Mont-PÃ¨lerin, Switzerland: The Country Manor & The Cable Car (1st of 6 parts)
Vevey, Switzerland: The Old Town, A Great Big Fork, & Charlie Chaplin (2nd of 6 Parts)
Vevey, Switzerland: The Market & The Museum ”“ 2 Photo Essays (3rd of 6 Parts)
Lausanne, Switzerland: Up The Hills & Fondue for Two (4th of 6 parts)
Geneva, Switzerland: The Smallest Big City In Europe (5th of 6 parts)
Fondue x Four: Food in Switzerland (Last of 6 parts)
We’re off to the market today at Vevey’s Grande Place. Every Tuesday and Saturday the immense square is filled with farmers and their produce and there’s an arts and crafts market too. Admittedly, I’m disappointed with this market. There aren’t as many stalls as I thought there’d be and the assortment of fruits and vegetables is far from stellar. This Swiss market pales in comparison to the ones I went to in Rotterdam and Paris. It may be because it’s winter or the late hour I’ve come (10:00 am); nevertheless, I wander around to see what’s on display.
Every European market has a charcuterie (processed pork) cart and a fromage (cheese) cart. In the case of the Swiss, they consume twice as much pork as they do beef. One cannot undermine their enthusiasm for their sausages. The characteristic horseshoe-shaped sausages you see hanging from the hooks are called saucissons vaudois (smoked pork and beef sausages) and saucissons au foie (smoked liver sausages).
Cheese is a good example of the importance of the dairy industry in Switzerland. Approximately a third of all the milk produced by Swiss cows goes into making milk products, one of which ”“ if not the most complex and interesting ”“ is cheese. If the French claim to have over 400+ types of cheese, the Swiss can rightly say they have as many, if not more.
With the exception of poivre et sel (salt and pepper), the Swiss aren’t fond of international cuisines, much less the highly spiced ones. The typical Swiss restaurant is more of a homely place serving local specialties. Restaurants serving the cuisines of the world are found almost exclusively in Switzerland’s two large cities, Geneva and Zurich.
A word here about Swiss tomatoes, and let’s disregard that age-old question about whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. I consider it the latter. Anyway. Swiss tomatoes are the BEST I have ever tasted. Never have I eaten such tomatoes that actually taste like … tomatoes! Sweet and remarkably juicy, they have a flavor that rings as pure and true as the cool Alpine air. I’m tempted to bring home a sack and eat them like apples.
Musée de l’Alimentarium
Food Museum. Two words is all it takes to get me into this establishment that celebrates the evolution of food. I’m no museum person really, but if it’s about food, then I’m there. Nestlé’s Musée de l’Alimentarium was built in the 1980s, a celebration of the development of food through exhibits, film clips, captivating dioramas, and interactive activities.
The Alimentarium has three floors, and this wall of pots and pans is usually the first thing visitors see. It faces the Nestlé kitchen in the museum which also serves coffee to those who are so inclined.
Different Nestlé products through the decades and how they’ve changed. Most of these are food items I grew up with and continue to have in my pantry to this day.
Here are some vintage items that prove that “…everything old is new again,” or at least still hanging around.
Some of my favorite parts of the Alimentarium are these:
There’s this computer program that seeks to determine what kind of eater I am through various questions. Turns out I’m a … gourmet eater! I agree. Somewhat.
I would never have imagined that this is an antique machine that was used to make condensed milk!