Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The one store that defined my trip to Zurich, Switzerland, was without a doubt, Confiserie Sprüngli, a delicious store which is a combination bakery (with a dizzying selection of toothachingly sweet Swiss pastries) and confectioner/chocolatier’s shop. (Thank you for the tip, Just Hungry!)
The moment you enter, you will see a throng of eager patrons standing in line to order Confiserie Sprüngli’s renowned Luxemburgerli macaroons. The macaroons generally consist of (1) decadently buttery chocolate ganache or (2) cloud-like puffs of whipped cream, sandwiched in between two melt-in-your-mouth meringue mounds that have an airy, wafer-like crispness. The meringues literally evaporate in your mouth like a sweet silk, made of sugar.
Yes folks, this is what manna must have tasted like. Hallelujah!
The first thing I thought of when I read the word “luxemBURGERli,” was the word, “burger.” The Luxemburgerli macaroons do indeed look like dainty finger-sized burgers, but exhibit an artistic flair—they might possess a bright pastel sheen, a luminescent surface which reflects the glistening sunlight, or be covered in a blanket of powdered cocoa. Confiserie Sprüngli has a stunning array of robust flavors, including pistachio and alcohol-infused flavors such as champagne and Bailey’s liqueur. But there are flavors even for the unadventurous, including classic French vanilla, and Swiss chocolate.
After you’ve ordered your macaroons and paid at the counter (but before you open the pristine box flaps to your macaroon feast), take the time to read the attached message printed in three different languages (German, French, and English) on a paper slip the size of those you find in fortune cookies. The instruction on the message is simple, yet forceful, "Enjoy [your macaroons] as soon as possible." The delicate texture of the macaroons are best eaten in seconds so that they retain their crisp and airy texture, and don't become chewy and stale from humid air.
These Luxemburgerli macaroons, unfortunately, don't come cheap. I remember the price as roughly five Swiss francs (approximately, four dollars) for a small box of four macaroons. But believe you me, they're worth every bite.
If you aren't in the mood for sweets, the Confiserie Sprüngli on Bahnhofstrasse (the main thoroughfare in Zurich) sells savory foods, such as sandwiches, quiches, and meat pies.
So to recap, if you're in Zurich, you "must" visit Confiserie Sprüngli. It's the place to eat Swiss sweets!