Archive for the ‘Switzerland and Swiss things’ Category

The Gay Village, Swiss Chalet, poutine

August 8, 2018

Further notes on the 31st motss.con in Montréal (which came to an end with a stragglers’ breakfast on Monday); background in my 8/3 posting “The rainbow pillars of Montréal”. And further explorations of things Swiss, or at least things called Swiss, in particular that Canadian institution, the Swiss Chalet restaurant chain. Motssers on holiday in Québec, food: that means poutine, (by report) consumed often and by many during the con.

Brief visual background on the con’s location, the Gay Village of the city:


(#1) Aerial view of Rue Ste-Catherine E. in the Gay Village, with its overhead rainbow-colored balls (from Chris Ambidge)

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Swiss National Day! (with a query)

August 1, 2018

Today, August 1st, is the National Day of Switzerland, a day to fly the big square flag:

  (#1)

On the flag and on the holiday, to come. But first, a query to readers. I ask that you respond only to this e-mail address: arnold.zwicky@gmail.com (so that I don’t have to try to collate responses sent to seven or eight different places). And I ask that you read the query and guve your immediate reaction to it (without looking things up or consulting other people or musing about what the “right” answer would be). Below the fold:

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Swiss Navy

July 22, 2018

(Swiss Navy lubricants for sex, so not to everyone’s taste. But there will be Swiss Army knives.)

Accidentally encountered in one of my forays into things Swiss: Swiss Navy products:

(#1)

The company offers both water-based and silicone-based lubes and a number of specialities, including masturbation cream and (clove-scented) anal lubricant.

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Swiss America

July 21, 2018

Wanderings through some Switzerland-related places in the U.S. and through some places fancied to be “the Switzerland of America”:


(#1) City hall of Santa Clara UT, flying the US, Utah, and Swiss flags


(#2) Alpine Ouray CO, in the Rockies

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Avoid needless menu words

July 18, 2018

I continue to explore menu and recipe uses of the Adj Swiss, outside of the conventionalized composites Swiss cheese, Swiss steak, and Swiss chard, all referring to things related in some way to Switzerland. That brought me to the “Signature Burgers” section of the menu at Kirk’s SteakBurgers in the Town & Country shopping center in Palo Alto:

(#1)

Ooh, the Swiss Pub Burger has no cheese at all listed in its ingredients; maybe it’s a pub burger in the Swiss style, or a burger of the sort you’d get at a Swiss pub, but either way, it looks like an appeal to Swissness. Maybe it’s the mushrooms; mushrooms are big in Switzerland.

But no, Swiss here is just a beheaded version of Swiss cheese. The burger does in fact have cheese — Swiss cheese — on it. Then why isn’t Swiss cheese in the ingredients list?

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Chard semantics, chard art, and chard food

July 17, 2018

My recent Swiss steak posting,”Braised short ribs with Swiss chard, and the Swiss Hotel” on the 15th, in considering Swiss chard as an ingredient in cooking, also looked at the semantics of the composite Swiss chard (it’s relational rather than predicational: Swiss chard isn’t Swiss, but instead is related to or associated with Switzerland in some way — but in what way?) and illustrated one culinary use of the plant’s leaves.

But there’s more. First, there’s more on the semantics. Swiss chard is a synonym of chard; all chard is Swiss chard. That is, the Swiss of Swiss chard isn’t restrictive, but rather appositive: not ‘chard that is related to Switzerland (in such and such a way)’, but ‘chard, which is related to Switzerland (in such and such a way)’.

Second, thanks to the striking colors of its ribs and leaves and to the complex textures of its leaves, Swiss chard is beautiful: it’s a frequent subject for artists (in paintings, water colors, and pencil drawings) and photographers, and it’s grown as an ornamental plant (like ornamental cabbage and kale — the ornamental crucifers — and some herbs, notably rosemary, thyme, and sage).

Finally, my adventures with the composite Swiss chard led me to two specific culinary uses of the plant: in the characteristic dish of Romansh-speaking Switzerland, the chard-wrapped meat dumplings capuns; and the combination of   Swiss chard with white beans (in sautés, stews, and soups) — one of the staples of my Swiss grandmother’s cooking.

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