After almost two years of toiling and grinding, I am pleased and proud to announce that T has completed his MBA program. Today was his last class and presentation; yesterday, his last two tests. We will no doubt be celebrating tonight, as we break open a bottle of Barolo & a Chocolate Bunny, and ride the rails to Budapest…
Food Bits: St Gallen
Before we leave Switzerland, I wanted to document some of the more interesting food finds in this area. Some we have tried, and some we have yet to…
Olma Bratwurst: These Sausages are something that I couldn’t get enough of when I first arrived, but I think that I have had my share now. (I guess I could go for one last Brat before we leave..:)) They are a milky white Veal Sausage and are typically grilled and served piping hot..without mustard, (to my dismay) but with a Bürli. (Hefty Bread Roll)
Rösti: This potato hash-brown-gut bomb is served in many places around St. Gallen. Basically, it is HUGE fried potato pancake, in many cases served with loads of cheese, bacon or ham, and a fried egg atop. Sounds very tasty, and always smells really good as it passes our table heading for the next Coronary Victim, and for that reason, I have yet to sample it..
Cheese and Fondue: I really would like to try some authentic Fondue while we are here, and we still have some time. There is PLENTY of cheese in this area, Appenzeller, being the foremost. The cheese here is good. Most I think are made from Raw Milk, which gives the cheeses more of a full body. Supposedly, pasteurization is somewhat frowned upon by most cheese makers here because it takes away from the flavor.
Chocolate: I have sampled my share and then some of this stuff. The chocolate display in the Grocery Store is quite impressive, as is their Chocolate Easter Bunny display. They carry so many varieties of filled chocolates, plain chocolate as well as chocolate with honey nougat pieces (my favorite) and milk chocolate with raisins and nuts, (also my favorite) The latter one is called “The Tourist,” for reasons unclear to me.(maybe only the Tourists like it?) I think that the most interesting chocolate that we have had is the PopRock Chocolate Bark that we tasted the first day that I arrived here. (Milk Chocolate and Coconut is a close second)
Yogurt and Dairy: I have been living on Yogurt since I arrived. I have become also, a big fan of Birchermüseli, which is basically Yogurt mixed with fruit and Müseli. They sell almost as many types of Yogurt here as they do Chocolate. They have all the normal flavors that you would see in the US, and then they have some not so normal flavors as well. Some different ones that I have seen are Chestnut, Hazelnut, Prune and Apple. They also sell many different custards in yogurt type containers, like Crème Brulee and Flan.(something that I have also been tempted to buy many times) Something that I have yet to try is flavored Quark. It can almost be mistaken for yogurt by the packaging, but so far, I haven’t made the mistake of buying it and thinking it WAS yogurt. The Quark comes in just about as many flavors as the Yogurt does, which is pretty interesting. I am still not sure how it is consumed. Do you eat it like you would eat a yogurt? I mean, it is cheese, so that seems a little odd. Maybe it is like Cream Cheese, and you spread it on your toasted bagel? I might just have to buy one and test it out.
Bread: They sell just about every kind of bread here, but I have to say, my favorite so far, is the Finnenbrot, a seeded wholegrain and Rye bread.. (also called Volkorn bread in Germany) I am determined when I return home, to perfect this one, because it is so good. I think my second favorite bread has been a pretzel like bread that is shaped into a ring, called Silserkrantz.
Pastries: So, I haven’t been that good about trying all the pastries under the sun here. I think that is because, for me, sometimes pastries just don’t taste as good as they look. Here, they definitely look good, but most also look super sweet. I am much more of a Chocolate Person, I think, and not so much a Marzipan and Creme person.. I think the most interesting pastry that I feel as if I need to try before we leave, is called “Vermicelli.” As the name suggests, it looks like noodles atop some sort of mound of Whipped Crème with a Strawberry on top. In reality, it is a sweetened chestnut puree that is extruded through some sort of noodle making machine. In Italy, I believe that this pastry is called Mont Blanc, hmm, or is that France? I have tried the “Berliner” Donut, which was quite pleasing, filled with a raspberry jam. I had to see if the Swiss Berliner lived up to my Grandma Elsie's famous poppyseed and jam filled donut. Alas, they did not… Grandmas takes the cake, or shall I say, donut… I did have dessert one night, in which I sampled a Dessert Waffle. Had it been freshly hot off the griddle, I would have been quite pleased, but this one, was..well, stale,cold…and a little limp.
Cookies: In this area, the most well known cookie is called Leckerli. It is basically a soft ginger bread type cookie with honey, spices and sometimes candied fruit of some sort. I bought some that was dipped in dark chocolate, and it was really good. Meringues are also seen quite a bit around this area. The concept of Meringue (egg whites, sugar) was actually invented in Switzerland, in a town called Meiringen. Macaroons are another cookie that I have seen around. In Zürich, I bought a box and was able to sample all nine flavors. These Macaroons are like the French kind, colorful and sandwiched together with some sort of buttercream filling. I didn’t really think that I was a Macaroon person, but after sampling these, I changed. The filling was a little sweet, but the contrast in texture of the cookie and the flavorful filling was, mmm, oh so good.
Beverages: Aside from Wine, Beer, and the usual Sodas & Sparkling Waters, one drink that is common in this land of dairy is called Rivella. It is a soda made from milk serum…um, milk what? I think that if I didn’t know that, I may have tried one by now. Another drink that we have had a bit of, to warm us on these chilly nights is Gluwein, a warm spiced wine, served with a twist of orange. Of course, we have been drinking a few Caprihana’s as well. These are actually not that easy to find here. (surprised?:)) Many places don’t do cocktails, just Beer, Wine and some basic Liquor.
Stay tuned for more Food Bits from around..