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Berlin Market with a New York City Favorite

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Wherever I am traveling, you can be sure there will be a visit to a local market.  I love to see the array of colorful products, how they are put on display, how the locals interact with the market vendors and more.  Back to Zurich from my recent travels, I went right to the market here to see what had changed.  And there it was, the newest addition, telling me that the holiday season is truly not far away.  Mistletoe is back, and Christmas decorations are soon to follow.  A perfect way to follow the seasons and the holidays, taste your way around the market (and the world), discovering products you may not find at home, wherever your home may be…

Winterfeldtmarkt, Berlin, GermanyWinterfeldtmarkt, Berlin, Germany Read the rest of this story >>

Only in Berlin

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

I hope you have all been able to catch some of the coverage on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, either from the links from the previous post or on television.  Certainly no shortage of the latter.

Berlin museumsBerlin museums

For those of you planning a trip to Berlin, if you like museums, you’re in luck.  There are almost 200 in Berlin, satisfying your interests in art, culture, history and/or religion, among other curiosities.  Below you’ll see just a few highlights from my short visit to the city, plus one museum that is a must, if only for the fact that you won’t find it anywhere else in the world other than Berlin.  Any guesses? Read the rest of this story >>

Berlin Wall 1989-2009

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Berlin Wall, Germany

If you turn on the television or glance at a newsstand in just about any city lately, it would be hard to miss the coverage on Berlin.  This month marks the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall.  It was on November 9, 1989 that the wall came down. A wall that was put up by the GDR (German Democratic Republic) to stop East Berliners from escaping.  They were fleeing by the thousands per day, trying to go from Soviet-controlled East Germany to the West, which was then occupied by the Americans, British and French.  I was lucky to visit Berlin and learn about the history up close – stand in front of the last remnants of the wall, watch select artists make their statements and especially follow the parallel lines of cobblestones that trace where the wall was.  To me that was a powerful sight. Read the rest of this story >>

Top 6 Things I Love About Living in Switzerland

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

We’ve been busy enjoying the summer in Zürich (despite frequent returns to autumn weather), with bike rides, picnics and picking berries at local farms.  While the month of July cruises by, it’s time to add another year to the ongoing love affair … two love affairs, actually.  Twelve years for me and my husband.  And six for me and Zürich.

Zürich, SwitzerlandZürich, Switzerland Read the rest of this story >>

Your Home Away From Home in Tuscany

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

For my parents’ annual European adventure, we always pick a different place to visit, in addition to Zürich. There was Prague, Berlin, Barcelona and this year, they picked Tuscany. And so, I jumped right in to my research, opening my Tuscany folder that had been collecting dust for well over a decade. Hours and hours of reading about torrone and olive oil and chocolate. Until my mom raised a very good point… don’t we need somewhere to sleep ?! Aha !

So I asked my Tuscan friend and popular food blogger, Giulia Scarpaleggia for an idea. Valdirose, she said. “I’ve fallen in love with this one, it’s a dream, I’m sure you would love it.” As if that weren’t enough to convince me, she then added a word about the amazing breakfasts there. A quick glance at the website made my eyes grow wide and before I knew it, I was on the phone with Irene Berni, making our reservation.

Valdirose b&b, Tuscany, ItalyValdirose b&b, Tuscany, Italy Read the rest of this story >>

Postcards from New York City’s Famous Greenmarket

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Union Square Greenmarket, New York CityUnion Square Greenmarket, New York City

You all know of my love for markets.  That means at home in Zürich, every Tuesday and Friday morning at my beloved Bürkliplatz, as well as the local markets in Sicily, Berlin, France’s Basque Country and really, anywhere my travels take me around the world. And right now, that means New York City.

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4 Food Markets Around the World: Ordinary to Locals, Extraordinary to Me

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Whenever I visit a new town, I’m not only on a mission to discover the sweet scene, but also to spend time at a local market.  It’s a perfect introduction to the culinary landscape, and always so interesting to observe the exchanges between proud vendors and their loyal customers, and most of all, see what people eat there !  What seems completely normal and mundane in one country (like the Swiss’ multicolored hard-boiled eggs) can be exotic and exciting – or just weird – to another.

Right now at the markets in Zürich, bright red strawberries and stalks of rhubarb are in the spotlight, but fat, white asparagus are taking up a lot of prime real estate too. While the latter has become common for me, living here in the German part of Switzerland and making regular visits to Zürich’s Bürkliplatz and Oerlikon markets, white asparagus were once strange and unfamiliar.  For me, asparagus were green, showing again that one person’s apple is another person’s rambutan.

Markets around the WorldMarkets around the World Read the rest of this story >>

Chocolate Roundup #6: Please Pass the Salt

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Time for another chocolate roundup!  It’s been a few months since the last in the series, but by no means have those months been chocolate-free.  There were my chocolate finds in London, a true chocolate gem in Switzerland, a New York City inspired chocolate creation of my own and endless tastes along the way.  And now, time to share a few of the latter.

A previous theme (more than once) and still current favorite of mine is dark chocolate and salt.  It’s not a trend that will fade with time; it is simply a natural pairing and classic combination.  Bakers may add extra salt to their recipes to bring out the flavor of sweet ingredients, as in chocolate chip cookies or cakes – the overall effect being flavorful, not salty.  Whenever I see salt as a featured ingredient of a chocolate bar, my eyes open wide, and I usually end up grabbing it. Here are just a few of the many I have tasted lately.  Anyone else a big fan of chocolate with salt ?  Or have another fetish ingredient ?

ChocoLate OrgánikoTaza Chocolate

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Wiener Schnitzel or Sardines?

Monday, November 16th, 2009

You have just gotten a small dose of Berlin’s history and culture here, reading about the Berlin Wall and the little green Ampelmann, as well as the sheer magnitude of museums you can visit.  But you’ve got to eat too!  Aside from the obligatory currywurst you’ll grab at the city’s omnipresent stands, there are tons of restaurants serving up traditional German cuisine, regional specialties, or spots where chefs are bringing in a bit of creativity – and perhaps lightening things up a bit in the process too.

Lutter & Wegner, Berlin, GermanyLutter & Wegner, Berlin, Germany

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Tales of Travels & Tastes

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Since the beginning of the Jewish New Year last weekend, when I made light, chewy fig and pistachio nougat, I haven’t stopped dipping apples in honey and even made a second batch of nougat.  The tradition is, we wish each other a sweet new year.  I think I’ve got that covered.  I put that extra batch of nougat in the freezer, as it was a bit soft, and eating it straight from there, I was quickly reminded of frozen Charleston Chew bars we used to have as kids.  Remember that candy bar, yellow wrapper and all? Takes me right back to my summer camp canteen.  Just wait until I dip those nougat squares into chocolate and put them back in the freezer, now that will be good! Furthermore, the official opening date for Ladurée in Zürich has been released – October 14th, in less than 3 weeks!  This coming year is sure to be sweet!  I have my usual line-up of adventures ahead, each one with a whole new set of pastry shops, chocolate shops and markets to visit, always fascinating people to meet and local customs to learn about.

Mixed Photos, MyKugelhopfMixed Photos, MyKugelhopf Read the rest of this story >>