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  #541  
Old 09.06.2009, 17:22
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Take Switzerland and its produce on its own terms and it will reward you. Zürich is not a city the size of say Chicago, or the city where I lived until recently, London, but there is plenty here of interest if you're willing to put some effort in and look for it. Swiss cheese making, both traditional and modern produces a wide variety of deliciousness . . . look in delicatessens, visit markets, if you can, visit at affineur. Swiss meats, particularly Alpine cured products have brought me great pleasure. There are also good Italian style products from Ticino. There is seasonality even in places like Coop and Globus which tend to have a wanton disregard for food miles (asparagus from Mexico?) . . . I have had very good Swiss asparagus and wild garlic. I'm also happy with bread here, particularly some of the regional rye breads. Oh and alpine milk and butter are fantastic too.

Don't hark back to your homeland and resort to lopsided comparisons . . . dive in and discover what Switzerland has to offer. I've been here ten months and I'm finding out more every day.

Oh, and for the record, Denmark as an increasingly vibrant food culture too, with Noma one of a number of restaurants in that country making waves. That restaurant couldn't exist without excellent Nordic Terroir, of which its home country is part.
with all due respect....you need to get out to travel and taste more...
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  #542  
Old 09.06.2009, 17:25
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Take Switzerland and its produce on its own terms and it will reward you. Zürich is not a city the size of say Chicago, or the city where I lived until recently, London, but there is plenty here of interest if you're willing to put some effort in and look for it. Swiss cheese making, both traditional and modern produces a wide variety of deliciousness . . . look in delicatessens, visit markets, if you can, visit at affineur. Swiss meats, particularly Alpine cured products have brought me great pleasure. There are also good Italian style products from Ticino. There is seasonality even in places like Coop and Globus which tend to have a wanton disregard for food miles (asparagus from Mexico?) . . . I have had very good Swiss asparagus and wild garlic. I'm also happy with bread here, particularly some of the regional rye breads. Oh and alpine milk and butter are fantastic too.

Don't hark back to your homeland and resort to lopsided comparisons . . . dive in and discover what Switzerland has to offer. I've been here ten months and I'm finding out more every day.

Oh, and for the record, Denmark as an increasingly vibrant food culture too, with Noma one of a number of restaurants in that country making waves. That restaurant couldn't exist without excellent Nordic Terroir, of which its home country is part.


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with all due respect....you need to get out to travel and taste more...
Thread title: "Food in Switzerland". Where's the issue??

Why not start a thread: "Food from overseas"?
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  #543  
Old 09.06.2009, 18:03
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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with all due respect....you need to get out to travel and taste more...
You might be surprised at the extent of my food based travel . . .
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  #544  
Old 09.06.2009, 18:23
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Re: Food in Switzerland

All we've heard from the critics is "the ethnic food isn't great in Switzerland", while the Gastro Gnome has quite extensively explained what he likes about food here. I would agree that Chinese food here is mostly bad, but many Americans seem to think that the inavailability of Tacos, their favourite burger & American pizza joint, americanised Chinese food etc. make a bad gastronomic scene.
Very little substance here imho.
And with half a million Italians, an extremely large Thai community etc. you have only yourself to blame if you can't find good food that isn't Swiss.
I have quite extensively travelled Europe and Asia, and there are a good number of cuisines that I would rate higher than Swiss, but certainly not American, Eastern European, Scandinavian, English, Irish etc.
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  #545  
Old 09.06.2009, 18:37
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Re: Food in Switzerland

I have to say I'm not one for this 'rate my cuisine' lark. I don't really see where it gets anyone saying that 'Chinese food is better than French food' or whatever. Mostly this kind of dialogue lacks some sort of descriptive power. It's a bit like literature . . . which is better, hearing someone say that Shakespeare is better than Martina Cole or reading a review or essay or even better doing some reading of your own? These kind of blanket judgements also generalise massively at the expense of looking in detail at what various cuisines can offer either historically or in contemporary terms.

I will however say that at the moment many Swiss restaurants underuse the available terroir. It would be really nice to see a movement like those which have arguably emerged in UK and in Scandinavia, seeking out the best possible of both well known and unfamiliar ingredients. I'm sure there is some incredible alpine flora to be foraged.
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  #546  
Old 09.06.2009, 21:44
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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I think most Swiss I know round it up to the nearest 5 or 10 francs so if it's a bill for CHF 23.50 you give them 25 and say keep the change.

Thanks for the Tip, sorry I had to do it. I do really appreciate your help. Its nice to know since its a new country for me. The US is much different.
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  #547  
Old 09.06.2009, 22:00
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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I have quite extensively travelled Europe and Asia, and there are a good number of cuisines that I would rate higher than Swiss, but certainly not American, Eastern European, Scandinavian, English, Irish etc.

