Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chocolate, wine, cheese and fondues

Melting pot has nothing on Switzerland. When it came to the three main food groups there, chocolate, wine and cheese, I was in pig heaven (chocolate pig and Lindt bunnies). The chocolate is to die for. Nestle company is headquartered here and I truly believe that we don't get the same chocolate here in the US that they had in Lausanne. Swiss chocolate transports you to another world. I absolutely ate too much of it, but hey, in Rome or in Lausanne, do as the Romans and the Lausannians (??) do. Good stuff.

Let's move onto the wine. To wash the chocolate down with, what else? Wine in Switzerland is relatively sweet compared to the adjacent countries of France, Germany and Italy. Very drinkable though. Went to a winery on the other side of town where all of this was explained - in French - so I missed a good deal of the details. Besides, all I wanted was the tasting part anyway. After years of experience visiting wineries I think I know how it's made.

We had a generous wine tasting and without a doubt, we all left a bit happier. This was a group tour thing which I don't ordinarily do, but for wine...hey. The vineyards are just about ready to burst its leaf buds, so I didn't get to see much except potential vine wreaths in the vineyard. It was also very cold and I wasn't feeling all that great. It wasn't the wine.

Next was the cheese. Never met a cheese I didn't like. Christopher's turn for dinner and he made a traditional Swiss dinner with a sausage that I never heard of before. The next night we had company, a good pilot friend of Christopher's from Austrian Air, visiting who had never had "raclette." Me neither. It is another Swiss traditional "meal" with melted, almost fried, cheese, accompanied by sweet gherkins (corniches?), and lots of fresh baked bread. There was a third ingredient, but I forget what it was. Loved the cheese. Ate the bread. Drank the wine. And THEN was sick for two days. Worth it though.

After recovering from whatever it was I had (was it the cheese? was it the sudden cold weather? was it the wine? was it something caught on the plane? - who knows. I was sick.) I wanted to come home it was that bad. However, me and the KAT, whose real name is Narceese, rested very close to the bathroom for a couple of days and watching "Absolutely Fabulous" a roaring funny English comedy program. It helped in recovery tremendously. Narceese refused to make me tea however even though I gave him kitty treats all day long. Christopher would set up the tv and the DVD for AB before leaving for school. Just me and Narceese...

About two weeks later we went to fondue place and had REAL Swiss fondue like I've never had before. Bread, cheese and wine. The cheese was the star. Excellent. My host, Christopher, really acclimated me to Swiss ways.

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