Okay, technically? Technically, the item in question is, according to the menu at Cafe Luxembourg, is called smoked eel on a soft roll. But to we American’s, such a distinction is unnecessary. If meat is between two pieces of bread, then it’s a sandwich. Specifically, in this case, an eel sandwich.
When people ask me why I like to travel, I think from here on out, I will point them to this snack item that I ate at the cafe located in Amsterdam. For, to me, it holds many of the major, positive components that, to me, make up traveling. In this little sandwich, there’s enough there to be recognizable, but also a bit that is different to me, enough so that, upon reflection, its basic premise sounds a tad off. I mean, come on! An eel sandwich? For me and my American sensibilities, it sounds wrong.
Yet there it sat on the menu, amongst the fried eggs, cheese snacks, and various salads available to anyone with the proper amount of Euro. How could I NOT order this? Isn’t that what travel is all about? Shouldn’t we, when we find ourselves in foreign lands, try the things that make these places foreign? If not, why leave home at all?
I won’t tell you whether it was good or bad. Such exposition would only serve to ruin the point, which is that eel sandwiches, in all of their guises, represent an opportunity. And what kind of life would I live if I didn’t reach for an eel sandwich every now and then.