Ghackets und Hörnli
When my Canadian friends were invited for dinner, my mum made this crowd-pleaser, which we’d refer to as Swiss Hamburger Helper.
All tagged Mum
Six weeks ago, my mum arrived in Switzerland—less than twenty-four hours before her first granddaughter was born—and since then she's managed to fit in Nüsslisalat at every turn.
My mum's classic marble cake.
Although this dish is popular all over the world, it was two Swiss people who showed me the best way to make it.
Every evening of my childhood my mum, like the good Swiss ex-pat she is, would make herself a cup of Ovomaltine to drink. As a child I tolerated the stuff, but didn't love it, preferring sweeter powder-in-milk drinks like Nesquik. But over time Ovomaltine made its way into my heart...and my cookies.
There is no one standard Brunsli recipe. Historically, the most luxurious and expensive part of the cookie was the ground nuts. It was only during lean times that the nuts were replaced with flour. There is debate over which nuts to use, whether almonds, hazelnuts, or even walnuts. Some recipes call for grated or melted chocolate, while others depend on cocoa (and some use both). Finally, some recipes suggest the cookies are baked low in the oven and some forego baking completely and just leave them out to dry.
Today, the man in front of me at the checkout in the Coop had about seven packages of Mailänderli dough, the stuff you can roll out and bake.
The cashier smiled at him, "it's really the best Christmas cookie, gäu?"
I think most of German-speaking Switzerland would agree.
I'm sure my mother never tired of my requests for spätzli when I was a child. She would boil them up and serve them warm, with a saucy, meaty stew. It was a dish that managed to seem both exotic and familiar. Most other families I knew didn't make spätzli, and yet it wasn't so different from dumplings or the ubiquitous pirogy.
Unless you grew up in Switzerland, you probably have no idea what Schabziger is. However, if you did, you probably have only one of two reactions to it: disgust, or unbridled passion.
Schabziger is unique to Glarus, one of Switzerland's smallest cantons. It has the honour of being Switzerland's oldest protected brand and is perhaps the most polarising cheese in Switzerland's culinary canon.
A Swiss classic, I remember my mum's Rüeblitorte (carrot cake) fondly. She never iced it, so I always felt like I could eat it for breakfast. I asked her to send me her recipe, and she ended up sending both hers and my grandmother's. Rather than decide between the two, I diplomatically amalgamated them and came up with the following.