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Switzerland: where to go and what to try

Only in the mountains, you can feel such an extraordinary elation without reason.

In fact, there are reasons, and very weighty ones — clean air, alpine snacks and breathtaking panoramic views.

After all, when climbing and going down, you can simultaneously contemplate both majestic peaks and the greenish smooth surface. Lake Geneva, which locals simply call Lehman.

Only in motion does that harmony open up, that unique fusion of stunning luxury and simplicity, in which all travelers fall in love literally at first sight.

Emotions of the Alpine Riviera

Switzerland — a country of cheeses, chocolate, clocks, palaces, edelweiss, inviting snow-capped peaks, vineyards, gorgeous ski slopes and devilishly beautiful views, as well as high-mountain cuisine, born in a lingering winter. Being here for the first time, many admit that they would like to “burn old age” in these parts.

But it seemed to me that you should not put off the best for later.

Friedrich Nietzsche I somehow joked that this country is so beautiful that I would like to die of delight, but it is better to live and enjoy.

Life in Lausanne moves measuredly and predictably, and this is its special charm.

Getting into Lausanne, you understand that the flow of time here is felt differently. In this city, you can spend eternity and one day, not regretting that you missed something important. Life here is moving so measuredly and predictably, which is not surprising when a train’s delay for a couple of minutes causes almost panic on the platform.

And the cuisine is traditionally thorough and simple.

Although now in Swiss restaurants you can find anything you want, looking, for example, in the famous institution Ann-Sofi Peak (winner of three Michelin stars) at the Hotel Beau-Rivage.

In the menu under the romantic name «Emotions» she constantly offers something new exclusively from seasonal local products.

Anne-Sophie believes that in Lausanne do not have long to wait for inspiration.

It can be scooped from the depths of Lake Geneva, collected on Alpine lawns, and charged by the Swiss themselves, who carry the best from different national traditions.

And if Beau-rivage located right on the waterfront, in an atmosphere of peace and romance, then competing with it Lausanne palace & Spa — in the heart of the city, surrounded by banks, shops and museums.

Here, in the building of 1885, you can stay in the room where Coco Chanel lived, and walk along the corridors of such a width that made it easy for women to bow out and bow in crinolines. Chief Edgar Bovier It offers not only to try its menu, but also to purchase its own collection of olive oils and seasonings based on vinegar in the store at the hotel. Specialty now «Pig from Ormalingen» He asks to order in advance.

Demand is such that on the Basel farm, they may end.

Council from Chanel

Our next point is the town Villars, where we meet the director of the local tourism office Guy Chanel, to ask about the secrets of local cuisine.

Guy Chanel tells about the old Swiss custom of initiation to the highlanders with the help of a skull and alpine horns.

«All the main dishes of Swiss cuisine are peasant are simple. The principle is the following: life in the highlands with a harsh climate fosters a love for hearty dishes, says Mr. Chanel. — Now we will eat fondue.

Everyone knows what it is? ”-“ Of course! ”-“ And now you need to drink water and you will not see it again, because fondue can never be drunk with water, otherwise it will not be good at all. ” Mimicry Guy is worthy of acting skills Marcello Mastroianni. «And we will drink white wine only, and not a drop of water from now on! «

I learned this rule forever. Initially, fondue is melted remnants of various cheeses, into which pieces of bread are dipped, that’s all.

Local parties prefer to follow traditions and dipping bread from coarse flour into this appetizing brew, while in restaurants they offer to wrap up seasonal vegetables, slices of veal, tiny onions, gherkins, mini potatoes in liquid cheese. “We take a piece of something tasty and stumble upon a long fork,” continues Guy. — Then we drop it into the cheese and slowly rotate it so that it can grab.

And now rather put in your mouth.

And finally, wash down with white wine. And we do not regret it, pour more! ”

Traditionally, cheese fondue is dipped in bread and washed down exclusively with white wine.

Today, each region offers cheese fondue, which it produces: Apzesel, Savoy, Friborg, Fondue in half from Gruyere and Emmental, three cheese fondue. Yes, and there is nothing better than putting a table with a boiling cheese pot under the open sky. Charles de Gaulle once very successfully joked about his hard share: “How can you manage a country in which there are more cheeses than days in a year?” But in Switzerland there are even more varieties of cheese than in France five hundred.

