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Old 10.02.2009, 09:46
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Re: Food in Switzerland

Aside from food quality, what's the deal here with dates on things? A lot stuff has dates that are well in excess of the reality - vollrahm cream never lives until the end of the date when unopened - and would it kill them to give a rough guide to how long things last when opened? Not everything smells when it's off to start with and I don't keep comprehensive lists of how long foodstuffs last. Neither do I wish to embark on a long program of food testing to check the life of each product.
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Old 10.02.2009, 09:51
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Aside from food quality, what's the deal here with dates on things? A lot stuff has dates that are well in excess of the reality - vollrahm cream never lives until the end of the date when unopened - and would it kill them to give a rough guide to how long things last when opened? Not everything smells when it's off to start with and I don't keep comprehensive lists of how long foodstuffs last. Neither do I wish to embark on a long program of food testing to check the life of each product.
I often shop in the Coop in Marktplatz Basel and when the meat has a sticker on it to say it is 50% off then it can be "off" in a real sense. They once had a load of chicken at 50% off and it was a struggle to walk past the freezer where it was stored without throwing up.
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  #343  
Old 10.02.2009, 10:08
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Re: Food in Switzerland

I can sypathise about the food in the Swiss German cantons but in the French and Italien cantons it's much more varied and interesting. Fortunately I live in the canton de vaud and I've rarely been disappointed but I am when I try to eat out back in the UK!
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  #344  
Old 10.02.2009, 23:52
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Good food is good food, doesn't matter where it comes from...except that my list for Swiss good food is shorter compared to others.
Not quite true - there's what called an acquired taste in the food industry. Food manufacturers will adjust their products locally, even if they are sold under the same brand as in other countries to accommodate those differences (e.g., chocolate taste differs from country to country, even coke is not the same everywhere). Therefore, many do complain about the food when going to another country - we just tend to like best what we grew up with.


That said, I just returned from a trip to Germany where I visited many food retailers. This reminded me again just how bad the quality of the large grocery chains is in Switzerland - its really a joke what they are trying to sell as premium quality here. We don't even need to start discussing prices....
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  #345  
Old 11.02.2009, 00:21
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Re: Food in Switzerland

I wasn't talking about the food in our supermarkets - I learnt to cook in Switzeralnd because the food in the supermarkets is /or was very basic no sauce/cassrole/gravey granule mixes ect.. I'm rreflecting my view about the choice of food in restaurants which I find is much more extensive in the canton de vaud. I've lived here 29 years - more than half my life (my husband is Swiss) and the Swiss who dine at our home for the first time have always made the same remark "I thought that the English couldn't cook, what a surprise!" I do have American friends who are still looking for the perfect beefburger or chilli con carne in Switzerland but that's their problem, oh and one American friend who is over the moon because we now have an "Aldi".
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  #346  
Old 11.02.2009, 05:28
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Re: Food in Switzerland

Only just seeing this post but wondering where people have been eating. In all the years I've been visiting Switzerland, mainly Basel but other towns and cities too, I've never had a bad meal - lunch or dinner, summer or winter. And the food my friends cook at home is delicious. I'm a foodie from way back and don't like crap food!
So I'm hoping I will still feel like this after my planned move to Basel next year!!

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  #347  
Old 11.02.2009, 05:38
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Re: Food in Switzerland

This winter season I find out food available from the supermarket upsetting my stomach. I don't know if it has got to do with temperature or I just really miss freshness of meat and other produces as in South Africa. Everything I find here is processed or vacuum sealed thus loosing it's real taste.

There are really only few meals that I can eat these days and enjoy. When I cater in my company's cantina I use grated cheese with almost any meal most of the time in order just to kill its taste.

Hopefully as it gets warmer I will gradually start liking it again! We hardly go out so we have no idea what the things taste like in restaurants
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  #348  
Old 11.02.2009, 06:01
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Re: Food in Switzerland

...and one more horrible thing is that we recently started complaining about bad smell from mouth which might be attributed to this food. We went to pharmacy and got mint tablets, which are very intensive with ability to cure your soft throat as well. The assistant already new what we were looking for as she said it is a quite common problem here and the people buy them regularly! So tomorrow off again to get a replenishment for a week and joy of life
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  #349  
Old 11.02.2009, 10:09
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Not quite true - there's what called an acquired taste in the food industry. Food manufacturers will adjust their products locally, even if they are sold under the same brand as in other countries to accommodate those differences (e.g., chocolate taste differs from country to country, even coke is not the same everywhere). Therefore, many do complain about the food when going to another country - we just tend to like best what we grew up with.
Yes, I know but I was speaking more about the cuisine at restaurants, eat-outs and in general, not my shopping list.

