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STORIES

How to prepare the Original Swiss Fondue at home

fondue

Swiss Fondue is a dish that embodies the epitome of simplicity, conviviality and longing for the mountains, and even incorporates certain democratic values of Switzerland such as equality and solidary sharing

Who invented the one and only original “Fondue” ?

There are different stories about the origins of this Swiss national dish going around the world. The first says, that it has its origin in the West Swiss French alps called Savoy. Here poor shepherds developed the idea with the melted cheese 2800 years ago. The word fondue is french and means melted.

Others say, that Fondue is a recipe, that only back in the 50ties was nominated an official national dish. The cookbooks of the Swiss army added the recipe in the official Swiss cook books, only than it became famous in the whole country.

Which cheese to take for your fondue

One of the best-known fondue types is “Moitié-Moitié” which means “half half”. It’s  a blend of Gruyère cheese and Freiburger Vacherin cheese and has some white wine, cherries schnaps and cornstarch in it. Another classical is the fondue with Freiburg Vacherin cheese. This one is considered to be easier to digest, consists of only one type of cheese and, thanks to the addition of some water it has a creamy texture.

Depending on your preference, it is up to you to decide which other cheeses to add to the homemade fondue. For even more spice, an Appenzeller cheese could be the right choice. The savory and slightly sweet-tasting blue cheese Gorgonzola or a spicy-nutty Camembert can be ideal for a fancy fondue, too. Last but not least, it takes a dose of experimentation to find the ideal blend for oneself.

I absolutely recommend to buy fresh cheese and customize it with flavors, spices and quantity of alcohol desired. There are several ready-made Fondues that need only to be heated in the pot. It may not give you the authentic cheese pleasure, tough.

The pot where you prepare the fondue is called Caquelon, it is teflon coated, this prevents the liquid cheese from sticking at the bottom

The basic recipe

Ingredients for 4 persons

  • approx. 600 of white bread
  • 1 piece of garlic
  • 400 g grind Gruyère cheese
  • 400 g grind Vacherin cheese
  • 3 d white wine
  • 5 cl kirsch schnaps
  • 2 tea spoons of maizena
  • grind pepper
  • a small amount of nutmeg

Preparation

  1. Cut the bread into small pieces. Some people like the bread a little bit crispy, so you may want to cut it a few hours before you have the fondue.
  2. Split the piece of garlic in two and rub the inside of the caquelon with the them. Put the cheese and the wine in the caquelon and cook them on the cook stove. Constantly stir the mixture. Add kirsch and maizena, but keep stirring. Leave them on the stove for a while, but make sure it does not overheat. The mixture tends to spill out of the pot if it gets too hot ! Add pepper and nutmeg, then put the caquelon on the burner on the table.
  3. Adjust the heat so that the cheese stays at a constant temperature while eating. Put a small piece of bread on the fork, stir it gentle in the cheese and enjoy. Warning: the cheese is hot, don’t get burned.
    This menu may not be suited for small children.

Note: You may vary the mixture of cheese depending on your taste and availability. You may also use cooked potatos instead of or together with bread. Fruits as pears or peaches from the can are a pretty nice to add some extra to your fondue.

Most enjoy fondue in the alps, during a cold winter day. Once you understand how easy it is to prepare it at home, you may it even prepare on your balcony to avoid the cheese smell in the house!

Want to know where to eat fondue in Zurich? Read my December blog here!

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STORIESZurich Blogging

5 Things to do in Zurich in December & Januray

Christmas markets, Bar pop-ups, or a wild Speakeasy – What is your favourite December activity in Zurich?

The glam season of the year is beginning soon! Zurich has so much to offer, no matter if you prefer to stay outside with a hot glühwein pot to warm your hands or enjoy zipping your Christmas cocktail in a cosy bar. I have a list of activities you can choose from!  The start of the Christmas season is the last weekend in November when the “Lucy” fest takes place. This is the official day when a sparkling starry sky over the Bahnhofstrasse is lit. At 6 pm the Christmas lights will be switched on and shopping gets truly exciting.

Attractions for families

  • Christmas market
    The Wiehnachtsdorf at Bellevue Platz belongs to Zurich’s main Christmas market attraction. It is a land of milk and honey for hungry and thirsty kids and adults. It’s on from 24.11. until 23.12.2022.On the traditional Sechseläutenplatz right in front of the opera house, more than 100 huts create a cosy Christmas village for browsing, shopping, feasting, and lingering. Experience a musical advent calendar, graceful ice princesses, enchanted storytellers, and other guests providing entertainment for young and old. On the cute artificial ice rink, winter fans can enjoy a fun-filled round of games, and in the Villa Zauberwurz magical character captivates little visitors with fairy tales, humour, and costumer. Besides that, you find also a Fondue Chalet, Glühwein, and other drinks including plenty of food stalls with finger-licking international street food. Opening hours: Monday – Thursday to 11 pm, Friday + Saturday to 12 pm, Sunday to 10 pm.
  • Winterwonderland with shiny lights, shows, food & drinks
    Welcome to Illuminarium where an enchanting winter wonderland of light, illumination, illusion, music, and culinary delights waits for you. It’s located in the inner courtyard of the Landesmuseum Zurich. Be prepared to dive into a magical storytelling world. Try the food stalls, slurp mulled wine and enjoy concerts by mysterious mythical creatures by Yuki and her fabulous friends.
    Opening hours: 10.11. – 30.12. 2022 / 5 pm to 12 pm, daily – Landesmuseum Zürich, Museumstrasse 2, 8001 Zürich
    Get tickets for the Wonderland here, Prices: festival Free entree – Light Show.
  • Fondue Alp Grossmünsterplatz at Grossmünster. In the run-up to Christmas, there is a kitschy, pretty fondue chalet on Zwingliplatz near the Grossmünster. Cosiness and chalet character are guaranteed. It’s taking place from November 24 to December 23, 2022. Make your reservation here.

