I will miss the cheese called Pizza Mix! I do not know what kind of mixture is in this package, but I love using it with all kinds of casseroles, on top of soups, and even on the occasional pizza. When I make my Swiss version of a Mexican meal (on a rare occasion), this gives the food a great (if inauthentic) taste. Swiss-Mex.
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I will not miss most of the Swiss cuisine, nor the food prices.
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As I am writing about Swiss food, this is the perfect time to talk about Geschnetzeltes. How I was here for ten months and knew not about this typical Zürcher food, I do not know, but now I do, and I had to give it a try. How can you go to Berlin and not have a Currywurst? How can you go to Gruyeres and not have cheese fondue? Italy without pasta?
It was suggested to me that we try the Zeughauskeller which I had seen many times when walking in Old Town near Paradeplatz. It struck me as a kind of a longstanding institution, but also as a place where tourists would end up.
A Zeughaus is an arsenal, and this building was constructed in 1487. Legend has it that William Tell’s crossbow was issued in this very place. The space has been a restaurant since 1926 and is decorated with all kinds of old artillery.
With many open tables, we chose one near a window, and when we started speaking to the waitress, she wanted to know if we wanted an English menu. As much as we tried speaking to her in German, she kept coming back at us in English. I knew it was a touristy place….
Nevertheless, I ordered the Kalbsgeschnetzeltes with Rösti. The waitress brought it to the table in a covered silver tureen, spooned half of it onto the plate next to the Rösti and placed the tureen over a tealight candle to keep it warm. If I were to describe the dish, it would be a veal stroganov.
Now, usually in a Swiss restaurant, the waitstaff leaves you alone until it is clear to them that everyone at the table is completely finished with their meal, but our Kellnerin kept coming back. She put the mustard jar back in place even when H was still using it for his wurst. Then she kept looking into the tureen to see if it was empty yet. Really. This was annoying. And not at all Swiss.
I know that I have been living here long enough when we came out $72 lighter for two main courses and two small beers, and that price didn’t make us blink an eye.