I have a hard time even understanding what American cuisine is.....as it varies substantially by region.

I like Swiss food but most US cities I have been in have much better diversity of food, which is what makes eating in the US cities great. Swiss food is good but can get rather monotonous if you used to the diversity of food available in a major US city. I admit when I was in CH, I missed alot of really high quality ethnic food available in many places in the US (and London)

If I compared coming to ZH and going to some city in the US and picking a restuarant at random, I would likely have a better food experience in ZH. Though, this is not really a rating system that means much imo. There are alot more low-end restaurants in the US.
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  #548  
Old 09.06.2009, 22:04
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Re: Food in Switzerland

Small country, small choice. Big country, big choice.
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  #549  
Old 09.06.2009, 22:06
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Small country, small choice. Big country, big choice.

not the size as much as the cultural diversity of US cities that support ethnic foods. Though that is influenced by size as well I suppose.
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  #550  
Old 09.06.2009, 22:14
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Not sure why you are not thriled about Polish cuisine. Where did you try it?
Some similarity to German but much more creative. Yes it is filling/rich but beats CH and German anytime..I'm not praising it just telling you CH cuisine would be towards the bottom on my list of foods I've tried.
Jaro,
I have been to Bielsko-Biala. I have travelled extensively throughout eastern Europe (before and after the wall fell) and apart from Hungary, I have not been very impressed. Again, I probably did not go to the right places and I am sure some local spots are great.

Getting back to Switzerland, have you tried the French region? there are some awesome spots. I really enjoy a well prepared local "papet vaudois and saucisse aux chou" (Leek and potatoes with a smoked cabbage and pork sausage).
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  #551  
Old 09.06.2009, 22:52
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Re: Food in Switzerland

Oh yes papet vaudois is really good but I can't seem to find a really good restaurant that serves it.
Any ideas ? Ah consulting California to find the best place over here.... only in our day and age
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  #552  
Old 10.06.2009, 00:15
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Oh yes papet vaudois is really good but I can't seem to find a really good restaurant that serves it.
Any ideas ? Ah consulting California to find the best place over here.... only in our day and age
I do make papet vaudois! It is pretty simple. I have the recipe for cabbage sausage but I have not tried yet. It needs to be smoked for 3 days or so.
I am afraid I cannot help you. Many "Cafe Vaudois" type of place became "Marrakech couscous" or "Pizza Amica".
There was/is a fabulous place close to Lausanne that had amazing steaks served with papet and "freedom" fries. Simple and excellent. Great service too. I will try to find it.

Last edited by ch-expat; 10.06.2009 at 00:47.
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  #553  
Old 11.06.2009, 08:04
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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What exactly are you unable to get?

If the Coop doesn't have it and Globus is too pricey, there are alternatives. Some health food shops are well stocked on spices and there are always the ethnic shops if its eastern or Indian spices you need.
Agreed; you can get most things here however unlike in other countries, you are unlikely to find everything under one roof. That said, my local Migros has broadened its range over the years - there is now a section selling things like Sambal Oelek, naan bread, poppadoms, Thai curry pastes etc etc. Also, I am enough of a regular at the butcher's counter that I can get a piece of meat trimmed in a certain way (once I have spent an hour beforehand figuring out how to explain it in German).

What you do not get here is the choice of brands of many products - Migros mostly (not always - I hear Coop is marginally better) sell only their own brand (Budget and non-Budget) of any given packaged item and you really do not get competition in the true sense between supermarket chains.

As PG said in an earlier post, we choose to live here so we tolerate the situation - but that does not mean we have to agree with it.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 11.06.2009, 08:27
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Re: Food in Switzerland

Hi,

The main tendency of posters in this thread is (as in most threads on such fora) to assert that something in Switzerland (or elsewhere) is not as good as the equivalent thing in their home country. I often think such statements arise out of insecurity elsewhere in life.

Also, there is a mistaken tendency to equate food served in restaurants with the local cuisine.

Sure, I will go along with the notion that eating out (at least in Basel) is very much a hit and miss affair in terms of price versus quality - and I think another poster pointed out that the really good restaurants in CH are in the out-of-the-way places.

However, to use the range and quality of foods in restaurants to judge the cuisine of a country is misguided.

For example, in the UK, eating out is still a hit and miss affair - there are some really great places but you have to know where they are. For a long time there were very few places in the UK that sold what I would class as classic British dishes - such things are more likely to be prepared in people's homes.

There are many classic British dishes that I would not dream of ordering in a restaurant - beef in stout, toad in the hole, hotpot, jugged hare, rabbit pie, steak and kidney pudding, pork in cider, sunday roast, hot puddings etc etc, but I will happily cook at home.