After-work Cocktails, Glühwein & cheesy Christmas songs

  • Kahbana – Bali Christmas Pop-up Dance & Bar
    In the mood of some Bali sunshine vibes in Zurich? Here we go, welcome to the oasis of good energy, Live DJ sets, cocktails and meze? Kahbana is the new pop-up just in front of Zurich’s main station. If you know Kasheme you also know that this place will be perfect to chill and sip at your glass after work.  Maybe till late!
    From 22 November, Kahbana will also operate as a co-working space from 12pm to 5pm, with a lunch snack offer, coffee and vegan Caribbean pastries from Aris Guzman. The pop-up is on until end of December.
  • Speakeasy by Mr. Samigo  in the Asia mini market!
    By invite-only. They say, they offer the “BEST NOODLE SOUP IN TOWN” !
  • Any plans for New Year’s eve yet? Why not spend it crazy and with good food at Pink Rabbit Show in Zurich? Saturday you can access their club for a cocktail and dance! The diner show runs daily until December 31, 2022.
  • Raclette Boat on Zurich lake with Ganz Boote and 8008 Seelounge

    Boat lovers and cheese addicts: this is a must-do for you this autumn on Zurich Lake. The boat runs in good weather only and has a limited space of 6 people.
    Costs: CHF 89 p.p.  (bookable as of 2 ppl.)
    More details are available at raclette@food-festivals.ch or here.

A wellness day or a relaxing weekend for two?

  • Relax & Wellness in a roman bath after a crazy Christmas Shopping – or overnight with a cosy dinner in a wine library?
    If you are travelling from abroad or you live in Zurich but are totally in the mood to overnight in a cosy boutique hotel that is connected with a thermal bath, this program is your choice. The site is located in a former brewery called Hürlimann. The building was partially monument protected, this is why parts of it are cleverly integrated and give the space a very particular ambience.

    Take a bath in a centenarian stone vaults of the former brewery Hürlimann at Thermalbad & SPA Zurich.

    The Wine Library at B2 Boutique Hotel is memorable. On the ceiling, you find lamps constructed from old original beer bottles. All books that fill the hotel library – 33000 of them – come from the inventory of a former antiquarian bookshop in Zurich. Get your room rate or a special wellness package here!
    Enjoy a thermal bath that offers 3500 sqm of pure joy for body & soul. Absolutely take a bath in the rooftop infinity pool overlooking the city of Zurich. It offers guests relaxation with valuable minerals in 35 to 41-degree warm water. A delight especially in cold winter days. Find all of their packages here.

  • Cosy Sunday afternoon Ice skating at Dolder
    Instead of spending a lazy Sunday afternoon on the sofa why not go out for some ice skating! The atmosphere at the Dolder Ice Complex is unique: surrounded by wooded countryside on 6,000 square meters you find the biggest artificial ice rink in Switzerland.
    Watch out for special events like the Ice disco. The next one is 17. December 2022 and 30.12.2022!
    Opening hours: October – March, Monday – Saturday: 9 am-10.20 pm / Sunday: 9 am to -5.40 pm
    Address: Kunsteisbahn Dolder AG, Adlisbergstrasse 36, 8044 Zürich.

In the mood to discover some cosy coffees in Zurich? Check my coffee guide here.

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STORIES

Reggio Calabria and its culinary secrets! Everything you need to know about The bergamot – prince of citrus fruits

Do you know the mysterious history of the bergamot? Where does it come from, what are its qualities and what does it mean to Reggio Calabria?

Let me take you on a culinary journey through unexpected flavors and unique ingredients. Come with me! This press trip organized by the Chamber of Italian Commerce in Switzerland and the Chamber of Italian Commerce in Reggio Calabria puts the bergamot fruit in top light!

Why the bergamot’s origin is mysterious

Some say it comes from Pergamum in Ancient Greece, others trace it back to the Canary Islands. Reggio Calabria decided to take care of this citrus fruit. Today 90% of the world’s production is gathered there. Bergamot can be found in various products and applications. On my press trip, I tried it as fresh juice, in an artisan gelato, elaborated in savory creams paired with fish or veggies. Nevertheless, mostly Bergamot is found in perfumes because of its freshness, and multi-faceted aroma. It is also used in many other aromatized products, such as cosmetics and detergents, as an essential ingredient in Earl Grey tea.

Bergamot releases “happiness hormones” dopamine and serotonin. Aroma is the only sense that can work on every level of our being: physical, emotional, and spiritual. It works like a magnet to attract the best things in your life.

How to recognize the bergamot fruit

The bergamot has approximately the same size as regular oranges, often it’s pear-shaped. It’s green or yellow depending on ripeness. It scent is more floral than other citrus fruits, while the flesh and juice are tart, bitter, and spicy.

200 kilograms of bergamot give 1 liter of bergamot essential oil

What are the health benefits of bergamot?

