Thursday, October 14, 2010

What I brought home from Switzerland

I'm back from Switzerland and I thought I'd share with you some of my most prized purchases.

Not surprisingly my first purchase was cheese. But no ordinary cheese. In fact, it's a cheese I am hard pressed to find at home. It's called sbrinz and if you can find it here, it will cost more than Parmigiano Reggiano, then again, you might find it even more delicious. It's a full fat, hard, dry grating cheese that is used much like Parmigiano. But it's sweeter, creamier and oh so yummy!

In Appenzell I discovered this amazing dry, raw, smoked beef called Mostbröckli. I know, I know, it's not technically legal to bring meat into the US, but I couldn't help myself. It is shelf-stable and vacuum packed and it tastes like nothing I've ever tried before. It's leaner than prosciutto and less salty. It's smoky, sweet and beefy. It's also irresistible and literally forced me to break the law.

Appenzeller alpenbitter
Also from Appenzell I got a little tiny airplane size bottle of Appenzeller Alpenbitter. The bitters are made from 42 herbs that grow in the alps. It's quite nice over ice. I might be able to find it in the US, but a tiny bottle was an impulse buy.

Chocolat Marta
I fell in love with Lausanne. It's such a pretty city set in the hills overlooking a lake. Think of a slightly less expensive version of Geneva. Just below the cathedral, at the tiny cafe, Le Barbare, they make and sell Chocolat Marta. It might very well be the best hot chocolate I've ever had. It's super rich and made with very high quality chocolate and vanilla. I was thrilled to be able to buy a bag to take home and enjoy this Winter.

Right before I left the Zurich airport, I purchased a box of these delightful mini macarons called "Luxemburgerli" from the Sprungli shop. They came highly recommended. Filled with liquor spiked cream fillings they are bite sized and a sweet reminder of Switzerland. They are not available outside of Switzerland, so far as I know, and must be eaten within three days of purchase.

So, what delicious things have you brought home from Switzerland?