Thursday, July 2, 2009

These small wonders

I will never, ever put a Rob Thomas reference in a post title again.

Of course, this would have been highly appropriate for the jewel-colored, miniature macarons I just wrote about, but the nature of this post is write about other tasty, less-than-CHF 5 additions of mine. Think of it as Citysearch's Three-buck Bites, but adjusted for Switzerland's minimum wage (which is rumored to be CHF 18 -- about US $17). So...count macarons (here, CHF 2.20) as one of those delights. Meanwhile:

  • Coffee, preferably subsidized by the office at CHF 2. It's foamy and requires two little cream cups and a packet of sugar to come close to the less-bitter, American Starbucks side. But it is the best accompaniment for eight hours of work, especially with its hint of cocoa.
  • Flavored Nestea has come in handy on day trips. I'm a sucker for limited edition flavors, so I coughed up CHF 3 for a bottle of pineapple-mango Nestea. It would have been much better if Nestea had decided on one straight flavor...
  • French fries: the real reason for the CHF 5 limit, as it's the exact price for a plate of starchy satisfaction. You don't need to go to McD's for McD-tasting fries; just hit up one of the kabob places on the sidewalk. (Note that kabob doesn't mean "on a stick" here; sorry State Fairers!) The resemblance is uncanny, but the major difference is that mayonnaise, along with ketchup, is served on the side.
  • The best part about being in Switzerland is being able to complain about paying over CHF 2.25 for a pain au chocolat. (I get mine for CHF 1.70 here - and I'm already anticipating the shock once I return to Minneapolis and pay for my new addiction at French Meadow). Also, complaining about chocolate - but that is for another post. Specifically, the one that details my trip to the rural Nestle-Cailler chocolate factory (wait for it!)
  • Yogurt: Dannon "fruit on the bottom" doesn't get advertised here, because the fruit's there by default. When Tomo and I went grocery shopping together, we wondered what our groceries said about us; we concluded that his one baguette and chocolate covered cookies screamed "bachelor without kitchen." Meanwhile, my eight cups of yogurt...all we could come up with was, "Heidi likes yogurt." I really appreciate the passion fruit and mocha flavors here, neither of which are widely available at the local Safeway; the premium yogurt here is packaged in a black-and-gold luxury wrapper and contains fleur de sel - salted caramel - and kiwi seeds. For CHF 1. Score.
  • Finally, who could forget bread and cheese? Yes, that is my "homecooked" dinner below: cucumbers, salami, an olive mini-baguette, and some Gruyere (the Swiss cheese).
  • And speaking of homecooked dinners, I'm off to make croque-madames! (Think a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, topped with a fried egg.)

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