All in Wild

Jägerpiester

Jägerpiester

The supermarkets in Switzerland are currently filled with these packages of Pfeffer, or marinated game. Often you can get them for a very good price, and pie is an exceedingly easy way to take advantage, especially if you don't have time to make all the parts of the Wild plate. Decorate the lid with some forest animals and you have a Jäger's, or Hunter's pie. 

Glazed Chestnuts

Glazed Chestnuts

Starting from the first crisp autumn days, the city of Bern is filled with the wafting aroma of chestnut vendors selling bags of the roasted nuts. For farmers, chestnut season is typically from October to December, but the street vendors stretch this time out as long as possible, selling them well into the new year (I don't mind).

Rotkohl

Rotkohl

Hildegard von Bingen wrote that red cabbage generates maladies in humans and injures weak intestines. However, in the Middle Ages, the point of contention seemed to be the colour of the plant, rather than its distressing intestinal side effects. The cabbage was known as red, Rotkohl, in certain parts of the German speaking realm, and blue, Blaukohl, in others. At the time, the German language lacked the term for purplelila, and things that today seem very obviously purple, like this cabbage, were categorized as either red or blue.  

 

Spätzli

Spätzli

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.

Poached Pears

Poached Pears

Poached pears aren't just for dessert. On a Wildteller, they feature as one of the seasonal sides, with a daub of cranberry sauce in their center. Make a few extra and you have a light dessert (if you still have room for dessert. Otherwise, breakfast.)

Rehpfeffer

Rehpfeffer

This Rehpfeffer, a kind of deer stew, has a secret ingredient: chocolate. Well, it's not such a secret, because Betty Bossi, Switzerland's consummate domestic authority,  suggested it here. And since this is Switzerland, it seems fitting. Traditionally, you would use animal blood to thicken the sauce and give it a nice, dark colour. I prefer the chocolate.

Wild

Wild

Wild is the German word for game (as in animals that you can hunt). Autumn is Wild season and restaurants all over Switzerland and central Europe prepare plates that feature game meats and traditional side dishes.