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STORIESZurich Blogging

Urban gardening in Zurich – Workshop @ Veg and The City

My personal highlights: Planting my first salad seeding and realizing how simple & easy it is to create a little garden on a balcony in a sexy garden grow bag

Start to know food where it grows – cultivate your little urban garden on your Zurich balcony

During the Food & Drinks weeks at Europaallee the basic course for urban gardening of the company Veg and the city caught my interest. As a child my father loved to bring my brother and myself to the veggie garden to learn and unterstand the variety of plants. I have to admit, plenty of that knowledge got lost with the years.
What is left is the special feeling of touching fresh earth and the desire to grow food from scratch with my own care and love.
Living in Zurich city makes it more difficult to cultivate vegetables or fruits. The only plants I ever buy – mostly already full-grown – are basil or mint. Sometimes my father gives me a already grown plant of cherry tomatoes, but that’s it. Motivation enough to initiate my own little garden on the balcony.
The course at Veg and the city is the perfect kick off to get basic knowledge for your own little garden. We learnt about so called 10 golden rules for a successful balcony garden! As you can imagine, care, patience and quality biological farming products are essential. Not enough said, perfect planning (seasonal) and the ideal spot for your plants with enough daylight is crucial to make your little green babies grow and flourish.

Interested to know more about how to you initiate your own urban gardening project?

Get your knowledge and starting motivation @Veg an the city. Begin with their basic course and see where it brings you! A class costs 95 CHF for 3 hours of full knowledge transfer and hands-on gardening.

About Veg and the city

Experience a young team of nature-loving people that set themselves the goal to restore the lost connection to the food and to preserve the knowledge of self-vegetable farming for the next generations.
Find gardening courses for every level. Visit their shop at Europaallee (Lagerstrasse 36-38), at Freilagerstrasse 71 or in Winterthur. They also offer floral wedding decorations. Just ask for what you need!
In the mood to know more about my other Zurich Blog Stories? Get a glimpse on Lovefoodish Stories here.
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STORIESZurich Blogging

Thinking loud part 1: What are sustainable palm oil products, how can we recognize them

We consumer need to understand that not all palm oil is bad and wiping out habitat or killing endangered species.

I love to use my blog to share stories about the topic “food“. It’s not always about going out for dinner or cooking creative recipes. I do care, where the product come from and how I can somehow in my small portion support the planet. I am amazed about how palm oil is used and consumed in our daily life. This brought me to write this story.

We consumer can create more attention throughout social media nowadays. It’s a platform that opens doors. Being bit critical has always been honored. I experience in my everyday life, that it’s good to give an eye on my shopping list. Although the industry isn’t make it always very easy and transparent. I want to share with you my thoughts and research about sustainable palm oil.

A reflection about palm oil

There is much negative information and critics about palm oil. Some facts concern our planet, some our health. This story shall give you a short overview of articles I found. I used the worldwideweb to gather all of my information. Contents derive from different official sources as WWF, Swissinfo, the RSPO Organisation a.o.

Let’s start from Adam: What is palm oil?

Palm oil comes from the pulp of the palm fruit and is red in color. Palm kernel oil comes from the seed.​ It’s an edible vegetable oil high in saturated fats and free of trans fats. The oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) is native to West Africa and was imported into South East Asia in the mid 19th century. Around 90% of palm oil is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia. One of the reasons for its popularity is its price, it is about 1/3 cheaper than soybean oil. Compared to other vegetable oils (such as rapeseed oil),  palm oil is more productive and requires less acreage.

We find palm and palm kernel oil in many processed foods, cosmetics and personal care products.

Palm Oil is also used to manufacture bio fuel and has become what is called the green fuel option for Motor Vehicles, shipping and Aircraft fuel.

The negative aspects we know about palm oil

In some regions, palm oil cultivation has caused – and continues to cause – deforestation. This means that land, which was once predominantly covered by primary forest or which housed protected species and biodiversity, was cleared in order to be converted into palm oil plantations. The cheapest and fastest way to clear land for plantations is slash and burn. Fires in Indonesia produce some of the world’s worst pollution. Especially the area of Sumatra and Borneo is very much affected.

I myself have visited the Tanjung Puting National Parkin in Kalimantan during my Indonesia travels and experienced the beauty of these species. These animals are unique in the world. It breaks my hear to read about what some people are capable to do with their life.

Protect the orang utan in Sumatra and Borneo

The Swiss biologist Regina Frey has first-hand experience of rainforest destruction in Sumatra. She is the founder of the PanEco foundationexternal link, which takes in homeless orangutans and reintroduces them into protected rainforest habitats. It has saved more than 200 apes this way.

Different reason caught my interest to explore more about this topic. Personal traveler experience, the passion for food and the lust to share information with my community.

There is a way to fix the issues mentioned. Deforestation-free palm oil is possible. We consumers need to understand that not all palm oil is bad.  Not all palm oil is wiping out habitat and killing endangered species.

