There’s plenty of Eating in Switzerland (Other than Chocolate) that you can get up to on your next vacation in this breath-taking country.
Whatever you might have heard about Switzerland is true – the country is like stepping into a picturesque postcard. When we headed there this summer, leaving behind the scorching dry heat of the desert, it was almost unbelievable just how vivid the shades of blue, white and green were in the country. We were lucky to find ourselves enjoying really good weather – bright and cheerful sunny when at the farmer’s markets, walking around town in Zurich, Interlaken, Lucern and even on our train ride to the mountains. And our lucky streak continued when we reached Jungfraujoch, which is a good 11,371ft above sea level, it snowed!
Now I know what you’re thinking – snowfall isn’t such a big deal to people that have spent a lifetime in countries that are blessed with every kind of weather. But for me, the girl that grew up in Goa where the sun always shines and winters hover around 25 degrees, this was a sight to behold! I ooh-ed and aah-ed and regaled in the snow falling in the palm of my hand – embarrassingly so! Pictures on this post aren’t edited in any way, have no filters and I’m not that great a photographer – says a lot about Switzerland, doesn’t it!
I’d be lying if I said we were only there for the snow. As is true for all our travels, there was plenty of eating. We walked from one exquisite chocolatier to the next ( tip for when in Switzerland – don’t get the packaged stuff), and ate copious amounts of the really good stuff. But there’s more food treasures there than just the chocolate.
Swiss Cheese Fondue – Being the kinda people that prefer cheese to chocolate, both M and I found ourselves sitting in front of many a Caquelon ( fondue pots usually made of enamelled cast iron) over mini portable stoves, dunking everything from bread to pickles to pears using really long stemmed forks. Cheese fondue consists of a blend of cheeses, wine and seasoning that continues to melt slowly at the table. The mixture is kept warm enough to keep the fondue smooth and in a liquid-like consistency but not so hot that it burns.
The weather and wine really compliment this whole exercise – I found it almost therapeutic to wind-down our evenings, at a much slower pace than usual. One of the few times that the sharing concept works like a charm. Of course you could be one of those that indulge in chocolate fondues ( yes that melting delicious things down to make them dippable) but we much preferred the cheese.
Rosti : You say p-o-t-a-y-t-o / p-o-t-a-a-t-o, I say lets cut the crap and listen to what the Swiss have to say. In its most basic form, Rosti is nothing but grated potatoes (cooked or raw) fried in a pan with a lot of butter and lightly seasoned with salt & pepper. That perfectly golden crust that can only come from the really good kinda butter. Its the stuff that my carb-loving dreams are made of! Eaten for breakfast with a side of sunny side up eggs or as a pairing with any other main course you order, the average rosti in Switzerland is memorable! You’ll forget all about the french fries, I promise!
Farmers Markets: Summer in Europe is the perfect playground for farmer’s markets – fresh produce at its peak, it feels like walking a couple of blocks from one part of town to the next will lead you to a pop up market selling the juiciest berries, gorgeous wheels of cheese and flowers! We spent time in Oerlikon Farmers Market in Zurich (bigger and more organized) and then the smaller markets around Bärenplatz and the adjacent side streets in Bern city and loved both in equal measure.
So you see, there’s so much more to Switzerland than chocolate, just waiting to be devoured.