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Old 09.06.2015, 22:59
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Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

Hi. I just moved to Switzerland for a while. I'm not allowed to cook where I'm staying and there's no electric kettle. Do have some hot water in the shower. But I can make sandwiches, salads etc obviously.There's a coop nearby.

The problem is, my German is really crappy(I'm in a German speaking area), I don't have supermarkets like these where I'm from and I grew up vegetarian, so I've no idea which wursts can be had without cooking, which cold cuts I should buy or in fact where in coop I can find them.

Could you please guide to specific products that I can buy and survive on cheaply and not die of malnutrition? I'm a 20 ish male with a hectic life, so if that helps you estimate my nutritional needs.

Is there anything else I should know about supermarket etiquette to avoid any faux pas? Like not touching produce or something.

Are there any special deals on say, certain days or during certain hours?

Thanks!
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Old 09.06.2015, 23:09
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

I don't think there's any unusual etiquette, pretty much the European norms. Just remember to weigh and label your stuff so it doesn't cause a massive queue at the checkout

Cervelas can be eaten cold, just peel them - they're great for outdoor grills for just this reason, no risks.

Cooked is "gekocht".

You can also buy pre-boiled eggs, good for salads and protein. They're the brightly painted ones.

Fruit and veg are always good value and good nutrition, thinking e.g. carrots/peppers and houmous, bananas of course. Tinned sweetcorn or kidney beans.

Do you have a fridge? Migros have a budget range, their huge tubs of cottage cheese are good value and it goes well with many things.

Both Coop and Migros often sell off sandwiches and stuff reduced at the end of the day. Find the fridge with loads of orange stickered items.

Good luck
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Old 09.06.2015, 23:12
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

For 50% off produce and bakery goods, go shopping the last half hour before the store closes. You'll especially find lots of bargains on Saturdays before closing time.


Buy a water kettle if needed. They aren't too expensive. Eat at COOP / Migros restaurants.
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Old 09.06.2015, 23:14
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

So why did you agree to live in a place where you can't cook?
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Old 09.06.2015, 23:25
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

You can find grilling places on most hiking trails, and wood is often left out for hikers.


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You can also buy pre-boiled eggs, good for salads and protein. They're the brightly painted ones.
Here's a recipe for hard boil eggs using an electric kettle without a stove:
-Place the egg(s) in a bowl or pot with a cover, or cover with foil
-Pour boiling water into the pot, submerging the egg in 1 or more inches of water
-Let it sit for about 15 minutes

You can let it cool, or peel under running cold water.

Barbecue!!!
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Old 10.06.2015, 00:39
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

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So why did you agree to live in a place where you can't cook?
Because that's all I could find around where I'm working. Still looking for better places but haven't found them.

Thanks guys. I'll keep these tips in mind.

@Phos: Thanks! I don't think I'll start barbecuing here, right off the bat. As I said, I grew up vegetarian and don't have any experience with cooking meat, so I'd prefer to avoid salmonella and E.coli and stick to the basics. But I'll keep that in mind!
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Old 10.06.2015, 00:59
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

Nuts are a good snack food, and rich in protein and good oils, that is, if you buy plain unroasted nuts. You could Google or perhaps read the packaging label to see the protein/carb/fat amount for different types of nuts.

Almonds = Mandeln
Hazel nuts = Hazelnüsse
Walnuts = Baumnüsse
Brazil nuts = Paranüsse

Cashew, Pecan are the same in both languages.
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Old 10.06.2015, 01:03
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

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@Phos: Thanks! I don't think I'll start barbecuing here, right off the bat. As I said, I grew up vegetarian ...

The following fruit and vegetables taste great when barbecued:
  • potatoes and onions (wrap them in aluminium foil and embed them in the ambers... they take quite a long time)
  • zucchetti
  • paprika (= capsicum)
  • maize (= corn on the cob)
  • bananas
  • apples
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Old 10.06.2015, 01:32
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

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Hi. I just moved to Switzerland for a while. I'm not allowed to cook where I'm staying and there's no electric kettle. Do have some hot water in the shower. But I can make sandwiches, salads etc obviously.There's a coop nearby.

The problem is, my German is really crappy(I'm in a German speaking area), I don't have supermarkets like these where I'm from and I grew up vegetarian, so I've no idea which wursts can be had without cooking, which cold cuts I should buy or in fact where in coop I can find them.

Could you please guide to specific products that I can buy and survive on cheaply and not die of malnutrition? I'm a 20 ish male with a hectic life, so if that helps you estimate my nutritional needs.

Is there anything else I should know about supermarket etiquette to avoid any faux pas? Like not touching produce or something.

Are there any special deals on say, certain days or during certain hours?

Thanks!
For around 40.-chfs you can buy a rice cooker. These are quick and fairly safe in a small area like you seem to have as they have an automatic kick down to keep warm after the main cook time, just don't go out while it is still doing it's thing.

