The Swiss Abyss
by Paula Harman
About me: It’s hard to sum up someone in just ...
No peanut butter, cheddar cheese, or deli meat!
Grocery shopping in Switzerland is definitely a task. First of all- the prices are outrageous. I bought a small package of taco seasoning (yes, the Swiss have Mexican food!!) today for chf1.80! In American dollars that’s almost the same- almost $2.00 for a package of taco seasoning that would cost maybe $0.33 in the US. I will be requesting many packs of taco seasoning by mail from Mom…
Another problem with shopping here is the fact that I dont have a car. I have to ride the metro to get anywhere really from my apartment, which means that anything I buy at the store must be carried all the way back to my place. Groceries either must be bought in much smaller quantities, or I just need to really bulk up and work on my biceps.
My first couple of trips to the store, I was looking mostly for quick, cheap meals that I could make and eat when I didn’t have much time. So, first thing that came to mind? Sandwiches! perfect. But I soon discovered that I am going to need to change my definition of a sandwich. The sliced bread here is called “toast”- and for good reason. It isnt very soft. (And it must sit in the store for a very long time because the package I bought was out of date the day I bought it! way to pay attention)
Also, the selection of meat for sandwiches is very limited. I have found no “real” deli meat (at least according to my definition) at all so far, and the meat that is available is funny looking and expensive. Some of it looks like very thin bologna with foreign objects embedded in the slices, while others look like thin, giant pieces of bacon (that stuff kind of scares me).
I did find one package of what appeared to be peppered turkey. It was expensive, but I bought it anyway. It proved to be fairly tasty, but not at all economical.
Before leaving, people used to always ask me if I liked Swiss cheese. I would laugh and say something along the lines of “no, I dont, but I’m sure the Swiss dont ONLY eat Swiss cheese!” I came to find out that this is true. The Swiss have a huge selection of different cheeses. All with different names and in different packages. However, I have yet to successfully tell the difference between all of these different cheeses and “Swiss cheese.” It all basically looks the same to me. It’s all white (granted, some of it has chunks of colored stuff in it) and it all looks just like Swiss cheese to me. So far, all of the cheese I have tasted here has tasted like Swiss cheese (bar that multi-pack of cheese that Chelsey bought tonight, it tasted like feet). So I may be learning to eat sandwiches without cheese, or-more likely-be acquiring a taste for white, hole-y cheese.
After realizing that meat sandwiches would not be a cheap, easy meal, I decided that I could stomach a pb&j every now and then. The selection of jellies and jams is wonderful! So many different kind of fruits and it all looks so delicious and fresh and flavorful. One small problem is that I have not been able to find any peanut butter. Nutella is the closest thing available as far as I can tell- so I may have to acquire a taste for Nutella and jelly sandwiches on crusty bread. However, I have not given up. I am sure I will find something cheap, easy, AND delicious very soon.
Next: pictures of “Swiss Stuff”!! be excited!!!