Slow Food Market Returns to Zürich
Tables and tables of “slow food” approved products once again filled the Messe event space in Zürich. Recognizable by its logo of a snail, Slow Food continues its mission of “good, clean and fair” (bon, propre et juste / gut, sauber und fair), promoting food that satisfies the senses, is environment-friendly, health-friendly too, is at prices both accessible to consumers and fair to workers, and most of all, is fresh, local and delicious !
It was a true feast for the eyes and taste buds at the inaugural Slow Food Market in 2011, when I discovered (and tasted !) so many new products from various regions of Switzerland. One year later, some of those items are now cupboard staples in my home. So back to the market I went to see what other delicious finds I would make, with my eye on the sweet stands, but of course.
(above, clockwise from top left: Melchior Schoch of Käserei Berghof; traditional Swiss bricelets from Les Gourmandises de Fribourg; cookies made with Farina bona, toasted corn flour from Ticino; Posamentertörtli, plum tart from Fribourg)
My very favorite taste of all, to no surprise, was chocolate. Dark chocolate. With salt. (Predictable, I know.) I’m a big fan of Pakka’s assorted nuts, in attractive, colorful packaging that we see in shops and cafés around Zürich. But I had never tasted Pacari chocolate, an organic brand from Ecuador that Pakka distributes throughout Switzerland as well. Their dark chocolate with Peruvian Cuzco pink salt and cacao nibs combined everything I enjoy in a bar, including the contrasts of sweet/salty and smooth/crunchy. I’ll be on the lookout for that around town from now on…
(above, clockwise from top left: Tobias Joos of Pakka; Pacari chocolate; Martin Schwarz of Nobile Cioccolato; Felchlin cocoa beans)
And of course, most of my time was spent laughing with Res Jordi (below, bottom right), owner of La Boîte à Nougat/Chesettas Mountain. Our friendship and my obsession with his artisanal French nougat began at last year’s Slow Food Market, and I still can’t get enough of his mint chocolate nougat (made with Valrhona dark chocolate). The assortment of flavors is truly impressive, and if you have an adventurous palate, you can taste nougat in such flavors as curry/rice, melon, tomato/olive, orange/cinnamon or with a special Christmas blend of spices.
My sweet tooth aside, the market was certainly not lacking in savory options, cheese stands being quite predominant, even including a couple of bubbling pots of fondue inviting passersby with forks and pieces of bread. There were spirits, spices, coffees, teas, dried fruits, dried meats and even dried fish. Truly something for everyone.
But what each and every stand had in common was loyalty to the principles that make the Slow Food movement what it is, promoting “the concept of neo-gastronomy, recognition of the strong connections between plate, planet, people and culture.”
For those of you who went to the 2nd annual Slow Food Market, what was the highlight for you ?
Anything exceptional you tasted there ?