Local cheesemakers use mostly unpasteurized milk, so each village has its own cheese factory and its own cooking secrets. Cook it in the mountains and kept here in the caves.

Hard cheeses are stored, like wines, literally for centuries.

Where is fondue, there is raclette

All regions of the country argue about who is the birthplace of this uncomplicated dish.

Pickled gherkins, ham and potatoes as a base, and further variations a lot — mushrooms, shrimps, peppers, bacon are poured with specially melted cheese.

It’s easier now to use racletta, but earlier it was necessary to melt the cheese on the hearth, not letting it burn, and then scrape it with a special spatula.

About 500 sorts of cheese are produced in Switzerland.

Solalex refuge — A typical Swiss mountain restaurant serving fondue and raclette.

But in the pretty village of Solaleks on the southern edge of the Diabler Glacier there are no ski lifts. But you can get here by snowmobile from Grion.

If in the evening or at night by the light of torches — do not forget that it is getting dark early in these parts, then you will have an extremely romantic walk under the starry sky.

For those who would like to combine skiing with a tasting of local cuisine, I recommend a designer restaurant Refuge l’Espace, where the wide “blue”, that is simple, route on the glacier Glacier 3000 leads. The place went on a rocky cliff called Quille du Diable, whose height is 1000 m!

Simple royal cuisine

I continued exploring alpine cuisine in Chalet RoyAlp hotel @ spa. It is located opposite the train station, but the most effective and convenient way is to roll straight to the restaurant and, changing shoes to cozy slippers, select a table by the window.

We started eating potato dishes, and for the first time in my life I tried ryoshti. He occupies one of the top positions in the top culinary list of any Swiss. Here, love for this earthen tuber is perhaps even stronger than in Belarus.

Roshty consists actually of potatoes, butter and salt.

Here I was offered it with alpine cheese and traditional bacon.

Potatoes are all around.

And roesti is one of the most popular Swiss dishes.

It is served both for breakfast and as a side dish.

And he may be in the company of homemade sausages, dried tomatoes, pasta or Viennese schnitzel. But in general, it resembles the Belarusian pancakes.

According to the ability to quickly turn the potato grated and formed into fritters and fry it until golden brown, the level of culinary skill is determined.

Another popular recipe with potatoes in the main role — tartiflet.

This is a simple dish consisting of products that can be found in any home: onions, relochon cheese, ham, herbs, white wine and, of course, the «starch king».

On holidays, the attraction of cooking and eating this potato casserole is no less popular than the performance of artists.

It was in Switzerland that potatoes ceased to be considered food for the poor and acquired a new status.

Contributed to this chef Francois Massialo, He told about the tartiflet in his famous book The Cook for Kings and Bourgeois, which was released in 1691.

Above the sky

High in the mountains, I was waiting for a few more culinary bestsellers.

Firstly, «Pierrada», or «Hot Stone».

It turns any meal not into a procedure to satisfy hunger, but into a kind of team building.

With the help of long forks on this hot board you need to fry pieces of fish, vegetables, cheese, seafood, fruits, veal, chicken, lamb.

In Villars everything is thought out to the smallest detail.

From the central square of the city there is a train leading to the mountains.

Opposite of Chalet RoyAlp @ spa, he makes a special stop.

And we declassified restaurant Le resto in Alp de Chaux, which holds the Russian-Swiss family of Jean-Marc and Elena. They cook the best meat in the area.

I also tried another “bomb”, the most popular grill, a dish made of potatoes, beef, or veal, or blood sausage, pork belly, spices, tomatoes, and even with fried eggs.

All variations consist of an abundance of pork, wheat and corn grits, potatoes, butter, and served in gigantic portions. Do not just think about calories high in the mountains.

Before you find yourself at the foot, you have to pretty much try, so everything is not so scary.

The next day in Grion in the restaurant Cookie I was offered the freshest shrimp and squid! “A place in the mountains and serving excellent seafood — how is that?” I asked host Dave. It turned out that he lived for a long time right on the ocean and came from Australia.

And settling in the mountains, however, on the shore of a small mountain lake, did everything not to change his passion for the gifts of the sea.

Lake Paradise

And I finish my voyage in the hotel «Three Crowns» in town Vevey, where the Russian Empress Alexandra often stayed. And now among the guests you can meet high officials, look at the snow-capped peaks through the bathroom window and swim in the pool, watching people walking along the embankment.

