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Travel With Us to Switzerland!

Summer Series 1 - Week 2

Guete Morge! Or good morning in Swiss-German.

Welcome aboard to our next adventure: Switzerland, which is a country that is located in central Europe and shares borders with five countries: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and the Principality of Liechtenstein. There are four main languages spoken in Switzerland: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. It is known for its three regions: the Alps which account for over half of the country, followed by the Central Plateau, and the Jura. Did you know that there are over 1,500 lakes in Switzerland too! Much of them produce roughly 6% of Europe’s fresh water.

Switzerland is known for many things, but some of the most interesting ones are the following:

  • Cows - people argue that Swiss cows are some of the purest in the world. They can often be found roaming the fields and steep inclines of mountains feeding off of fresh grass and water. The cows are responsible for making milk, cheese, and chocolates possible, and to this day these food products continue to make up a big part of the Swiss diet.

  • The Swiss Mountains and Alps which you can see by traveling on a train through them!

  • Cable Cars - these are some of the highest ones in the world. They travel up the mountains and Alps and are some of the only way The Swiss Mountains and Alps which you can see by traveling on a train through them!

The people of Switzerland typically eat about five times per day, but eat traditionally smaller meal portions than we eat. They begin each day with “Zmorge”, which is similar to our American breakfast, and start their day with this meal between 6:30-7:30 a.m. During this meal it is customary to have some of the following food items: bread with butter or jam, cold cereal, “museli” a homemade cereal similar to oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, or a “gipfeli”, which means croissant in English, served with a hot beverage like coffee or tea. These food items are typical for the mid-week zmorge, when the kids are off to school and the adults are off to work, but on the weekends it is customary to have a later zmorge, sometimes as late as 9:00 a.m in which food that is comparable to our brunches, with meats and pancakes, are eaten throughout the morning.

The next meal, or rather light meal, is called “Znüni” which is a morning snack for both grown ups and kids eaten a couple of hours after breakfast at about 9:00 a.m. Typical foods that are eaten for this morning snack include fruit, rolls, or croissants paired with a cup of coffee or tea. A nice pick me up to help your body to wake up and to stay awake!

Most of the meals are eaten around the same time frame every day, give or take an hour, but the one meal that is non-negotiable is “Zmittag”, which is eaten at 12:00 p.m every day. It is a collective practice within the Swiss culture to break for a hot meal at noon each day, and it is found impolite to call people during this time on the phone. This is normally the only true hot meal in the day, and this is where notable international dishes and other cuisines come into play. Whether it be Italian, Chinese, or American, this is the time to eat hot food that is not technically customary to Swiss foods and cuisine.

The next light snack or smaller meal during the day is typically eaten around 4:00 p.m, before supper, but not enough to ruin your appetite! Swiss people normally stick with cold foods like fruits, small cold cut and cheese finger sandwiches, and sometimes ice cream in the hot weather. Some fruits that they have over in Switzerland are similar types to the ones that we have in our local grocery stores, but different varieties like plums, kiwis, nectarines, peaches all of which are grown there.

The last and final meal, dinner, is called “Znacht” which is typically eaten between the hours of 6:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m. This meal is typically composed of cold foods sometimes referred to as “Café complet” which include a variety of the following fresh food items: Swiss bread, normally a fresh loaf for the whole family to enjoy at the table with butter, cheeses, cold cuts, jams, honey, served with hot drinks such as coffee or tea. Fresh bread is extremely popular over in Switzerland, in fact, it’s hard to find bread isles with prepackaged, processed bread like we have here in America. There are over 200 different traditional breads that are native to the Swiss area that are known for their hard exterior and soft interior. Bakeries are also very popular, so the bread and baked goods are plentiful to say the very least!

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