Monday, July 27, 2009

Who's that girl eating bacon while weeping?

Korean breakfast sandwich

I don't want to admit it, but I guess I officially eat pork again. I've been in denial. I don't eat pork. I just taste it. And only in little pieces, mostly cured or dried. But for about a year now I've just been tasting a little prosciutto here, a little bacon there...and then a little more sopressata here, a little more salami there... *sigh*

In many ways, I really wish I could be a vegetarian, guys. I do. There are so many things wrong with the meat industry, so many cruelties practiced on animals. But then, on the other hand, I just wish I could merrily eat meat without guilt. Alas. I have not the willpower for either choice.

I am not (obviously) and have not ever been a vegetarian. Never made it. I stopped eating beef and pork in high school after reading The More with Less Cookbook, which describes how inefficiently our world consumes its grains through animals, as well as how much more easily we could feed the poor if we all ate less meat and tougher cuts of meat. I decided to eat as much "less meat" as I personally could, but I couldn't manage to cut out poultry or seafood ( I love dairy so much that veganism was clearly out of the everlovin' question).

I do try to eat meat in a manner as ethical and sustainable as I can afford, but I know that's cold comfort to the passionate vegans and vegetarians out there.

Anyway, clearly I would be dealing with some issues when Paul brought me a ham-inclusive Korean breakfast sandwich one afternoon last week. He said, "Would you eat some pork?" And in truth, I would. And I do. Plus, I love trying new things -- especially if they're from cultures other than my own. That's part of the reason I started eating pork again (still working up to beef). I would like to be a respectful world traveler, able to eat with the natives without too much fuss.

Back to the breakfast sandwich. I'm glad I didn't miss out on it. The moderately-sized beauty had a nice, light, chewy bun or roll surrounding a kind of ham salad with ham, mayo, peas, cheese, and perhaps some onion. I couldn't identify all of the ingredients. It was tasty. And seasoned perfectly -- no extra salt or pepper needed. The mayonnaise was tangy and a little sweet. It beat the pants off of "egg on a roll," a classic NYC breakfast I still don't understand (or want).

Mashed potato doughnut

Later, Paul brought by half of a mashed potato doughnut from the same bakery (info below). It had peas and carrots mixed into the potato and was better seasoned than any knish I have ever tasted. Paul called it a "New World Samosa." There was just a bit of sugary doughnut sweetness in my last bite. I liked this one a lot, too. Even better, no meat = no liberal guilt to end my tasting. Sweet.

Now that I know where these came from, I hope more Korean breakfasts are in my future -- even if my choice of pastries involves the guilt-inducing specter of ham. But I do want to note that, while I won't hyperventilate if the sandwiches have a little meat in them, I'm going right back to my, "as little meat, as responsibly chosen as possible" diet in my day-to-day life. I may have issues, but at least I'm aware of them, right? Right?

from Koryodang Bakery
31 West 32nd Street
between Broadway and 5th Avenue.
p.s. Paul says they have delicious green tea cake here, too!


katemakes said...

don't weep. it's just too good. bacon is the undoing of many a well intentioned vegetarian. as for me, omnivore all the way.

Jennette said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Katemakes. The guilt is so strong...

Starling said...

we just watched anthony bourdain in san francisco. apparently there is a radio station/vegan cafe that serves a bacon coffee drink. yes. well, the guys seemed ok with it. so if they can Serve bacon drinks at a place Labeled vegan for the world to see, your life situation is not unusually.

Jennette said...

I would argue that a cafe that serves bacon is no longer vegan, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't eat bacon there.

Also, would bacon make coffee more tolerable? I can't decide.

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