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Old 14.06.2011, 16:59
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Swiss BBQ Etiquette

Rather excited as my Swiss neighbours have invited us to join them for a family BBQ this Sunday. I speak little French, and them little English, so I am sure it will be an interesting day. Just wondering what the etiquette is for BBQs in CH. In UK I would normally bring a food such as salad, or meat to contribute, as well as a bottle of wine. But what is required in CH?
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:04
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

If it was an invite in the same vein as a party invite I would limit what you bring to something like a bottle of wine or some posh chocolates. If the invite is more along the lines of "let's get together and have a bbq" I would check with the host/ess to see if there is anything you should bring.

In my experience the host normally asks for a salad or similar but provides the meat themselves.
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:14
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

Mmm, it was a verbal invitation and I just understood the words grille, famille, and dimanche (with the aid of hand gestures). Perhaps some cup cakes and a bottle of wine then...so excited about how friendly the neighbours have been. Another neighbour just popped round with some strawberries to welcome us to the neighbourhood. Not the unfriendly Switzerland I was expecting.
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:16
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

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In my experience the host normally asks for a salad or similar but provides the meat themselves.
Yep, this is common. However, another common variation is exactly the opposite - the host provides all kinds of side dishes, and you bring whatever you want to put on the grill.

(This is more common among studenty types... if it's a family BBQ then Sandgrounder is probably right. Wouldn't hurt to make sure though.)
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:16
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

Wine and flowers
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:19
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

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Mmm, it was a verbal invitation and I just understood the words grille, famille, and dimanche (with the aid of hand gestures). Perhaps some cup cakes and a bottle of wine then...so excited about how friendly the neighbours have been. Another neighbour just popped round with some strawberries to welcome us to the neighbourhood. Not the unfriendly Switzerland I was expecting.
Cover all bases, if it's the neighbours then it should be fairly nearby, no? If you turn up with the minimum and it suddenly becomes painfully obvious you should be armed with sausages and burgers, have it all ready in the fridge in case you need to nip back and grab a bagful. If you don't need it, it'll freeze until next time.
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:19
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

Take wine/flowers/salad, but make sure you've got something in the fridge back at home that you can quickly retrieve should you need it.
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:29
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

The couple are in their 60s. Their grandchildren will be there too, similar age to my toddler. Think I will do the flowers, wine, salad with some of my fabulous minty Greek lamb burgers in the fridge as a back up. And will bring some cupcakes too, I used to be a pastry chef so feel almost obliged to bring something sweet. But would they find that weird?
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:33
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

Desserts are fine - not mandatory but fine. (I had Swiss people round for Thanksgiving two years ago and neglected to tell them that the menu would already involve several kinds of pie - so guess what they showed up with?)
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:53
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

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The couple are in their 60s. Their grandchildren will be there too, similar age to my toddler. Think I will do the flowers, wine, salad with some of my fabulous minty Greek lamb burgers in the fridge as a back up. And will bring some cupcakes too, I used to be a pastry chef so feel almost obliged to bring something sweet. But would they find that weird?
Don't worry, they already know you're not from around here, they won't expect anything but will be glad for everything you bring. Unlike what some people here claim, most Swiss people are actually rather uncomplicated. Bring what you like, it will be appreciated
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:56
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

If they're neighbours, could you not just make sure you have everything in your home ready and just say you'll pop and get it... it was still defrosting or whatever?
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Old 14.06.2011, 17:59
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

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The couple are in their 60s. Their grandchildren will be there too, similar age to my toddler. Think I will do the flowers, wine, salad with some of my fabulous minty Greek lamb burgers in the fridge as a back up. And will bring some cupcakes too, I used to be a pastry chef so feel almost obliged to bring something sweet. But would they find that weird?

Hmmm - those sound good - care to share the recipe?

@OP - good luck with the invitation, sounds as though you've landed in clover and found good, friendly neighbours.
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Old 14.06.2011, 19:01
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

@Louis Wu

Minced lamb, handful of mint leaves chopped, onion, garlic, finely cubed feta cheese, sundries tomatoes chopped, rosemary chopped, oregano, egg, breadcrumbs, pitted black olives chopped mix all together and form into burgers. Goes down very well at my BBQs

Thanks everyone for all the comments and advice
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Old 14.06.2011, 20:28
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

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@Louis Wu

Minced lamb, handful of mint leaves chopped, onion, garlic, finely cubed feta cheese, sundries tomatoes chopped, rosemary chopped, oregano, egg, breadcrumbs, pitted black olives chopped mix all together and form into burgers. Goes down very well at my BBQs

Thanks everyone for all the comments and advice

Sounds delicious, thanks for the recipe, I will give it a whirl.
Cheers
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Old 14.06.2011, 20:53
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

your neighbour sounds lovely I am sure they will appreciate anything little you take with you ...have fun
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Old 14.06.2011, 21:04
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

If this is your first get together, I would rather bring more than less. It is ok to bring back home what won't get eaten, as I experienced. You can always tell your neighbors

Cest mon premier BBQ ici, donc desolee si on a amene trop.

(sorry my new netbook has weird French alphabet, the accents disappered, that's what I would say, anyways).
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Old 14.06.2011, 21:07
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

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Don't worry, they already know you're not from around here, they won't expect anything but will be glad for everything you bring. Unlike what some people here claim, most Swiss people are actually rather uncomplicated. Bring what you like, it will be appreciated
I agree!

Personally, I'd ask. So, either ask or just bring what you want to bring. If it were a sit down dinner I'd be less inclined to bring anything but wine & flowers. For a BBQ, bring what you feel like bringing.
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Old 14.06.2011, 22:40
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

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If this is your first get together, I would rather bring more than less.
I fully agree, be generous on whatever you chose to bring (without exaggeration), first in appreciation of the effort it implies to have the BBQ, secondly for counting you in.

Last edited by Cris1973; 14.06.2011 at 22:41. Reason: my english is crap
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Old 14.06.2011, 23:04
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

so far for all our swiss bbq's here everyone's brought some meat, so i'd definitely go for that. a bottle of wine or beer as well is always good. and a salad or something (better yet the cupcakes~) and you'll be fine! if you are going to a public place (vidy or st. sulpice or someplace like that) i would say to also take along a game of petanque (kind of like bocce ball)- a real crowd pleaser at bbq's here and a good way to socialize when your french fails you .

enjoy!
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Old 15.06.2011, 09:26
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Re: Swiss BBQ Etiquette

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so far for all our swiss bbq's here everyone's brought some meat, so i'd definitely go for that. a bottle of wine or beer as well is always good. and a salad or something (better yet the cupcakes~) and you'll be fine! if you are going to a public place (vidy or st. sulpice or someplace like that) i would say to also take along a game of petanque (kind of like bocce ball)- a real crowd pleaser at bbq's here and a good way to socialize when your french fails you .

enjoy!
You're right when it comes to public BBQs (yours and their family go to a forest, public park) but not when you're invited to a BBQ at their place, then it's not so common to bring your own meat. The difference is between sharing (public) and inviting (home). But as everyone said, don't worry too much about it, I'm pretty sure all is catered for.
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