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Old 29.12.2020, 11:32
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Do your neighbours cook?

Hello all,

We have all been stuck at home more often than usual and more in contact with our neighbours than we otherwise would be... although this is an observation that my husband and I have had for the 10 years we have been here, we have more recently noticed how none of our neighbours ever seem to cook.

It was most presently obvious when one of them finally decided to cook and then in shock and horror, realized that they must smell our constant cooking. While I think our food smells wonderful, I have seen complaints in this forum and heard amongst other people that they do complain about the smells coming from their neighbours' kitchen. I hope that we are not the enemy of the building (especially since we regularly make 24 hour bone broths).

I know we have quite a few home cooks on the forum - do you ever smell your neighbours cooking? If not, what do you think they eat? Just sandwiches and salads? Are they eating out all the time (not during a lockdown)? Most of my neighbours have been Swiss, is this a Swiss thing?

Silly observation...but I am curious.
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:34
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

Yes, live in rural area and everyone cooks- and every lunch is eaten as a family, including all 3 main elements of a 'normal' meal. We cook from fresh too, daily.
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:37
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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Yes, live in rural area and everyone cooks- and every lunch is eaten as a family, including all 3 main elements of a 'normal' meal. We cook from fresh too, daily.
I always knew I was a country gal. Perhaps my situation it is a city thing?
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:39
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

Never noticed any smell. But seeing the shopping my neighbours do, they do cook.

Some people have a canteen at work and eat there, so probably sandwiches/salads in the evening for them as they already had a warm meal at lunch time.
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:41
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

In our previous home one of my neighbours cooked pasta every lunch and I could smell it even though the houses were not close together.

I think there our neighbours thought I never cooked because our cooktop fan was not vented outside.

Now we have a hood fan which vents outside and apparently when I cook soup the dog can smell it from the road and is in a very big hurry to get back from his walk.
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:42
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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Never noticed any smell. But seeing the shopping my neighbours do, they do cook.

Some people have a canteen at work and eat there, so probably sandwiches/salads in the evening for them as they already had a warm meal at lunch time.
Yes - my Swiss colleagues have told me this before as well - they do love their cantine. However, I am happy to eat warm meals 3x per day. (Besides fruit, I do not snack.)

Where I come from, it is more normal to have a quick salad or sandwich lunch and then a proper dinner at home or out...gives you something to look forwards to.
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:44
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

I thought the same thing the other day.

My son said when he comes back home after playing outside, he can have a pretty accurate guess as to what we are going to eat that day because of the smell of cooking coming through the fan outlet.

This got me thinking and I don't get that smell when walking past other peoples' houses although when taking the compost out last night, I did get a faint whiff of someone grilling bratwurst down the street.

When we have something really quick and dirty to eat, I often apologies that it was because I didn't have time to cook although the kids love that kind of food but that kind of thing usually involves a lot more cooking than a fondue or a raclette which are basically ready meals.

Beans on toast has more stages of preparation than raclette and steamed potatoes.


I've often been told that the reason that raclette and fondue are served is that the Swiss think that the company of guests is more important than the preparation of food.
My belief is that with a bit of planning, you can have both.

These comments are for the German side of the country as I have heard and experienced a different attitude to food on the French side.

I'm not trying to be rude but that's the way I see it.
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:44
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

In my apartment complex, there is also a lot of delivery.

But we frequently smell the outputs of grilling too.
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:45
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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I know we have quite a few home cooks on the forum - do you ever smell your neighbours cooking? If not, what do you think they eat? Just sandwiches and salads? Are they eating out all the time (not during a lockdown)? Most of my neighbours have been Swiss, is this a Swiss thing?

Silly observation...but I am curious.
Sometimes yes, I do smell their cooking in the hallway. Or on our terrace when they have a grill. Or on the other balcony coming from someone's window.

They're all Swiss. Yes, they cook. Not as much or as frequent as us, but they do cook. I have an idea of what many Swiss eat because I had casual lunches at my friends' many times, my kids too. I don't want to put them in a spot here, it's a bit different that what we'd have for lunch but I always enjoyed it.

My OH thinks he can appreciate how much people cook just by having a look at their kitchen. Some kitchens here seem sterile and always in perfect order, I guess many folks eat out very often or order pizza and stuff, buy takeaway meals from Coop or Migros. Each to their own.
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:49
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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In my apartment complex, there is also a lot of delivery.

But we frequently smell the outputs of grilling too.