Just as an aside, I had one from Migros and after 5 or so years the plastic outer casing disintegrated and the electronic consol broke off, so i don't recomend getting the Mio star rice cooker. I have since purchased a Russell Hobbs rice cooker from Ottos and it's great!

Here is a very basic recipe for you to begin with to stave off malnutrition:

1 cup Jasmine rice
1/2 cup greens/veg of your choice chopped
1 Chicken breast cut into bite sized cubes (substitute with Tofu or whichever protein you like )
1 vegetable stock cube (Boullion)
salt and pepper to taste
a good dollop of curry paste or powder as you like. If you don't like curry use your imagination as to other herbs and spices, be generous
1 teaspoon oil/butter
250 mls coconut milk ( if going the curry version, if not just use water together with the other 2/3 cup of water)
2/3 cup water
1 smashed clove of garlic

Chuck everything in to the rice cooker, set it to cook, and by the time it has switched to the keep warm setting it should be done, approx after 25 mins.

A rice cooker is really versatile, you can do loads of things with it just get on to google and see for yourself.

It's perfect for vegetarian cooking by the by.

Good luck and happy cooking
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Old 10.06.2015, 02:16
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

You can quite easily live off 'Studenten Futter' and multi-vitamins.
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Old 10.06.2015, 06:48
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Think substantial salads, at least in summer. Substantial means it includes good amounts of protein and carbohydrate.

Meeting similar nutritional needs for my kids' school lunches saw me come to realise that a good store of pre-cooked beans was essential (e.g. tinned borlotti, chick peas, lentils).

Drained and tossed with assorted other things, they make a very decent meal.

A favourite was kidney beans with chopped capsicum, drained tinned corn, cherry tomatoes, and avocado, with or without the burrito wrap.

Or (precooked) beetroot, lentils, feta and assorted green veggies. Some of the baby and types can get away with raw-to-wilting rather than cooking, though I don't know if your shower-hot water would be enough - e.g. young asparagus, green beans, mangetout can be soaked for a few minutes in hot water rather than cooked at a rolling boil.

Or chickpeas, couscous (which requires soaking in hot water but not cooking) parsley, cucumber, chopped tomato and lemon.

Some noodles can also be soaked rather than cooked, and tossed (before or after soaking) with finely sliced veggies (carrot, zucchini, etc and tofu). Some rice vermicelli can even be soaked in cold water.

Admittedly, I've only been here 15 hours - haven't tried to find these things in the shops yet. Perhaps ignore everything I just said. ;-)

PS if you are *allowed* a kettle (or better yet, a microwave) then it would make sense to get one; it would be a false economy to rely on supermarket cold cuts instead of being able to (say) nuke a potato. My Swiss cousins tell me some "no cooking" rules are about wanting to avoiding grease and aromas from stovetop cooking, or wanting to stop people setting up a camping stove indoors or using the iron to heat a pot (true story!) but would be open to you boiling water or re-heating food in the microwave.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 12.06.2015 at 22:34. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 10.06.2015, 07:28
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

You can buy already-cooked eggs in supermarkets here. Raw eggs have natural (i.e. white or brown) shells, boiled eggs have brightly dyed shells.

Gram for gram, they are probably about the cheapest no-cooking-required protein source you will find.

Any kind of meat that is sold unrefrigerated (jerky, salami, etc.) can be eaten without further cooking. Also cervelat as some one mentioned, and Wienerli which are hot dogs. There are certain kinds of bacon and ham you can eat 'raw' but not all (and the ones you can eat raw tend to be the most expensive sorts.)
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Old 10.06.2015, 07:51
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

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Gram for gram, they are probably about the cheapest no-cooking-required protein source you will find.
The OP is in Aargau, there should be plenty of free roadkill around...
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Old 10.06.2015, 08:04
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

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The OP is in Aargau, there should be plenty of free roadkill around...
Leek and potato roadkill?
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Old 10.06.2015, 08:25
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

Also look for tinned tuna/bean salads. Can't remember if Coop do them, but Migros do as do Aldi and Lidl. Add a slice of bread/butter and you've got a ready made meal that doesn't need any cooking.
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Old 10.06.2015, 08:48
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

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Leek and potato roadkill?
They must have some form of vegetation to scavenge during summer in the wide wastelands between Zurich and Basel...
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Old 10.06.2015, 08:56
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

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They must have some form of vegetation to scavenge during summer in the wide wastelands between Zurich and Basel...
Nettle and bug salad, with a hint of dogs pee dressing.
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Old 10.06.2015, 08:56
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

You could buy a tent and a primus stove and move to a local campsite.
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Old 10.06.2015, 09:19
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

What you have to do is make some friends, with kitchens and other benefits.
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Old 10.06.2015, 09:23
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Re: Surviving without cooking from Coop/supermarket ettiquette

Why not buy a water boiler and a microwave?
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