As you may remember, I previously posted on Zurich's Farmers Market, in the Hauptbahnhof (the central train station). Despite the relatively "empty" content of my post, I actually did not leave the farmers market empty-handed. I would love to share with you a memorable purchase from the market, the Swiss pretzel.
In America, we eat pretzels alone, unadorned, and unadulterated. Therefore, in Switzerland, I decided to go "out on a limb," and thus I ordered a pretzel sandwich with butter and prosciutto.
In the United States, we know pretzels as either the (1) hard and bite-sized "snack" kind, found in manufactured plastic bags, like Rold Gold's, or (2) the large and soft kind, like those you buy in the mall from Auntie Anne's. Oddly, the warm pretzel (or "bretzel," in German) from Switzerland possessed the best of both "hard/soft" worlds, for (1) it was dried and crunchy at the tapered and twisted ends, and (2) soft, dense, and chewy like a doughy bagel in the thicker regions. The pretzel's shiny surface was encrusted with with opaque salt crystals, which were perched like coarse jewels on the braided pretzel crown. The subtle flavors and harmonious textures of the pretzel were outstanding: I had never had a pretzel with both soft and hard elements, both present at once.
And onto the "sandwich" element of the pretzel. There was substantial layer of cold, sweet, coagulated butter spread thick across the interior surface of the sliced pretzel. The unsalted and freshly churned butter tasted like a decadent coating of luxurious cream cheese on a toasted New York bagel. The paper-thin slice of cured Italian meat had a pleasingly salty finish and firm, gristle-like "tug" in each bite. Quite delicious, if I might say so myself.
Although the pretzel was great, it was not my favorite item from the farmers market, that day. More to come, on my favorite farmers market purchase!
If you cannot wait until my next post, check out some of my other Zurich-related posts, here:
- Farmers Market in Zurich's Central Train Station
- H. Schwarzenbach Kolonialwaren & Kaffeerösterei
- Window Shopping in Zurich
- Confiserie Sprüngli
- Greetings, from Switzerland!