If you live in the sticks- there is no delivery - so more cooking. And of course 'ready meals' all in as you would get from M&S and others in UK, just do not exist.
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Old 29.12.2020, 11:59
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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These comments are for the German side of the country as I have heard and experienced a different attitude to food on the French side.
Yes absolutely! I should have clarified this... I had to briefly stay in the French part and it was obvious that cooking was part of the daily life there. French influence and all - my favourite way of cooking.
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Old 29.12.2020, 12:08
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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Where I come from, it is more normal to have a quick salad or sandwich lunch and then a proper dinner at home or out...gives you something to look forwards to.
Same here. A few of my Swiss friends have told me that it's common here for them to make bigger, warm meals for lunch and then have a cold, simple meal for dinner (for example, a sandwich) -- so the opposite of what most people do in the US (this is in the German part of CH).

I do seem to smell my neighbors' cooking more during the afternoon than in the evenings, but that's usually only when I walk by their apartment and they have their window open or the fan above their stove on, which blows the smell outside. I don't think I have ever smelled the people who live above us cooking unless they're grilling on their balcony.
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Old 29.12.2020, 12:17
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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If you live in the sticks- there is no delivery - so more cooking. And of course 'ready meals' all in as you would get from M&S and others in UK, just do not exist.
It's also a question of finances. Contrary to common beliefs, not every Swiss affords to eat out or have ready meals and deliveries every day. Some would prefer to cook uncomplicated meals so they can save more. I like the baking in the Swiss-German part - "Kuchen" of any kinds, bread (Zopf etc), cupcakes. I like it when we have to bake something for the school events, I love how all the moms bring something really yummy and they're all very modest about it.

Last edited by greenmount; 29.12.2020 at 12:27.
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Old 29.12.2020, 12:45
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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It's also a question of finances. Contrary to common beliefs, not every Swiss affords to eat out or have ready meals and deliveries every day.
Back when we were in Basel, we loved to treat ourselves 1-2 times per week with the lovely take away velo kurier service that would very politely bring some of the best food in the city to our door.

Not really much of an option here in Bern (besides Suban Thai), so we have loved saving the money now...God help me if we lived in Zurich - I'd be chubby and broke.
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Old 29.12.2020, 12:49
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

Does ones wife class as a neighbour?
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Old 29.12.2020, 13:03
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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Does ones wife class as a neighbour?
Where can I get one of thems..

I get the impression that people prefer to eat to live, not to live to eat, here. Even here in the FR region.

My cooking is famous and everyone loves to come by, but even I slowed down past few years and spend more time outdoors. Focus on other, more nurturing stuff, I guess.
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Old 29.12.2020, 13:14
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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I get the impression that people prefer to eat to live, not to live to eat, here. Even here in the FR region.
Yes, I get that impression often whenever I see people eating those god awful plastic carton processed shop sandwiches - how? I'd rather go hungry or eat a bag of crisps, at least I'd enjoy that...
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Old 29.12.2020, 13:15
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

We renovated the kitchen before we moved into our house.

We had planned a largely cosmetic renovation, keeping the new appliances in the same place as the original design.

Day one of the renovation a neighbor came over to inspect the plans, demanding that the fan vent be removed to the other side of the house. Apparently the previous owner's cooking bothered him.

So a rather large unplanned expense and several weeks lost to redesign the kitchen at the last minute...

The price one pays when there are few alternatives to living in a fishbowl.

---


One of life's little ironies: A few years later the gentleman married lovely lady who is a fantastic cook. Their fan vents into our garden... but given how scrumptious everything smells it would never occur to me to complain.
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Old 29.12.2020, 13:40
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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We renovated the kitchen before we moved into our house.

We had planned a largely cosmetic renovation, keeping the new appliances in the same place as the original design.

Day one of the renovation a neighbour came over to inspect the plans, demanding that the fan vent be removed to the other side of the house. Apparently the previous owner's cooking bothered him.

So a rather large unplanned expense and several weeks lost to redesign the kitchen at the last minute...

The price one pays when there are few alternatives to living in a fishbowl.

---


One of life's little ironies: A few years later the gentleman married lovely lady who is a fantastic cook. Their fan vents into our garden... but given how scrumptious everything smells it would never occur to me to complain.
Personally, for that large a modification at the last minute, I would've asked the neighbour if he was prepared to contribute to the cost of relocation (and redesign!). Only fair, when he would be the only one to benefit from the change. Otherwise, no dice!
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Old 29.12.2020, 14:07
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Re: Do your neighbours cook?

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The price one pays when there are few alternatives to living in a fishbowl.
I don't understand this ... I would think that one of the consequences of living in a fishbowl is that you have no alternative other than to deal with the other fish in the bowl, given that they are reasonably polite fish. Sorry melloncollie that your plans were messed up! You are kind to have given in... I most likely wouldn't have.
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