Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Czech it out!

My day job has brought me to the Czech Republic for a few days, a good opportunity to try out some different cuisine. I had no idea what to expect of the food in Prague but imagined it to be a bit like German / Austrian / Swiss cuisine. What I found was dumplings. The goulash I ordered in a very traditional restaurant, with onsite brewery, came with two different varieties: potato dumplings and bread dumplings. The former were a bit like the large Roman gnocchi; the latter came with lardons inside and were more tasty. The goulash itself, had some beautifully braised beef, and a wonderfully sweet garnish of red onions, red peppers, and a pinch of grated cabbage.

Butter ratings:
Restaurace Novoměstský Pivovar, Prague

Monday, 19 August 2013

Battle of the croissants.

The origins of the croissant lie closer to Zürich than to Paris. As the french term, Viennoiserie, used to refer to croissants, pains au chocolat, chaussons aux pommes, and the like, suggests, it was the Austrian capital that exported 'kipferln' to France after the Napoleonic Wars.

During my final week in Switzerland, I decided to consumer test 'gipfeli', as Swiss-German calls them, from two of the most popular bakeries in Zürich: Jung (est. 1976), on Bleicherweg, and Sprüngli (est. 1836), on Paradeplatz. I will be comparing these with the french version in the next few days.

The Jung gipfeli (1.40CHF / 1.13), straight shaped with quite a dark colouring, was soft and dense, with an obvious flavour of butter and a hint of salt. 

The Sprüngli gipfeli (1.70CHF / 1.37€), a perfect crescent shape, in fact almost a circle, with a golden colour, was crispy but rather dry, with a light consistency, again a good buttery flavour, and more salt.

For flavour, I preferred the Sprüngli, but I must say I preferred the consistency of the Jung. However, both were a little disappointing, especially the dryness of the Sprüngli.

Butter ratings:
Sprüngli, Bahnhofstrasse 21, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland 

Jung, Bleicherweg 10, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland

New feature: butter ratings

I have decided to add a rating system for food mentioned on the blog, and what better system to adopt but 'butter ratings'. Cuisine appropriate, and a nod to Julia Child.
From now onwards, I will award between 1 and 5 butter curls to any food, restaurants, shops, wine, recipes, or websites I write about. So watch out for the nifty icons in future posts.

5 butter curls = Exceptionnel!
Very good!
      4 butter curls = Très bon!
            3 butter curls = Moyenne
                  2 butter curls = Décevant
                        1 butter curl = Atroce!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Bonjour tout le monde!

After two years living in the Swiss city of Zürich, I have moved, lock, stockpot, and Kitchenaid, to the city of Paris, France. So, my blog has a new look, a new name, and a new focus. Chueche Bueb, is no more but welcome to Pain, Beurre, Vin, named for three of the cornerstones of French cuisine, and dedicated to a twenty-first century take on 'mastering the art of French cooking.'
Living in Paris will be a culinary adventure, which I intend to punctuate with learning the classic recipes, as well as writing about contemporary trends and attitudes to food in France. Watch this space for hints, tips, and photographs of what I hope will be some of the best food in the world.
All the posts from Chueche Bueb will continue to be available in the archive. So, 'Uf Wiederluege, Züri' and 'Bonjour, Paris!'