Sunday, February 08, 2009

Swiss Pretzel Sandwich

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:
And here are some posts on other foods that I sampled in Zurich:


  1. I LOVE pretzels, I must try making a sandwich out of one, and soon!

  2. The pretzel sandwich was a totally new concept to me Sara, and I agree, I will have to try making one as well!

  3. wow. interesting! i'll have to try an auntie anns with prosciutto!

  4. P & P... pretzels and prosciutto... YUM!

  5. Haha, Auntie Anne's + cured meat is a great way to start Alex!

    I know, P&P is such a great nickname for a great combo MyLastBite!

  6. Philly is known for their (soft) pretzels too. Probably because of the huge German population that settled in PA. They sort of are a cheaper copy of the real thing from Europe, but not greasy or whimpy like the Auntie Annie's fast food pretzel. They do taste better than those "soft pretzel" frozen foods

  7. Now that is food porn. Every so often, I stumble across a simple photo or recipe that spells out pure food porn for me, and makes me want to be alone in my kitchen with a Johnny Mathis record, and today, this simple P&P sandwich is that porn. I adore pretzels in most forms -- but I think Auntie Anne pretzels are an abomination (they are just pretzel shaped undercooked bread baked off by disinterested mall youth) -- and this simple sandwich would be fantastic. I'm going to try it soon. Thank you. Have to go put on a record, now.

  8. I believe a visit to Philly is warranted for my future travel plans RLo!

    Haha, I have been replaying Johnny Mathis music in my head ever since I saw that pretzel "vision" in Zurich several months ago Kate!

  9. wow! that sounds fantastic PE. I am a horrible baker, but pretzels are about the only thing I've ever made that came out all right! But I didn't make sandwiches out of them... great idea though!

  10. Making pretzels at home seem like quite a significant undertaking Foodhoe! I hope this means that you will be making them again soon, and somehow, I can end up tasting your delicious and successful pretzel creations! ;)

  11. When we talk of pretzels, its a bite size "snack food". I never thought that there are variations of this kiddy snack that are good for adults. But I'm not so keen with this kind of goody - I rather go for those with veggies as part of the ingredients.

  12. This looks so delicious! :)
    You don't by any chance know a good place to find those swiss pretzel sandwich in san francisco, do you?

    Really like your blog


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  14. Your blog looks super yummy with picture of Swiss Pretzel Sandwich. It was nice going through your blog.


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