And of course, dine in a restaurant with a Michelin star.

Mrs. managing Gunel, a lean blonde, reminiscent of the singer of the group «ABBA», was originally from Sweden: «What a pity that you are leaving! We have seasonal gastronomic festivals on the embankment, in which all coastal hotels participate. We give guests invitations.

But anyone can buy a ticket.

Lakefish are so quickly caught that they do not have time to grow.

Usually the daily catch is enough for everyone.

And then go to taste the first course on one terrace, then move to the next room and find a salad menu there.

The next hotel will provide a main course, then a dessert.

Thus, you can get around several institutions and try the tasting menu in different interiors.

“Gunel! And what do you like most of all? ”-“ I, as a lakeside inhabitant, advise filet de persch, Ie lake perch. The fish are caught so quickly that it does not have time to grow.

Everything depends on our regular fisherman, but he is a lucky man, and usually there is enough daily catch for everyone. ”

The neighboring vineyards of Lovevo descend by terraces to the Leman embankment between Lausanne and Montreux. «Grape» the train drives along a mountain similar to a washboard, and the route ends with a mandatory tasting at Chabre (Train des Vognes at www.cff.ch). Then you can reach the station Rivaz and go to the cellars of the Château de Glerol (www.glerolles.ch).

They have a small pebble beach, where it is pleasant to sit with a glass of «Love» and contemplate the snow-covered peaks of France on the opposite bank of the Lemans.

Shock therapy

Of course, chocolate and Switzerland are identical things. This country is one of the main exporters and produces approximately as many hundreds of varieties of chocolate as cheeses.

He is the most important dessert and it is difficult to compete with it.

According to some reports, the Swiss consume more than ten kilograms of chocolate per capita per year.

Chocolate is the main dessert in Switzerland.

Locals consume it up to 10 kg per capita per year.

However, there are other local desserts — apricot dumplings, Marilinknedel, pancakes, topped with apple jam with powdered sugar, almond and chocolate Brunsley cookies.

Here I go to the chocolate studio «Sing» in Vevey (www.confiserie-poyet.ch) and get to the tasting. Madame Poye begins to talk about her numerous travels around the world, reinforcing each new story with candy.

For example, with the taste of tom yam soup — how do you like this combination?

So the Poye spouses materialized their memories of Thailand.

This is followed by a candy dedicated to Liberty Island — with a taste of Havanese cigars. “And this is what?” — I get carried away. “And this one is called Calvin.

We created it for the French Protestant church. ” «Have you ever been in Russia? And where is the chocolate embodiment of my homeland?

And what will it be — a candy filled with alcohol? «-» We are working on this project, «Madame seriously replies. — Most likely, we will try to reproduce the taste borscht and black caviar«.

Cheta Poyet captured in the shoes of Charlie Chaplin.

But the most important thing in the chocolate shop — Charlie Chaplin’s shoes. Monument to the Great Dumb is very close, here he lived the rest of his life and was buried. Cheta Poye wanted to first capture the cane and the pot in chocolate, but they were already patented.

I received a box with Chaplinsky shoes as a gift and went to the embankment.

And again, food was waiting for me where I did not expect it. A vivid reminder jumped out of Lake Geneva — I went to the food monument, to the famous «Fork», sticking out of lehmann.

And next to it there is the “Alimentarium” food museum.

Indeed, to try to understand this country, first of all you need to taste it.

I opened the tiny shoe box and proceeded to the round toe of Charlie’s right shoe.

The famous food monument near the Museum of Nutrition "Alimentarium".

What to bring

Cuckoo-clock — Swiss watches in the form of a traditional mountain chalet, surrounded by plants.

The main Swiss souvenir — cow bells, fairly small and perfectly suited as a key fob.

On cows on holidays they hang real weights more than 10 kg.

Swiss wine «Love» practically “restricted to travel” — usually the entire crop is drunk within the country.

A rare drink will delight wine gourmets.

Potty mother Royon with the coat of arms of Switzerland with marzipan vegetables and fruits.

He recalls a brave woman who was not afraid to pour soup on the heads of soldiers of the Savoy army.

In the vicinity of Diablerets do local variety of Gruyere — this cheese.

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