Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A Chuecheli* lover's guide to Zurich

 When it comes to buying and eating bread and cakes, Zurich is a bit disappointing. Among all the high-end jewellery and watch shops, you are hard pressed to find a traditional Konditorei or Backerei such as you might see in Munich or Vienna. I guess the sizeable population of bankers is more interested in spending their time making money than whiling it away enjoying a cappuccino and Apfelstrudel like their Austrian neighbours.
It is not to say that Zurich pâtisserie doesn't exist; it's just not so present as you might expect and I use the word pâtisserie, because there is a distinctly french influence to what is available. The most famous Zurich pâtisserie, Sprüngli, is known for it's Luxemburgerli, which are essentially mini french macarons. And if you want the authentic french version you can pick them up from the Zurich branch of Ladurée but without the authentic Parisian queues.
A recent outing to Honold (est. 1905) Zurich's self-styled 'confiserie' revealed a second growing influence on cakes, that of the English-speaking ex-pat community who have brought their love of cupcakes to Switzerland. And it's telling that Zurich's own cupcake shop has an English name 'Cupcake Affair'.
In fact, you can buy cupcake-making equipment all over the city, perhaps aimed at wives of expat bankers sitting bored at home and wondering what to do with that Neff oven.
As a footnote, I must add that just round the corner from my apartment is Zurich's only 24-hour 365-day-per-year Backerei where you can buy fresh baguette at 3am.

*'chuecheli': swiss german for little cake

Sprüngli Luxemburgerli

Chaussons aux pommes for carnival at Sprüngli

The real deal: Ladurée macarons
Traditional ...

... and not so traditional at Honold

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