I am one of those Americans who has had the good fortune to be able to travel all over the world. The first time I was in Europe and happened to order a sandwich at an airport shop I noticed two things. Firstly, the bread was a fresh baguette, not an afterthought. It was most likely made that morning by hand. Secondly, what was between the bread didn't look like enough. One slice of meat, a slice of cheese and maybe some tomato. Still, I ordered what looked good and was surprised at how amazingly flavorful it was.
Go to any American chain restaurant and order a sandwich. It comes on bread, but the bread is not considered important. Otherwise, why would it occasionally be stale? Usually restaurant bread is whatever they can get at the cheapest price. The sandwich filling is quite a bit more substantial, but not particularly flavorful.
We in the States tend to think that salt and fat equals flavor. At least the people who are selling us our food seem to think that's all it takes.
I just went to a local cheese shop and came home with a fresh long baguette, rosemary olive oil, a roasted red pepper, some Serrano ham sliced paper thin, and an assortment of cheese, my favorites being smoked bleu and 7-year Quebec Cheddar.
Slicing the bread on a bias about 1/2 inch thick, I ended up with a couple 5 inch slices. I brushed each side with olive oil, sprinkled on kosher salt and laid down a single slice of ham, a thin slice of Cheddar, and a bit of roasted red pepper. It didn't look like much, but BAM! What flavor!
I live by the rule that any kind of sauce should be reduced and reduced and reduced more until it's naturally thick. Start with a little chicken or vegetable stock, add herbs, butter, a little soy sauce, some wine, meat drippings if possible, and reduce it down to a thick sauce. You can pour right over your main dish or use it as a sandwich spread. Big flavor.
So, when cooking and shopping, opt for more flavorful food as opposed to mass quantities of less flavorful. Your mouth will thank you, and so will those you cook for. :)