As well as protecting the heart, bergamot has several other health benefits. The essential oil helps to reduce anxiety and stress and may also help to relieve mild depression. Bergamot also has antibacterial properties and is effective at killing some strains of listeria.

Hiking in Aspermont and help harvest bergamots for your next aroma therapy at home!

What if you could escape your busy work life to spend a week in pure nature? The B&B „il bergamotto“ located in Condofuri hosts international visitors that stop here on some nights booking the famous hike trail of Edward Lear’s. This evocative 7-day walk goes among enchanting Greek-speaking villages, majestic centuries-old olive groves, and fascinating torrents. Owner Ugo revealed that some guests come to help with the harvesting of the bergamot to create their own aroma therapy essence oils, also yoga classes have taken place in his beautiful garden. Ugo cultivates 2000 bergamot trees among oranges and other fruits. His father had a bergamot plantation and he taught him everything he knows. His B&B has a beautiful view over the riverbed of the Amendolea and offers rustic, pleasant rooms with comfy beds off the beaten path with a unique view. Plan the harvesting activity in January. Get in contact with Ugo to get a detailed offer +39 347 601 2338.

There is a Calabrian dialect of Greek called Grecanico. It is is the variety of Italiot Greek used by the ethnic Griko people in Calabria. This area has common recipes and music instruments as the island of Crete!

Reggio Calabria and beyond

This region of Italy has a lot to offer, besides Bergamot. Bagnara IGP is known for their Nougat and Greco di Bianco grapes. This wine is produced according to ancient Hellenic methods. Fish lovers won’t have to go far when they’re here, because stockfish are also still produced in this region.

Save this Foodie & Travel bucket list for your next Reggio Calabria visit

  • Visit Bagnara and buy the world-famous Torrrone (Nougat) di Bagnara IGP at the store of Careri Via Nazionale, 195, 89011 Bagnara Calabra. They belong to the most renewed producers of the original IGP Nougat and have a great selection online, too. These torroni are incomparable to other nougat and produced with simple ingredients as cinnamon, cloves, almonds and honey according to a recipe from the monks back in the year 1700.
  • Have lunch at Ristorante La Taverna del Borgo and try different varieties of appetizers and primi or secondi with the famous local stockfish. The stockfish of Mammola has become famous as a high-quality product appreciated by connoisseurs coming from far away.
  • Try the artisan gelato with the delicious bergamot scoop at Gelateria Cesare
  • Book a trip at the Tenuta Dioscuri in Bianco where owner Flavio will lead you on a tour that will begin with a visit to the famous Bianco vineyards and the historic family oil mill. During the tour you learn about the processing techniques of the vineyards, the methods of drying and processing both ancient and modern as well as bottling and finally tasting the wines: Greco di Bianco D.O.C. wine and Mantonico I.G.T. Locride Passito. You can also book a “Work Camp Package“ for a grape harvest. Contact Flavio for a booking here. 

Ho to get lost in Scilla & Bagnara Calabra, two Seaside Towns

Scilla is one of the best-known destinations listed in the area for tourism. The town is well equipped to welcome tourists offering every kind of comfort.

Bagnara Calabra rises at the foot of the Aspermont, in the middle of two rocky spurs. This town boasts a long sandy beach whose sea becomes purple. If you are looking for a place to stay during your visit to Costa Viola, this is the perfect location. Over the years, Bagnara Calabria has become a real seaside town, with plenty of summer residences and resorts. They welcome travellers from all over the world.

This press trip to Reggio Calabria has been organized by the Chamber of Italian Commerce in Switzerland and the Chamber of commerce of Reggio Calabria. A big thank goes to the entire team that accompanied me throughout the days with much passion and dedication.

Do you like to explore more travel stories? Read them here!

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STORIES

Have you ever had a busy week, & by the weekend you realized that you had forgotten to eat all week?

There’s a new way to get your meals delivered, and you won’t believe how easy it is. It’s called Powermeals, and it’s the easiest way to eat healthy without having to think about it.

When you’re following a diet plan, it’s important to be very calculative about the food you eat. This includes specific ingredients, nutritional facts, calorie value, and more. There must be a nice balance between the calories you intake and what you burn every day. It must be without any compromise with the essential nutrients necessary for your body. That’s why your fitness plays a crucial role, too.

Use the code MARINA30 for a 30% discount on your first powermeals.ch order

That’s where Powermeals comes in. It’s a fresh, ready-to-eat meal delivery offering a fully flexible subscription. The prices per meal are around 16 CHF which I found very convenient. They’re delivered weekly and come in a robust sustainable box. You can skip weeks and pause anytime—it’s all part of their mission to help people balance their diets with ease! The company was founded in 2020 by a team of foodies with different backgrounds who decided to bring a Health food business to market with the help of expert chefs and nutritionists. All meals clearly specify the suggested number of calories and important nutrition facts they contain, they are crafted from fresh and seasonal ingredients, as well as sourced from local suppliers. You can choose between Balanced, Balanced+ Low-carb options for each.

I love the concept of Powermeals. The website is simple and clear, and it’s easy to choose your meals. The nutrition survey tool is very practical because it helps you to choose the menu that works best for you.

Let me tell you how it works

You choose from a selection of 16 international dishes that are made up of meat, fish, plant-based, and vegetarian meals—and those options change every week! You can also order extras  like healthy bars or homemade piña colada granola if you’re looking for something sweet. There are even soups available if you want something light but still filling. So, all you have to do is heat your meal up, some are enjoyed cold.