If it were my shopping list, I would tell you that seafood in Switzerland sucks (I miss fresh crabs, prawns and garoupa!), M'sians eat more rice than bread, pasta, and potatoes (we even have black rice, wild mountain rice, hill rice, and so forth but not that parboiled stuff), there is more variety of teas available, we have a variety of flours for baking/cooking (self-rising, white, superfine, cake, tapioca, bean, glutinious rice, rice, corn, whole meal, sago, etc), and desserts are not just limited to pastries, ice cream and cakes...and oh, meats aren't salted but fresh.

But hey, I'm not complaining...I quite understand...hence why I didn't bring up my shopping list woes.
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Old 11.02.2009, 10:35
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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This winter season I find out food available from the supermarket upsetting my stomach. I don't know if it has got to do with temperature or I just really miss freshness of meat and other produces as in South Africa. Everything I find here is processed or vacuum sealed thus loosing it's real taste.

There are really only few meals that I can eat these days and enjoy. When I cater in my company's cantina I use grated cheese with almost any meal most of the time in order just to kill its taste.

Hopefully as it gets warmer I will gradually start liking it again! We hardly go out so we have no idea what the things taste like in restaurants

So many complaints and so much whining! First time I hear of 'winter food' upsetting someone's stomach.
You and your partner just need to get more creative with your cooking and baking. Some things are vacuumed sealed for hygienic packaging. If you want fresh meat, you can go to a Metzgerei or the meat counter at a big supermarket.

Make your own pesto sauce with basil leaves, garlic, roasted pine-nuts (or sub with walnuts), olive oil and parmesan cheese. It's so appetizing!

Go to recipezaar.com or allrecipes.com for more delicious ideas you can whip up at home.
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  #351  
Old 11.02.2009, 10:39
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Re: Food in Switzerland

It is not a winter food it's just chicky weather made me this morning come down with stomach flu... Do not wanna get into details how it feels!
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  #352  
Old 11.02.2009, 10:41
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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This winter season I find out food available from the supermarket upsetting my stomach. I don't know if it has got to do with temperature or I just really miss freshness of meat and other produces as in South Africa. Everything I find here is processed or vacuum sealed thus loosing it's real taste.

There are really only few meals that I can eat these days and enjoy. When I cater in my company's cantina I use grated cheese with almost any meal most of the time in order just to kill its taste.

Hopefully as it gets warmer I will gradually start liking it again! We hardly go out so we have no idea what the things taste like in restaurants
Just to share something with you...

I get food indigestion once every two months from eating out (usually Indian curries) back in Malaysia.

Here? Never...so far every time hubby and I eat out, it's a pleasant experience...and in a way, I'm relieved to know that cooked food available for sale is prepared and sold in a hygienic manner. And it's fresh...at least more than the curries back at home which are cooked early in the morning and still left on the warmer (it's never boiling but just warm) until late at night or up till 4am (yes, there are many eateries in Malaysia that are open 24 hours). This is bad because the coconut milk in curries spoils easily with the warm and humid conditions...and well, we all know what happens when you eat not-so-fresh curry.

There is a joke among Malaysians about how their stomachs are made of steel because if you were to look at how restaurants and stalls prepare their food, the environments they are situated in and all (and I'm not talking about the typical touristy spots), you wouldn't eat out at all. It's scary.
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  #353  
Old 11.02.2009, 10:47
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Just to share something with you...

I get food indigestion once every two months from eating out (usually Indian curries) back in Malaysia.

Here? Never...so far every time hubby and I eat out, it's a pleasant experience...and in a way, I'm relieved to know that cooked food available for sale is prepared and sold in a hygienic manner. And it's fresh...at least more than the curries back at home which are cooked early in the morning and still left on the warmer (it's never boiling but just warm) until late at night or up till 4am (yes, there are many eateries in Malaysia that are open 24 hours). This is bad because the coconut milk in curries spoils easily with the warm and humid conditions...and well, we all know what happens when you eat not-so-fresh curry.

There is a joke among Malaysians about how their stomachs are made of steel because if you were to look at how restaurants and stalls prepare their food, the environments they are situated in and all (and I'm not talking about the typical touristy spots), you wouldn't eat out at all. It's scary.
It is curry and chillis in food that give you a problem. Last Sunday we went to church service for expats and we had a nice meal... nice for tongue.... disastrous for stomach. I like oriental spices a lot but somehow with these temp they only intensify stomach upset
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  #354  
Old 11.02.2009, 11:18
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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This winter season I find out food available from the supermarket upsetting my stomach. I don't know if it has got to do with temperature or I just really miss freshness of meat and other produces as in South Africa. Everything I find here is processed or vacuum sealed thus loosing it's real taste.

There are really only few meals that I can eat these days and enjoy. When I cater in my company's cantina I use grated cheese with almost any meal most of the time in order just to kill its taste.

