Bread! This would be the first thing I’d say I would miss if I were to move away from Switzerland. Undoubtedly, bread puts a huge smile on my face. Factually, I think the bread in Europe is a much healthier option than that from the U.S. Tradition stands in front of everything here. Bakers have learned the trade from masters, who have learned the trade from their masters and they study for years to achieve perfection. The line is long here, and the learning is deep, but the results will stay in your memory forever. You can find a baker in almost every town. Some bake with wood ovens, others with gas or electric. In every region of Switzerland, there is a bread that represents it. It reflects the region, and the tradition.
Sometimes the flour mixture is different, and more likely than not, the shape is different all around. For example, St. Gallen has the St. Galler Brot. Luzern has the “Luzerner Weggen”, Tessin has the “Tessiner Brot”, Geneva has the “Genfer Brot”, and so forth. Over 22 different blends and shapes are traditionally upheld in each canton; yet daily, over 200 assortments are made throughout Switzerland. Bread in our household is also that of a tradition. It’s holy. It’s our number one staple, and personally, I think I’d die with out it.
United States vs. Switzerland
If the U.S. had this outlook on bread, I think half of our problems would be solved. The world smiles when they have a great piece of bread. Little would we know that what we hold in our hands every morning comes from over 600+ years of thought. I mean, what if we could eat bread that was traditional from our American Indians-from the grains that they cultivated, gathered and milled, thus passing a major life source to our culture, still being enjoyed in the America’s today. But, sadly it’s not. Our bread is white, gooey, pasty, and rather dull and flavorless. I lived for over 40 years in my country, having yet to find a quality of bread which I found on the first day in Switzerland-in the airport, fresh off the plane!
So many of us have grown an intolerance to bread and we’ve made it the enemy. In the U.S., the production of wheat starts with a seed soaked in Roundup, then the seed endures a ‘rushed’ and altered growth season, and is in the end, robbed of all the good it was supposed to deliver to us. Yes, the end result of this hideous process is making us sick. Lactose intolerance, celiac’s disease, diabetes, and so many more sicknesses have plagued us, all due to the intolerant process wheat manufacturing and processing has affected us. Mono-cropping, mono-production isn’t done for the good of the people, but rather for the good of the profit.
As of now, I’m going to stick to this thousand year old tradition of making bread. I’m going to savor every bite, and I’m aiming to try the nearly 200 varieties this tiny land has to offer. I will keep you posted!
From the bakery Beck-Brunner, check out the size of the bread! The one we bought was 4 lbs. or 2kg, so each piece 1kg.