The initiative for sustainable cultivation of palm oil: Roundtable on sustainable palm oil (RSPO)

The NGO called RSPO: Round table on Sustainable Palm Oil founded in 2004 set the goal to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. Representatives of palm plantations, manufacturing industry, social and environmental organizations as well as banks and retailers are represented in the organization. The RSPO has developed a set of environmental and social criteria which companies must comply with in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). Properly applied, these criteria can help to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions.
Big industrial companies as Ferrero or Unliver are partners of RSPO. They work extensively with their suppliers to keep a global responsible palm oil procurement policy.

This movie throws good light into the topic and makes best understand how RSPO works.

Where to get sustainable palm oil products in Switzerland

In Switzerland Migros and Coop both play an important role for RSPO. Both retailer have been supporting the production of sustainable palm oil with the purchase of certificates. They cooperate with industrial companies that are buying palm oil from Swiss importers and processors who purchase physically sustainable, RSPO-certified palm oil. Beside these two retailer of course we have the choice to shop at organic shops, they that offer certified products, too. In Zurich I like to go at BachserMärt in Seefeld or at Lochergut for example.

I found the search mode on the website of the Organisation Greenpalm very useful to check which companies are RSPO certified. Check it by yourself!

Sustainable cultivation in accordance with the RSPO principles and criteria means that no tropical forests have been burned for plantations since 2005, that the laws are complied with and that fair and safe working conditions prevail.

What we can do as a consumer

  • Buy products that are clearly certified with a sustainable label/certificate
  • Avoid finished food
  • Ask in the supermarket for the origin of palm oil, if it is not stated on the product
  • Try the WWF App to get practical information on the origin of food, even recipes
  • Use social media to learn more, get involved through a dialog at platforms as for example Migros offers. Migipedia is a place to share your voice and influence what retailer do

Get in contact here!

Drop me a line for input on my thoughts, share suggestions to other topics, I am happy to get in contact with you.

    Interested to know more about Lovefoodish, try my coffee guide where you get sustainable coffee at various coffee shops in Zurich.

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    STORIESZurich Blogging

    Best of Swiss Gastro Award Night 2017 – Zurich

    My personal highlights: Understanding that Social Media is getting more importance in the whole gastronomic branch in Switzerland (Read below why) – Tasting probably the best “Cremè Schnitte” ever prepared by the Swiss World Pastry Chef Rolf Mürner

    This event is of high importance for many gastronomes in Switzerland. The Champions League of Swiss Gastronomy comes together to celebrate the winners and enjoy a relaxed ceremonious atmosphere. It’s the 14th time, that the Swiss a jury and the audience selects “Best of Swiss Gastro” winners in eight different categories and one Master category. The jury reviewed over 50’000 applications over a period of 3 months.

    During the ceremony it has been pointed out several times from the jury, that offering a modern and excellent functioning website as well as active social media presence are crucial to obtain this prestigious award. I am happy to hear, that all the work we do in social media is rewarded and appreciated. People go with the trend, checking the internet before making a reservation is a common attitude nowadays.

    144 gastro companies applied for the awards in the following categories:

    Activity (gastronomic facilities that offer more than food abut also leisure & Sports, Bar & Lounge, Classic (typical Swiss Cuisine), Coffee, Fine Dining, International , On the move (Takeaway and self-service), Trend (innovative food concepts)

    The award trophy is the famous wooden cross. This year the award night took place at Hall 622 in Zurich. Nik Hartmann, the well known and silver-tongued moderator of the Swiss Radio SRF lead just perfect through the evening. The culinary highlight for me was the dessert created by the Swiss World Pastry Chef Rolf Mürner. A dream of a vanilla cream melted on my tongue on a thin and perfectly shaped millefeuille, in between a delicious drop of strawberry jam. The dessert came accompanied by an admirable live played version of purple rain.

    Who are the winners of the 8 awarded categories and who is the Master?

    Every year there is a category that awards a Master. Only one nominated can reach out for this award. The “Master 2018” went to the Ristorante da Enzo in Ponte Brolla in the beautiful Ticino this year. The evening gave me chance to get an overview about many new and existing spots to discover. I absolutely want to try a truffle Kebab very soon at Ayverdis in Zurich and surely make a trip to Berne to the ice cream heroes called Eiswerkstatt.

    Here all winners and category at a glance

    Congratulations to all the winners. I am happy to have new food places in Switzerland to discover soon and add them on the Lovefoodish foodguide.

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    STORIESZurich Blogging

    Best Swiss Streetfood Festivals 2017

    A guide to the best Swiss Streetfood Festivals

    What happens when a Travel vlogger and Food blogger in Zurich decide to put their minds together for a few hours and stroll through a multi cultural food festival? Bye Bye Mimi a travel vlogger and myself Lovefoodish strolled through the 80 food trucks! We gave it all.

    The result?

    Afresh inspiring movie making your mouth watering and your mind traveling out to many continents.