Hopefully as it gets warmer I will gradually start liking it again! We hardly go out so we have no idea what the things taste like in restaurants
Try sprinkling Aromat on your canteen food. Most canteens in Switzerland have this to hand because they know their food is either awful or tasteless and the Aromat helps people pretend they are eating half-decent food. I remember it in England in the fifties and early sixties when a cold fried egg on a cold plate with soggy cold chips was standard fare for canteens.
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Old 11.02.2009, 22:12
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Re: Food in Switzerland

I don't know where else to put this

but

I really need to try a "Curry", I have never had one ... !!!
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Old 11.02.2009, 22:52
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Re: Food in Switzerland

I've just had a very interesting discussion (argument) with my Swiss students
about Swiss food v. English.
Try as I might, I couldn't get across how good lamb and mint sauce is and they hate English breakfast, fish and chips........
I really laid into cervelat and all those heavy meals with cream, although I secretly love the food here - just not those two particular things!

Vive la différence culturelle!!

Wait till I confront them with bubble and squeak - English vegetable rösti...
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Old 11.02.2009, 23:34
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Re: Food in Switzerland

Now I'm not saying Swiss food is not good but here in the mountains the restaurants are very limited.

As a whole I find the food very heavy, full of carbs and fattening - despite either skiing or cycling every day I put on 15 kg in 4 years - aaargh - but I have to admit we were pretty broke and I was on an economy drive and fruit and vegetables were not part of their culture. Feeding two stepchildren and an active husband the starchy food and cheese that they would eat - plus all this coming home to a full lunch at midday was a culture shock.

When I first arrived my husband was very proud of Grandmas cooking (who used to own a restaurant) and held her up as the ultimate cook. Eugh it was revolting - grey gristly tastless roadkill (not really but it could have been) boiled in water and soggy tasteless vegetables such as reconstituted dried french beans. I therefore always made sure I fed my family meat at night so that they ate by candlelight as I refused to incinerate the meat, there were still grumbles about 'raw' vegetables though. They now happily eat pink meat and al dente vegetables
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Old 13.02.2009, 21:03
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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It is curry and chillis in food that give you a problem. Last Sunday we went to church service for expats and we had a nice meal... nice for tongue.... disastrous for stomach. I like oriental spices a lot but somehow with these temp they only intensify stomach upset
Actually, it's not the chilli or curry (curry is a mix of spices - tumeric is one of them) but the coconut milk that we use to make curries. If you don't cook it well or keep it hot, it has a tendency to go bad quickly in humid and warm tropical climates.

I know this for sure because 1) I eat A LOT OF CHILLI (we eat our chillies raw and mixed in with cooked shrimp paste) and by chilli, I mean the Thai bird's eye chilli and 2) the hotter it is, the better for me.

Sada, make friends with some South Asian or South East Asian people...and hope that they invite you over for lunch/dinner!

Stripe, al dente vegetables are the way to go! I like my veggies looking green after cooking (stir fry, blanch, etc) NOT brown. My step-mother-in-law has this habit of cooking French/long beans (haricot vert) until they are brown or mud green!!!! Ugh.
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Old 13.02.2009, 21:36
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Actually, it's not the chilli or curry (curry is a mix of spices - tumeric is one of them) but the coconut milk that we use to make curries. If you don't cook it well or keep it hot, it has a tendency to go bad quickly in humid and warm tropical climates.

I know this for sure because 1) I eat A LOT OF CHILLI (we eat our chillies raw and mixed in with cooked shrimp paste) and by chilli, I mean the Thai bird's eye chilli and 2) the hotter it is, the better for me.

[...(snip) .

It can be the spices that some people's stomachs cannot take. That's why in a good curry cooking class, one is advised to cook the spices thoroughly (with or without oil) for five to 10 minutes on medium-low heat before adding the other ingredients. A lot of Indian curries do not contain coconut milk and some folk still cannot take them.
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Old 14.02.2009, 00:07
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Re: Food in Switzerland

Yes, I do know what you mean - usually the "fire" in the spices will give you a tummy upset but in my case, it's more food poisoning than bloaty washing-machine like tummy. Can't say I know the typical European tummy very well. Hubby's doesn't qualify because he can take just as much chilli as I can (he's French) and sometimes he handles it better! :/

The curries ones in Malaysia do have coconut milk with the exception of dhal (which strangely enough never gives me a stomach ache)...and fresh coconut milk at that which goes bad VERY quickly. Indian cuisine in Malaysia is a variation of the one from India - it's influenced by Malay and Chinese cuisine in the region so much so that some dishes which are associated with the Indian community in Malaysia do not exist in India (same goes with the Chinese community).

Usually for me and most Malaysians I know (home cooking that is), we cook spices whole or in paste form until it's fragrant (with or without oil). I do admit that the spices take some getting used to - especially if you have never been exposed to spicy food before. I know of a number of Malaysians who get heartburn and bloaty, rumbling tummies when they eat chillis, and other herbs. So usually, they just avoid it. But in general, most food poisoning or food ingestion cases back at home comes from the way the food has been prepared and not so much the ingredients.

Lets just say that hygiene standards are VERY different in Malaysia. That's why the running joke is that most Malaysians are born with stomachs made of steel.
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