  • Store the other meals in the fridge, depending on the dish, they last 5 to 9 days from the delivery date.
  • Choose how your meals are delivered, that could be once a week or once every other week—it’s up to you!
  • Skip weeks if you don’t want them at all one week or pause anytime if things get busy (but they recommend ordering at least 6 days before delivery so there isn’t any food waste).

How are meals delivered?

The meals for the week are delivered in a single box by the Swiss Post to any address in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Each box contains ice packs, so meals stay fresh in the box for over 48 hours, even on a Summer day.

My top 3 Powermeals meals:

1 – Nasi Goreng with chicken – category Balanced x 1 – I loved the taste of fresh and not too spicy

2 – Poached egg Korma – category Balanced x 1 – The egg was just perfectly soft and creamy inside.

3 – Dorada with goat cheese sauce – category Balanced x 1 – the combination of the goat cheese with the tender fish was so exquisite!

So what are you waiting for? Get started today and let me know how you liked it!

 

New here? Take a tour to my restaurant guide and get inspired about where to eat healthy and fresh menus in Zurich!

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STORIES

Golden Autumn in the Swiss Alps – Discover Flims / Graubünden

My personal highlight: spending time walking through nature is the BEST way to connect and experience a destination.

Ever heard about the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tectonic Arena Sardona or the Rhine gorge? Or the two jewel alpine lakes named Cauma and Cresta?
Welcome to the Swiss Alps in Graubünden, the home of giant peaks, vibrant forests and flowery mountain meadows!

This article shall inspire you for the perfect Alpine weekend trip! Flims offers all you want from the perfect autumn hideaway. Get there in only 1.45 minutes by train from Zurich. By car in even 1.15 hours.

Must do on your trip: Relaxing walk to Caumasee & Crestasee

Caumasee is one of the most breathtaking mountain lakes in Switzerland, they call it the pearl of Flims. Experience this with your own eyes, pictures alone won’t make it. This lake is not that secret anymore, so make sure to get there early!

Embedded in a forest you find turquoise blue and crystal clear waters. Water temperature in summer is at an average of 21 Celsius, with a maximum of around 24 Celsius. Around the lake you have spots to relax, you can even rent an inflatable boat or bring your unicorn! The entrance fee from May – to September is 12 CHF (adults), and 6 CHF (kids). Find different areas for a barbecue or just enjoy their restaurant for drinks & food. The car parking is close (15 min).

How to get there: You can walk (ca 45 min) or bike (ca. 15 min) from Flims Dorf or take a local bus (ca. 15 min,)

My insider tip: Crestasee. This lake is small and yet undiscovered by tourists. Stay here for a pick-nick or a BBQ at the fireplace close by. Go for a swim in summer! The entrance fee in summer is 7 CHF for adults and 3 CHF for kids.

Once in Crestasee plan some time to walk up to the observation deck called “Il Spir” (takes you about 4o min.). Enjoy a 180° view over the famous Rhine gorge also called  ‘The Swiss Grand Canyon. The platform was designed by the local architect Corinna Menn. Once up at Il Spir enjoy lunch or dessert at the Restaurant Conn.  From here you have the choice to continue your hike to various destinations, if you’re in the mood to stroll back to Flims Dorf by horse and carriage, this is the spot where to do it. Book your ticket at the restaurant (20 CHF for adults 1 way, 13 CHF for kids, 1 way).

Suggested walk for a 2.30 hours , ca. 10 km trip departing from Flims Waldhhaus:

Trin-Mulin – Crestasee – Caumasee – Flims – Felsbachschlucht – Trin-Mulin

In the mood for some alpine action?

Experience pure adrenalin in the wild gorges while river rafting or take a hike along with the craggy rock formations. An easily accessible hiking trail and several biking trails along the Rhine also present excellent opportunities to have a barbecue, create stone mounds or dip your feet in the water.

More into an active train ride through the Rhine Gorge?

The bizarre geological formations surrounded by old pine trees fascinate train passengers, hikers and river rafters from around the world. Experience the Rhine gorge from very close every Sunday. The adventure train, with its open observation carriages, takes a leisurely ride along the side of the river, amidst striking rock formations. Get your ticket and all details here. Tickets start from 24 CHF for adults and 12 CHF for kids.

Find more inspiration on activities on the website of Flims/Laax/Falera!

For your comfort and cosy stay, I absolutely recommend “The Hide Hotel” in Flims located directly at the bus station and close to the slopes in winter! Get my full article here!

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STORIESZurich Blogging

5 places to get original Neapolitan pizza in Zurich City

Ribelli Pizza

Here come my 5 favourite Pizzerias in Zurich!
What makes a Neapolitan pizza special?

Where everything began – the invention of Margherita Pizza

Back in time, the ancient Greeks were the first ones to top flatbreads with tasty ingredients. The term ‘pizza’ came up near Rome or Naples (depending on who you like to trust) around 1000 AD. This is why we differentiate between Neapolitan and Roman Pizza. Later more about this. By the 18th century, pizza had become a cost-effective way of feeding the peasantry. The Italians discovered a new fruit brought over from the New World. So easily the humble tomato made its way onto this traditional flatbread. We are all happy about this accident since then the Pizza is desired on the whole planet. We cannot think it out of our plates.

Queen Margherita and King Umberto back in 1889 influenced their personal Chef to create a Pizza showing the Italian flag. The green comes with the basil, the red with the tomatoes and the white by using mozzarella. He named the pizza after the monarch, that is how we got today’s Margherita pizza!