    For those who did not have the chance to experience the Streetfood Festival in Zurich in July 2017 here the tasty video that introduces you to the food trucks we explored!
    Korea, Japan, Italy, Tibet, Switzerland, countries with amazing specialities!

    My personal favorite were the Momo’s from the Zurich food truck Tenz !

    The black chocolate ice cream with activated charcoal from the Swiss Chocolate manufacturer Taucherli conquered my heart, too!

    Stay tuned for more Food Festivals and join our food travels on youtube!

    A superb Food Event is coming up in September organized from Food Zurich. This is more than a Food Festival, it’s 10 days of Food experiences and sharing of knowledge and skills.

    Food Zurich, 7.-17. September 2017

    Find over 200 producers of food from Switzerland and the world that present their food knowledge to the public through workshops, special dinners or food related speeches.
    10 Days of real food experiences spread all over the city wait for you! Get introduced to nose-to-tail at courses, a lecture about how to manage Food waste starting in your mind, or assist a Gin Chocolate tasting! The full program is available here.

    More Street Food Festival in Switzerland

    Want to know where to eat best Asian food in Zurich? Check my food guide here!

     

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    STORIESZurich Blogging

    Dive into a new coffee experience

    Bros Bean Beats

    Why I love blogging for food & coffee in Zurich?

    We are surrounded by a dynamic world of culinary offers. All of this international people and expatriates living here bring a great influence and trends to our city. It is absolutely inspiring. I have the feeling that every moment either online or offline I am getting in contact with new coffee and food places.
    It’s like Alice in wonderland. By talking to people I find out, that we all get more and more sensitive to really good quality food or coffee. Consumers want to know more about where the products come from. It goes even further; we love to have the knowledge of preparing all of this at home, too.

    Bean Bros & Beats introduce me a bit to the topic filter coffee

    My first reaction as an Italian is skeptical, since I like coffee dark and strong. But I admit, after tasting this coffee at their coffee place I feel completely taken into this new coffee culture. I love the idea to have 2 coffees a day, a flat white in the morning and a filter coffee in the afternoon.

    What is a real good filter coffee and what a flat white?

    Two complete different coffee experiences! A flat white consists of a double shot espresso and has micro foam on it. It comes in a smaller glass (1.8 dl) to make the taste more intense; it can be more nutty in the taste. Here I refer to the Fifty Fifty blend used at Bros Beans & Beats, roasted by Henauer. There are blends that have a taste of chocolate, too. A different machine is used to brew the coffee.

    Filter coffee has an other preparation procedure. Coffee is brewed with water, using the right temperature it draws out fantastic flavors and aromas. A real coffee pleasure for your tongue. It is more aromatic and pure, if I may say it this way. The coffee fromvertical coffee” that Bros Beans & Beat prepare as filter coffee is fruity in the taste.

    Let’s get bit more into filter coffee, I researched some topics for you

    First: you need some equipment

    • Good quality coffee beans. Find some online here
    • Buy a French press to start. It’s a cylindrical pot with a plunger and built-in filter screen that presses hot water through ground coffee.

    Find some instructions here for your perfect cup of coffee:

    • Best French press brewing guide
      or stop by at Bros Beans & Beats and get some professional advise!
    • If you like a more professional machine: go for a moccamaster, it’s about 250 CHF. This works all automatic but needs a bit of knowledge. This brand is used at Bros Beans & Beats. A valuable website to find your ideal espresso coffee machine is available here.
    • Grind your beans with a manual grinder! You smell an explosion of flavours when you grind the beans. There are two manual grinders I suggest, the commandante C40 nitro blade it is not only fancy in the look but works fantastic or the Hario Mill bit cheaper but good. Both are burr grinders, so they’ll produce a nice, consistent grind, and they’re relatively compact.
    • You need to weight your coffee, so get an electronic scale
    • For the Moccamaster you need paper filter.

    Buy this equipment either on amazon or on coffeecircle.com. Get a great choice and good price ranges.

    After you have your equipment get familiar with some more information on coffee preparation

    • How fine or rough should the coffee be grind?

    For French press or the moccamaster you would want a coarse grind. Using a simple moka machine you go for a fine grind. Somehow, find your own grinding and play with it!

    • Some insights about the roasting of the coffee beans

    Dark coffee beans display a lot of visible oils, this is typical of your dark roast and espresso roast blends. The oil simply means the beans were roasted longer than their less oily counterparts.

    • A light or dark roast for your coffee?

    Darker coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts. Lighter blends still contain oil, however the oils are “lighter” and are not as visible since they are contained inside. These blends are roasted for shorter periods of times giving them more caffeine. For filter coffee use light roasted beans.

    • How much coffee do you need for your cup of coffee?

    About 3 tablespoons per 3dl water. But play around with how much you use in proportion to how much water you use and you’ll end up finding the perfect combination for your taste.

    What else to say? Let’s start playing and explore this world of coffee together. And if all of this is just too complex, stop by at Bros Beans & Beats and order your coffee there!

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