classic lunchtime PB&J.  In this case, I replaced the “J” part of the equation with a flattened, dried fruit, then sandwiched the PB between the fruit “slices.” Any dried fruit that’s shaped like a slice would work, so probably anything except berries would be a good choice.  Dried peaches, dried banana strips, dried pineapple…you have plenty of PB&[fill in the blank] options.  Trader Joe’s even carries chili-spiced mango slices – make it a PB&M and kick it up a notch!

Courtesy of The Cultured Cook.

© 2011 Copyright   Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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