What is an authentic Neapolitan Pizza?

Most know a pizza with a thin-to-medium crust and soil, this is the so-called Roman Pizza. It tends to be crunchier than the pizza in Naples. The Roman-style dough is typically left to rise for about three or four days, then baked at 500°F-600°F — much cooler than the temperature in which Neapolitan pizza is cooked (at least 800 F°). When it comes to a thicker, soft and elastic crust that is easy to fold (also named pizza al portafoglio), we talk about the Neapolitan Pizza. There is a governing body called the True Neapolitan Pizza Association (TNPA) that keeps the standards of true Neapolitan pizza alive.

Only the Pizza Margherita and Pizza Marinara are regarded as authentic Italian pizzas. The Marinara comes with tomato, garlic, oregano, extra virgin olive oil and possibly basil. The Margherita exceptionally with certified mozzarella di bufala cheese or fior di latte mozzarella. A Place where you get delicious fior di latte Mozzarella is the Ristorante Più at Schiffbau for example.

By reading all of this Pizza knowledge you may understand, that pizza is not equal to pizza. It is a really complex topic. In the end, your stomach and eyes will decide. I promise you, that these three spots will make it difficult for you, to return to other standards.

5 places to get Neapolitan quality pizza in Zurich

Pizzeria & Friggitoria Margheri

Do you like it molto buono and truly original? The pizza at Margheri is made strictly according to the guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Chef pizzaiolo Gianluca Biondo has plenty of years of experience and serves in my opinion the perfect pizza Napoletana! Something you really need to try as a starter is their Campanian street food!

My recommendation: Pizza “MARGHERÌ D.O.P.” that comes with pomodoro, parmigiano, bufala, pomodorini, basilico, olio evo  and Grana Padano! Do you smell the Mediterranean taste? The tomato sauce of their pizza tastes like a fresh south Italian tomato!  The fried starters are a must-try: Go for the cuoppo napoletano misto di fritto where you get 2 of every starter. My absolute favorite one is the frittatina (Bucatini, carne macinata, piselli, parmigiano, provola).

Opening hours: Monday closed– Tuesday – Thursday:  11.30–14.30 / 18.00–22.30 , Friday: 11.30–14.30 / 18.00–23 .00, Saturday: 18.00–23.00, Sunday: 18.00–22.30

Address: Limmatstrasse 273, 8005 Zurich

Ristorante Più Schiffbau

My recommendation: Pizza Bufala (tomato sauce, Bufala mozzarella, basil). The place I found the mozzarella is really juicy and fresh. The dough they prepare at Più gets enough time to rest, at least 48 hours, this makes the dough ideal to digest. The restaurant is spacious and really lovely for a date. Get the whole food experience here on my food guide. The staff is always welcoming you with a smile, that’s why I really appreciate it a lot coming here.

Costs: Pizzas start with CHF 17 (Marinara) to CHF  27

Opening hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 11.30–14.00 / 18.00–22.30, Friday: 11.30–14.00 / 18.00–23.00,  Saturday: 18.00–23.00, Sunday: 12.00–22.30, Monday: closed

Address: Hardstrasse 259, 8005 Zürich

 

Pizza Takeaway  Napulé Stadelhofen or Ristorante Pizzeria Napulé, Zollikon

My recommendation: Pizza Salsiccia con Friarelli. A combination of ingredients and flavours that make your palate dance!

The Pizzaiolo World Champion Raffaele Tromiro suggests the simple Marinara Pizza! Did you know why it is called so? In Napoli, all fishermen used to eat this pizza, due to its quantity of tomato sauce it stays fresh for a while! Welcome to the original Neapolitan Pizza in town prepared by the Pizzaiolo World Champion Raffaele Tromiro and his staff. Good news for all the ones that like to enjoy the delicacy in Zurich City: there is a takeaway spot close to Bellevue where you can get your takeaway pizza every day. Lots of the used ingredients such as flour, tomatoes or mozzarella are all original and imported from the region of Napoli. This makes its taste 100%  distinctive from many other pizzas. Find two more restaurants in the region, one in Zollikon and one in Meilen.

Costs: Pizzas start with CHF 18.50 for a Marinara Pizza – 32.50 CHF for the unique Mortadella Pistacchio one.

Opening hours: Stadelhofen takeaway: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 – 22:00 – Napulé Zollikon: Monday – Sunday 11:30 – 14:00 h, 18:00 – 22:00 h

Address: Stadelhoferstrasse 42, 8001 Zürich and Alte Landstrasse 94, 8702 Zollikon

Pizzeria San Gennaro

My recommendation: Prosciutto & Funghi. Best selection of fresh ingredients, not overloaded with mozzarella. In summer a must do due to their marvellous terrace overlooking the river. The pizza is authentic Neapolitan style. I liked the consistency of the dough very much!

Costs: Pizzas start from CHF 18 (Napoli) to CHF  26.50 (Pizza San Gennaro Fior di latte, salsiccia, parmiggiano, basilico)

Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 11:30 – 14:00 / 17:30 to 23:00, Saturday – Sunday: 17:00 to 23:00

Address: Hönggerstrasse 43 – 8037 Zürich

Pizzeria Ribelli

Have you been at 25 Hours Hotels Zurich West yet? Located only a few tram stops away from Hardbrücke this is the home of modern living spaces, clubs and also the Pizzeria Ribelli. If you are looking for truly original Italian flavours such as the Prosciutto Crudo Parma DOP 24 months or the Mozzarella di Bufala DOP on your pizza, this spot is a must-try! The ingredients are of high quality and selected directly from Italy! Also, their dough rests for at least 48 hours. The warm and colourful interior of the Ribelli Restaurant is designed by the Swiss architect Alfredo Häberli and offers the perfect atmosphere for lunch or dinner.