Likewise, I rarely bother with ordering things like Fondue or Raclette in a restaurant in CH.

Cheers,
Nick
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  #555  
Old 11.06.2009, 11:35
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Hi,

The main tendency of posters in this thread is (as in most threads on such fora) to assert that something in Switzerland (or elsewhere) is not as good as the equivalent thing in their home country. I often think such statements arise out of insecurity elsewhere in life.

Also, there is a mistaken tendency to equate food served in restaurants with the local cuisine.

Sure, I will go along with the notion that eating out (at least in Basel) is very much a hit and miss affair in terms of price versus quality - and I think another poster pointed out that the really good restaurants in CH are in the out-of-the-way places.

However, to use the range and quality of foods in restaurants to judge the cuisine of a country is misguided.

For example, in the UK, eating out is still a hit and miss affair - there are some really great places but you have to know where they are. For a long time there were very few places in the UK that sold what I would class as classic British dishes - such things are more likely to be prepared in people's homes.

There are many classic British dishes that I would not dream of ordering in a restaurant - beef in stout, toad in the hole, hotpot, jugged hare, rabbit pie, steak and kidney pudding, pork in cider, sunday roast, hot puddings etc etc, but I will happily cook at home.

Likewise, I rarely bother with ordering things like Fondue or Raclette in a restaurant in CH.

Cheers,
Nick
Hi Nick, not a bad list of traditional English dishes but I am sure it could have been longer if you tried. Could you come up with a similarly long list of traditional German-Swiss dishes? I very much doubt it. And if you are not one to have cheese with everything or reheated pre-cooked sausage with pasta then that list might get very short indeed. Perhaps people who are undecided on this issue might care to compare Swiss cuisine with English cuisine on Wiki to see who has the broader and better range of traditional food.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_cuisine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_cuisine
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  #556  
Old 11.06.2009, 11:59
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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There are many classic British dishes that I would not dream of ordering in a restaurant - beef in stout, toad in the hole, hotpot, jugged hare, rabbit pie, steak and kidney pudding, pork in cider, sunday roast, hot puddings etc etc, but I will happily cook at home.
Many of the best restaurants in the UK have rediscovered their roots and produce exactly these kind of dishes rather well. Pop down to the Anchor and Hope next time you're in London and check out their fantastic sharing dishes. You'll find even Michelin starred places serving Lancashire Hotpot (some of them never stopped).

I get the sense in Switzerland that the trad. dishes never really went out of fashion the way they did in the UK. The dishes in restaurants providing 'rediscovered' Swiss cuisine aren't that different from those in trad. restaurants. In fact, the biggest risk in a trad. place is a bit of misguided exoticism, like the jarring use of some mango.

Essentially the schnitzel you get a typical Swiss trad. place will be very similar to one you'll get at somewhere like Terroir. In the UK the distance between the unreconstructed places and the modern places is very noticeable.
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  #557  
Old 11.06.2009, 15:45
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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Jaro,
I have been to Bielsko-Biala. I have travelled extensively throughout eastern Europe (before and after the wall fell) and apart from Hungary, I have not been very impressed. Again, I probably did not go to the right places and I am sure some local spots are great.

Getting back to Switzerland, have you tried the French region? there are some awesome spots. I really enjoy a well prepared local "papet vaudois and saucisse aux chou" (Leek and potatoes with a smoked cabbage and pork sausage).
I must admit that I have largely ignored the French speaking part of CH. I shall take you recommendations on my planned weekend trip there.
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Old 11.06.2009, 16:11
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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...
not a bad list of traditional English dishes but I am sure it could have been longer if you tried.
...
...especially if you add the whole range of game (4-feet, winged, etc, not just hare),
plus our fish and shellfish!
.
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  #559  
Old 11.06.2009, 20:07
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Re: Food in Switzerland

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...especially if you add the whole range of game (4-feet, winged, etc, not just hare),
plus our fish and shellfish!
.
Potted chicken, bloater paste - the list of delicious foods from England is endless.

http://www.distantbrits.co.uk/catalo...oducts_id=1250

Oh, and pickeld walnuts too. Which other country has such an interesting and delicious pickle?

http://www.distantbrits.co.uk/catalo...oducts_id=5709

Last edited by RolandRB; 12.06.2009 at 08:33. Reason: pickled walnuts mention added
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Old 11.06.2009, 20:22
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Re: Food in Switzerland

Good grief - I (unfortunately) grew up with sardine spread, salmon paste, potted
ham, etc.
Even my Mother's pizza had pilchards on it!!

Don't miss any of those at all!!
Yucky Mc Chucky.......
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