If your knowledge of Zurich is limited to the Lindt chocolates lining up the aisles in your neighborhood supermarket, book Oman Air Holidays for a ‘cheesy’ affair and a chocolaty liaison, as you traipse through the quaint hamlets of Zurich
Right, good things in life are made of cheese and chocolates and some rolling hillocks. Add to that frescoed houses and cobbled pathways, opening up to a panorama of picturesque villages…
Welcome to the land of pristine beauty; a nature haven for itinerant souls and foodies who have refined palates. You will be forgiven for thinking you have stepped back in time, when life was lived with a sense of gay abandon. The colours of nature in all its glory, the captivating fountains reflecting human ingenuity, and the cultured lifestyle permeating the air with its chocolate flavours and cheese notes – Zurich is a must-visit destination for travelers of every kind.
Who can say no to cheese? And if it is gurgling in a fondue with anticipation of turning a dish into a gourmet meal, even the most fastidious diner will have a big cheery ‘yes’. For a cheesemonger, Zurich is what food dreams are made of. With its market areas boasting some of the best cheese shops and the food courts adorned with restaurants teeming with cheeses of all kinds, Zurich will ensure that no palate is denied a cheesy affair.
Some of the popular restaurants, dedicated solely to cheese, include Le Dezaley, Fribourger Fondue Stubli, Swiss Chuchi, Walliser Keller, Chasalp, Chasstube Rehalp, Frau Gerolds Garten and Restaurant Felsenegg. You could also savour the delicious delights of warm fondue aboard The Fondue Tram, which is designed to appease all your senses.
But if cheese shopping is on your mind and you have lists from friends and relatives who want to make your trip to Zurich good for them, you could have your pick of cheese from Tritt Kase, Welschland Ladeli, Chas Challer, Chas Vreneli, Chas Brot, Chaslaube Riesbach, Chas Roli, Ernst Kasespetzialitaten or Bachser Mart.
There is, of course, more to cheese eating and shopping in Zurich with its cheese factories beckoning even nature tourists with the fresh aromas imbuing the hills surrounding them – like the Appenzeller cheese factory or the homey cheese factory at Chateau-d’Oex. The latter is a quiet little town nestled in the mountains of the Pays-d’Enhaut region; it is a perfect spot for tourists of all kinds, and cheese lovers who want to have an up close look at the process involved in producing the famous Swiss cheese.
Swiss sweets are made of all things chocolaty. Like Charlie’s chocolate factory in the popular flick ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, there is a dreamy touch of sweet bliss in all that you see and do in Zurich. As one traveler writer observed, in Zurich all that you need to do is follow your nose and it will take you straight to one chocolate shop or another. The city is choc(olate)-a-block with confectioners who know every chocolate lover’s fancy.
A must-visit chocolate destination is the Lindt & Sprüngli factory, which is a short train ride from downtown Zurich – not to see how they produce the chocolates but to treat your eyes to some of the most beautiful chocolate creations in the Lindt chocolate shop. The Sprüngli brand is as popular, and as is Laderach (at Laderach you could see the chocolatiers in action, as they craft a variety of chocolates). And then there is the La Maison Cailler, where you could treat your senses to all things chocolate.
But the best part of a chocolate trip to Zurich is learning to eat the chocolate right. If you believe in the art of mindful eating, you would know just how to get the best out of your chocolate; if not, ask any chocolatier or a tour guide to show you how. It begins with the touch, the feel, the smell and the actual biting into with a soft crunch.
Oman Air flies daily to Zurich; for more information visit www.omanair.com.