My recommendation: The “Giro Pizza” offers you a taste of various pizzas to share according to the choice of their pizzaiolo! Costs 29 CHF / person.

Costs: Pizzas start with CHF 18 for a Marinara Pizza – 29.50 CHF for the Tartufo pizza.

Opening Hours: 18.00 – 24.00 h

Address: At 25hours Hotel Zürich West – Pfingstweidstrasse 102 – 8005 Zurich

 

Are you in the mood for more food suggestions? Find them here!

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Mediterranean FoodRestaurant Guide

Tapas & Friends Tapas bar

tapas and friends zurich

My personal highlight: I always find some new red Spanish Redwines. I absolutely love their soft and crispy croquetas

Spanish tapas

My favorite tapas bar is in Wiedikon close to Idaplatz at Ämtlerstrasse 86.

The tapas are just delicious.  The tapas I like most are crispy soft fried croquetas or an outstanding avocado tatar. Order some real good Spanish red wine. Or try some of their local Spanish craft beers. So no need traveling to Spain for celebrating a tapas night!
Book Tapas & Friends for a catering or attend one of their cooking classes.

www.tapasandfriends.ch

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Coffee Guide

Boreal Coffee

boreal coffee zurich

My personal highlight: Flat white with an aromatic nutty taste and good space to spend time to work at my computer

My favorite coffee is the flat white or an aero press. They have different coffee blends. I love the aromatic and tasty ones.

The barista love to play with fancy foam designs.  The coffee shop offers good space to hang around and read a book or do some work on your computer.

You find Boreal at Talacker 41 and in Oerlikon.

www.borealcoffee.ch

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EuropeSTORIESTravelZurich Blogging

How to plan your own wine tour in Piedmont – Barolo

My personal highlights: 48 hours wine trip in the UNESCO heritage Barolo discovering wine rarities & meditative landscapes in Langhe

When you hear the word Italy, the chances of being surrounded by good food & drinks are very high. I am very thankful of my Italian origins, they thaught me to appreciate and recognize a pure taste. There are several facts about True Italian Taste and its provenience that need to be known.

In occasion of a campaign promoted from the Italian Chamber in Zurich I got in touch with the topic “True Italian Taste” and “Italian Sounding”. This is how the Barolo Trip in Piedmont organized by “Strada del Barolo e grandi vini di Langa” came along.

What means Italian Sounding?

Italians sounding is the marketing of food and beverage produced worldwide, often labelled with Italian names and misleading Italian words and pictures. This misleading information is extremely dangerous for our Italian heritage! Reason enough why the Italian Government realized a unique mark against fakes. The project considers a brand to print on the product’s labels to fight forgery, starting from the food industry.

Important quality products have their origins in Piedmont. The world knows Barolo, the white Alba Truffle or Fiat. All of these brands have been created in this region.

Let’s mention Fiat first, since I had the pleasure to travel with a cozy Fiat500 Cabrio, Anniversario edition all the way to Alba. FIAT was founded in Turin in 1888. The Anniversario edition is dedicated to the 60th birthday of the Fiat 500. It comes in a fresh Riviera green! This retro model caught much attention all around the Langhe Piomentesi! We cruised through the valleys feeling safe. What a fun having the wind blowing through the hair listening to legendary Italian songs. The car trunk offers enough space to bring back home exquisite wine bottles! Thanks FCA Switzerland for this great opportunity! Get more information and facts about the Fiat500 Anniversario Model here.

Let’s dive into the culinary part of my travels.

Discovering Barolo & Barbaresco – UNESCO World Heritage since 2014

UNESCO rewards this region of Italy not only for being a land of vineyards, castles and medieval towers, but also for the labor of men and women down the ages. The soil of Langa has always been difficult and demanding to work: the malora, a term used by Beppe Fenoglio to describe a painful condition, reminds that the farmers who used to live in Langhe in the 1950s, had a lot of difficulties working the land.

The UNESCO site comprises the Barolo DOCG communes of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Novello & Serralunga d’Alba, including the Barbaresco DOCG communes of Barbaresco and Neive.

The charm of the landscape and the geographical viticulture add ideal circumstances and incredible value to this travel experience.

During every wine tasting I appreciated much the way all the winemakers presented and shared their precious knowledge. The sparkles in their eyes can not be overseen while they explain the history of their winery. Some of the history goes back hundreds of years.

Standing between the yards, absorbing the smell and colors with all senses allows a whole picture on what wine making means.

On our Barolo trip we visited 5 wine yards in 48 hours!
That was a real challenge. Thanks to the perfect organization of  “Strada del Barolo” we managed to absorb all the facets offered by this region.

Piedmont red wine: appreciated and popular in the whole world –
What means DOC and DOCG?

It lays down the rules for its production and for admission to the market, that it has this fame. Barolo and Barolo Riserva wines have obtained the DOC with DPR 04.23.1966 and subsequently the DOCG with the DPR 07/01/1980 (Italian law). These laws and the subsequent amendments define the Production Regulation of Barolo wine.

