on January 6, 2010
Switzerland – 08/12/09One Tuesday evening Paul and I ventured out into the Christmas European markets together. As I had been nosying around the previous week – on the day I ended up having a pseudo-Luxembourgian lunch – I had spotted a stall selling Swiss vegetarian grub. We went to see what was on offer.The stall had been nicely tricked out with Alpine scenes, skis and Swiss flags, and the staff had been tricked out in blue embroidered smocks. It was doing good business. Switzerland of course lies at the meeting point of three great influences – those of France, Italy and Germany. And these could be seen in the various dishes on offer and the ingredients that went into them – cheese, pasta, and hearty potatoes. All three were evident in my meal of Aelpler maccaroni - Alpine shepherd’s macaroni. This was a mix of macaroni pasta, whole new potatoes, and onion, under a cheese and milk sauce. The whole was a rather mustardy yellow in colour. I had ordered a large plateful for £5.00 (a small plate was £4.00). It was filling, but the contrast of potatoes and pasta just seemed a little odd to me. But this use of potatoes seems to be usual – the other dish on offer was raclette (£6.00), which was new potatoes, pickled onions and gherkins, topped with raclette cheese melted with a special machine. Paul had a mug of soup for his meal. I had a pint of Swiss Ueli beer instead – a German-style lager. As is the case with the markets the price was much more than I would expect to pay in a pub: £4.00. You actually have to pay £5.00, as this includes a £1.00 deposit for the glass, which you can reclaim if you return it. There were also Swiss chocolates on sale; but both of us decided to pass on dessert. Still, a useful little stop enabled us to polish off Switzerland, a few mere yards from where I had eaten Luxembourgish cuisine. But I still had a third visit to pay to the markets, to take a tour of German grub.
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