BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Statistical Office 15 November spilled the beans about how the Swiss spend their food money. Given the relatively high cost of meat in the country, it’s a wonder that the highest expenditure, for meat, is not more than CHF149 a month on average, per household. The second biggest outlay goes for bread and cereal, CHF101 a month, followed closely by milk and cheese, CHF100 a month.
Vegetables are in fourth place, with CHF75. Spending on fruit: CHF56.
The famous 12 kg per person of Swiss chocolate consumed is part of the CHF41 spent monthly on jam, honey and sweets. If you’re trying to work out how much the Swiss therefore spend on chocolate, remember that the consumption figures include tourists.
The food expenditure figures are part of a report on 2009 household spending in Switzerland published 15 November.
Household food and drink spending also goes for (average per month, per household):
- coffee, tea, cocoa – CHF24
- mineral water, juice, sweet drinks – CHF36
- alcoholic beverages – CHF68, of which wine is CHF52
- dining out – CHF462, of which CHF222 is meals in restaurants, cafes and bars, CHF66 is alcoholic beverages and CHF62 is non-alcoholic drinks. The rest is snacks and drinks in small food outlets.
By Ellen Wallace
Most of us don’t have the luxury of going out into the garden, picking the asparagus, then cooking it within minutes, which gives a heavenly vegetable.
The best alternative, and this is the season for it, is to go to the farmer’s door early in the morning to buy freshly picked stalks, then cook them for lunch. Canton Geneva has several farmers who sell directly but be forewarned that they are likely to be sold out by 10:00 at the height of the season!
Canton Valais is famous for its asparagus and Saillon is renowned as the Valais capital, with green and white equally popular.
This week’s foodie overview
I spend a lot of time reading, researching and tweeting about food and restaurants these days, so I thought I’d jot down my tweets from the last few days. These are from both The Rambling Epicure and Swiss Foodies and should give you an overview of what’s going on in the foodie world this week, in Switzerland and around the world.
Sometimes I couldn’t resist writing about the snow and skiing conditions, because that determines how a lot of us in Switzerland plan our weekends, and therefore what restaurants we go to or what recipes we cook up. And of course occasionally, watches and wine . . . and this week, the Vancouver Winter Olympics and those cute wooly pigs you see in the photo.
The annual La Semaine du Goût started today in Switzerland, and runs until 27 September 2009.
Each canton offers an uncanny variety of activities for adults and children alike. From tasting workshops and cooking classes, to biodynamic growing techniques and wine making and tasting and even markets: there is truly something for everyone. Just click on the link above to see what is going on in your canton or area.
Every year, the main activities are focused on a “star” town or city. This year it is Delémont in canton Valais, where for CHF 50, 13 gastronomic restaurants will be offering a 4-course meal accompanied by the 4 Etoile d’Or wines that win the organization Les Vins du Valais‘s wine competition, which is headed this year by Marie-Thérèse Chappaz, Switzerland’s star female wine maker, whose vineyards are located in Fully in canton Valais.
Les Vins du Valais also offers special taste initiation events for young people between the ages of 16 and 25, allowing them to taste the award-winning wines and start training their tastebuds. Tasting events have also been organized in schools (ask at your child’s school for more detailed information; informational brochures are available for teachers on the sites listed above, under “Ecoles“).
The annual Swiss tasting week promotes local and Swiss products of all types: sausages, wine, herbs, fruit, vegetables, cheese, etc.
Every year, Association pour la Promotion du Goût, the Swiss association for promoting taste, chooses a Ville du Goût, or city of taste. This year it is indeed Delémont, as stated in our Swiss tasting week: La Semaine du Goût post of 19 September 2009, but Delémont is located in canton Jura, instead of in canton Valais. More about the gastronomic events in Delémont can be found on their website.
This includes tasting classes for children the week of 21 to 25 September. Please consult the site for more information.
Wine and chocolate: a family affair
A group of nine Côtes-de-l’Orbes wine producers are presenting their wines at the Caveau de Romainmôtier, along with chocolates from Pascale Philippe’s chocolate shop Passionnément Chocolat in Yverdon-les-Bains.
In college I used to buy dark chocolate and a good bottle of Bordeaux and go to the local art cinema to consume all three together, so I was excited to learn that someone had finally decided to “marry” chocolate and red wine in the form of a tasting.
For the Côtes-de-l’Orbes wine tasting, Pascale Philippe and the wine producers carefully chose an assortment that would fit the tastes of everyone, adults and children alike. After all we’re in Switzerland, and we all know our chocolate, so the assortment has to be large if it wants to meet the tastes of everyone. The selection is varied, and includes 10 different chocolates:
- 40.5% Ghana
- 70% Venezuela
- 85% Abinao
- Orange ganache
- Salt caramel ganache
- Praline with pine nuts and citons confits
- Crunchy feuillantine praline
- Jasmine-flavored praline
- Chunky chocolate pavé flavored with Raisinée, a fruit-flavored fortified wine originally from around Fribourg
- Pepper-flavored carré
The wine producers came up with four different “formulas”:
Gourmet tasting: Formule Dégustation
With this offer, for CHF9, you can taste 0.5 dl of two different wines and mix it with a selection of four different chocolates.
Chocolate lovers tasting: Formule Gourmandise
This formula lets you taste 0.5 dl of three different wines and taste six different chocolates for CHF15.
Duo tasting: Formule Duo
Several people can share this formula. You choose 0.5 dl of eight different wines and try them with 20 different chocolates for CHF40.
Formula for children and teenagers: Formule jeune
What’s really special about this is that you can bring the whole family. This wine tasting doesn’t have to be an all-adult affair. The Formule jeune lets under-18ers taste four different chocolates and two different artisanal juices from the region for CHF6.
If you’re not interested in the chocolate, you can of course just taste the wines, along with a selection of sausage and ham or on their own.
How to get there: Place du Bourg, 1323 Romainmôtier, Switzerland
Open Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 11 h to 19 h, from 1st May to 30 September.
The Rambling Epicure covered this Cave Berthaudin’s spring wine tasting and gala dinner at the Beau Rivage in Ellen Wallace’s blog Among the vines.