Important characteristics of Barolo DOCG wine:

  • It’s made exclusively from Nebbiolo grapes, grown in the territory of 11 municipalities  designated by the mentioned Production Regulations.
  • It must be bottled and can age only in the defined municipalities.
  • The minimum aging of the Barolo wine is 38 months and 62 months for Barolo Riserva wine. 18 month must follow in a wooden barrel.
  • The release for consumption is permitted from 1 January of the fourth year following the harvest for Barolo wine and from 1 January of the sixth year following the harvest for the Barolo Riserva wine.
  • The grape yield must not exceed 8 tonnes per hectare.
  • The yield of wine per hectare must not exceed 5,600 liters.

The Barolo and Barolo Riserva wines must also have the following characteristics:

  • minimum alcohol content 12.5% by volume
  • They must have a ruby red color
  • The taste must be dry taste and full, elegant and harmonious.

This regulation may explain, why so much hand work is put into the production of these wines.

Piedmont Food delicacies

Everyone know, the famous White Truffle of Alba or hazelnuts, (one of the best quality hazelnuts in the world and main ingredient of many handmade sweets of the local tradition). What about Dop cheeses, hand made pasta or any kind of salumi? Gastronomy in Langa is robust and tasty. The dishes are simple and genuine.

How to plan your Piedmont tour in Barolo – Langhe – Roero and Monferrato

This blog article shall inspire to offer a good mix in term of size and region of the wineries. It can be used as a help to book a wine trip on your own. Find all the coordinates below.

Important: Absolutely schedule tasting appointments in advance, you will be grateful to all the attention and precious knowledge the winemakers can share with you. If they know about a visit, they can plan and organize this accordingly.

The partner that organized our tour was “Strada del Barolo e grandi vini di Langa“. Mario put together a tailored wine tasting experience that led through Langhe, Roero & Monferrato. You can check for a driver that makes all of the transfers.

How many wineries to visit during your weekend trip?

I recommend 2 wineries per day, if possible focus on a one area per day. With this agenda you have time to enjoy the cultural offer around the region, too. Explore some hiking or biking. Go for a shopping afternoon in picturesque Alba.

The season to travel if you’re in love with truffles is October. Spring is recommended, too. This time is less touristy and gives you the chance to see blooming wine yards!

How to find wineries for your Barolo wine tour

In this section you get introduced to a selection of wineries I have visited personally and absolutely recommend.

The grapes cultivated at Malvirà are: Nebbiolo, Arneis, Favorita, Chardonnay and a small part of Barbera.
Malvirà cultivates 42 hectares and exports all over the world, (Switzerland included). Today the estate is run by two brothers, Massimo and Roberto Damonte and their sons.
Plenty of the wines produced are 100% organic. All of them follow the defined strict regulation of Barolo. When you walk into a cellar of such a size you understand how much work is behind that business.

My personal highlight: Enjoying a dinner with one of the founder, Roberto Damante. Exploring the pairing of precious drops with delicate ingredients as the white Alba Truffle or local beef tartar. This combination makes evolve the palate with completely new flavors!

Contact:

Azienda Agricola Malvirà dei F.lli Damonte
Via Case Sparse, 144, Loc. Canov, 12043 Canale d’Alba (CN), Tel. +39.0173.978145, e-mail: malvira@malvira.com

Accommodation:
For your first night I recommend to stay at Villa Tiboldi. It is managed by the same family of the winery. The house is surrounded by a breathtaking view over the hills of Langa and Roero. The boutique hotels offers 10 comfortable rooms around 170 Euro/night. A restaurant and a swimming pool with a view over the Langhe make your stay memorable!  Experience the ideal pairing of exquisite traditional Piemontese Food with premium wines!

  •  Josetta Saffirio, Loc. Castelletto 39, 12065 Monforte d’Alba – Langhe
    This winery is located at Monforte d’Alba on Castelletto hill, facing south east, for a total of 5 hectares of vineyards mostly planted as Nebbiolo. In the early twentieth century, Josetta’s father, Ernesto, began cultivating the vineyards inherited from his father. 1952 she creates a unique Barolo, which in the nineties amazes the Italian wine scene. Josetta is the first woman giving a label to the Barolo wine. The gnomes decorating the bottles are inspired by childhood stories she was told by her father!


    My personal highlight: Putting on boots to walk inside the wine yards gives makes you smell the earth! Marco, one of the managers, guided us through his favorite hill called “Persiera”. From here you admire the complete Langa valley. Lange means tongue (IT: Lingua).  This is the shape of the wine yards! I am taught, that the color of the leafs explain the sort of a grape.

Check their project called: adopt a row! You can buy your own row and experience onsite the huge work that lies behind winemaking. Learn all the steps of wine making as the harvesting, the aging and finally the bottling. More details here.

Contact:
Josetta Saffirio Farm, Località Castelletto, 39, 12065 Monforte d’Alba (CN), info@josettasaffirio.com,
Tel. + 39 0173 787278

  • Agricola Gian Piero Marrone, Langhe
    The Company “Agricola Gian Piero Marrone” is a Family for four generations dedicated with passion to the works in the vineyards. The business is in hand of three sisters in the 4th generation. Here you experience a friendly and honest hospitality with genuine and home made dishes at reasonable prices. This place is very authentic. Find excellent products as wine olive oil, truffles and local sweets at reasonable prices.The winery is beautifully located in the middle of the Langhe hills and has a admirable terrace facing the wine yards. The restaurant invites to take a seat at tables “between” the wine barrels.
    For those who love cooking: Attend a cooking class in the winery and learn the secrets of this typical cuisine! Get more information here.

