Universally Utilized

Many Swiss products are known internationally (watches, chocolate, cheese, army knives… see my list of Emblematic Exports). Today, we’re looking at products you may not be familiar with but that people here use or consume regularly.

First of all, let’s talk flowers. Red geraniums are definitely the go-to balcony flower. I see them everywhere!

The rest of the products we’re looking at today are food-related:
-If you want to add some flavor when you’re cooking, why not try Aromat or Maggi? I like Aromat on hard-boiled eggs, and we add Maggi when we make salad dressing and other sauces that need salt.

-There are some products that are 100% acquired tastes. In particular, I’m thinking of Le Parfait (foie gras in a tube) and Cenovis (there are no words). I’m not a fan of either one, but our cat really likes Le Parfait… in small doses.

-Something I’m not totally convinced on either is using Ricola (considered cough drops in the US) as candy. But there are a lot of more delicious, less medicine-y flavors of Ricola here, so I can kinda understand.

Let’s not forget beverages.
Nespresso is big here. George Clooney’s “What else?” ads pop up frequently.
-Another thing the Swiss (and other Europeans) drink is syrup. Not as gross as it sounds!  Syrup is just a concentration of flavor; add a little bit to your glass and fill the rest with water. Nice way to spruce up your H2O!
-Although, another way to spruce up water is to add bubbles! I know a lot of people with a soda club machine on their kitchen counter. Just be careful to check the expiration dates on the bottles or you could have this problem!
-Finally, talking about Swiss drinks wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Rivella. This is a soft drink produced from milk whey. Sounds disgusting, but trust me: order a red Rivella, and you’ll thank me.

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8 thoughts on “Universally Utilized

  1. Interesting list! I think I’m most interested in the foie gras if your cat is willing to share! My son has a carbonation machine; I will ask him if he’s aware of the expiration “bomb”. Glad you weren’t injured! Bet it got your heart racing.

  2. I loved your take on Swiss foods. Not much into goose liver myself. I lived in the Philippines for a time (tried Balut – cooked duck egg in the shell with a chick inside) and in the Netherlands too (where they have Stroopwaffels – chewy waffle cookies heavy on the molasses). Hope to read more. Good luck with the A-Z!

  3. So glad you mentioned Rivella! Love it love it love it. And believe me, the “Swiss” chocolate we buy here is NOT the same. Different cows eating different stuff (Swiss cows dine on Alpine grasses and flowers). So, Halley, feel free to send me some real Swiss chocolate! My favorite is Giandor from Migros 😉

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