Saturday, March 14, 2009

my perfect swiss meal

i was eager to fall into the eating trends of switzerland but alas, as one who does not eat red meat, wheat and limits their dairy intake, this was rather difficult. it wasn't until my last day in geneva that i experienced a true swiss meal that i could eat and enjoy (with the aid of lactaid, of course)! where did this magic happen, you ask? at the restaurant les armures, at les armures hotel in old town. it's the oldest restaurant and hotel in geneva and is the perfect place to go for swiss specialties.

we ate a deliciously fresh green salad and small portions of raclette. raclette is a white cow's milk cheese that is melted and served with small potatoes. it's portioned in small amounts so that you can get just a taste of it or eat a large amount, for those more dairy inclined. the cheese is melted so that there's almost a thin crust formed and tastes delicious with a good amount of fresh ground pepper. raclette is eaten with white wine--no water because it can form cheese balls in your tummy! there's some information about making raclette at home here. if you're looking to go out and try this dish in new york, the best option (based on internet research alone) seems to be swizz, where you can choose to order an appetizer or full size portion. according to their online menu, you can also get raclette at the bourgeois pig, which is a small fun restaurant to go to with two downtown locations.

to finish off the meal, i had pear sorbet with williamine, a pear liqueur. the sorbet was quite fresh and had chunks of pear. as i am somewhat of a lightweight, it tasted best when it was all mashed together. i picked up a bottle of williamine to bring back home. i plan to either drink it neat, serve it over sorbet or try it on top of vanilla ice cream.

and a closing note about chocolate: because what would switzerland be without it? besides gorgeous...although most supermarket brands are supposed to be good (coop and migros) you can also find more gourmet brands in all of the train stations. the best kind i found was laderach, which can be purchased by weight from giant sheets of all different kinds of chocolate. according to their website, laderach chocolate can be found at the trump palace food emporium at 3rd and 68th street but this is yet to be confirmed. the other brand of chocolate that was recommended to me is villars. it comes in many different flavors and fillings, including liquors of the area: kirsch and williamine.