My personal highlight: Tasting an excellent Langhe doc Chardonnay “Memundis” and learning from Marco Bertone one of the managers that sulfates (mostly in white whine) are often cause of headaches. They remove oxygen from the stomach, which in turn takes it from the brain. The lack of oxygen causes headaches! Now I know where my headaches come from: no wines with sulfates, please!

Contact:
Agricola Gian Piero Marrone, Frazione Annunziata 13, 12064 La Morra (CN) Italia, tel +39 0173 509288, e-mail: marrone@agricolamarrone.com

  • Cantina Cascina Castlèt – Between Alba and Asti
    Costigliole d’Asti is one of the most enchanting centers in Alto Monferrato. From the valley of Tanora the landscape rises to gentle hills up to the 300 m above sea level. M. Frazione San Michele, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view to the Alps. The soil conditions are ideal for viticulture.
    Local grape varieties are: Barbera, Moscato, Uvalino and NebbioloCabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This variety has been grown in Costigliole since the late 18th century. Cascina Castlèt used to belong to the Borio family for generations. Mariuccia inherited it from her father in 1970.

    My personal highlight:
    Exploring a wine cellar with a mystic touch. It reminds me of a place where the magic happens. The wine is refined until it gets to the result to be a rubin red Barbera.

    Contact:
    Cascina Castlet
    Str. Castelletto, 6, 1405 Costigliole d’Asti, Tel.: +39 0141 966651, Email: info@cascinacastlet.com

    Accommodation:
    Villa Loreto, Strada del Loreto, 33, 14055 Castigliole D’Asti – www.villa-loreto.com
    A little paradise for your relax with an amazing view managed by a Swiss couple that fell in love with this region. The stylishly furnished homes with private pools are located in a private estate of 35’000 m2. Maria introduces me into the exploration of Asti Spumante in food recipes! I love to share my favorite Piedmont Dessert with you, it’s prepared super fast and easy!

Zabaione al Moscato d’Asti

Ingredients: 1 egg, 4 egg yolk, 1dl Moscato d’Asti, 50 grams of sugar

Preparation:
In a saucepan placed in a bain-marie, add the Moscato d’Asti and the sugar to the egg yolks and the whole egg. Use a wire whip to mix slowly until it gets warm, stir until the mixture is soft and creamy. Remove from heat and immediately strain with biscuits or a hazelnut cake.

  • La Casaccia – Monferrato
    This area is somewhat overshadowed a bit by Barolo and Barbaresco. Be prepared of very exclusive and delicate wines made with the Grignolino or the Freisa grapes. At La Casaccia they produce elegant traditional drops interpreted in a modern way. Giovanni loves to experiment with the grapes and offers very intellectually wines that reflect the positive elements of the character of Giovanni and his family.
    The winery La Casaccia is located in a house from the 17th century. Today it is renovated to a jewel including a cozy B&B. Walking in the base where the wine cellar is feels like visiting an ancient museum. Some bottles are hundreds of years old. The cellar excavated in the underground is a rarity. It made this region become a World Heritage Site of UNESCO, too.

Do you know the Grignolino grape?
I did not. It’s a famous grape from the region of Monferrato. It is a wine of character and full of discoveries. With its natural spiciness it’s perfect for those who love the intriguing flavors. Grignolino is very delicate wine and difficult to cultivate. The grape is sensitive to diseases and requires a lot of care and attention.

My personal highlight: Try their wines at dinner, spend a night at their cozy B&B and get spoiled by the traditional and genuine cooking skills of Elena. I absolutely loved their La Casaccia metodo classico sparkling wine made of Chardonnay grapes.

If you are planning a longer time off from home and are interested in helping in the wine yards, this is a place to do such a project. Get in contact with them!A specialty we tried was a flan made of broccoli, a veal involtino stuffed with artichokes and some fresh cheese and salumi. Feel like eating at a family table. We shared lovely stories of life zipping on our glass. The breakfast in the morning is the cherry on the top. A lukewarm hazelnut cake made only with egg white and local hazelnuts! No butter and practically no sugar. Thank you Giovanni, Elena, Margherita and Marcello for this very hearty evening spent with you sharing our stories of life.

Contact:
Azienda Vitivinicola La Casaccia, Via Barbano Dante 10, Cella Monte, 53010, Tel. 0039 (0)142 489 986, E-Mail: vini@lacasaccia.biz

Accommodation:
Simple but very cozy and authentic rooms. It’s a very typical historical building in Cella Monte from the 17th century renovated with much love. Get more here.

Interested in other travel stories? Visit my travel section here.

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Ristorante Italia

rigatoni salsiccia

My personal highlight: Pasta with salsiccia, it’s like being down at the bottom of the heel

This is a restaurant to eat excellent pasta or typical traditional Italian food from the southern region of Italy. My favorite pasta there is the pasta rigatoni with salsiccia.

In the main sala called “sala rosa” the restaurant has an enomat. Here you can select out of a variety of wines from Italy and Switzerland. It’s kind of fancy to hold your glass under a machine and fill it by yourself. Salute!

Make your own choice. The place is at Zeughausstrasse 61.

www.ristorante-italia.ch

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