Inspiration comes in many forms…
My day in Kanton Glarus proved to be inspirational one indeed. Glarus is the smallest Kanton in Switzerland and is nestled in-between the Glärnisch ridge. It has a rich history of textiles in Switzerland, and is home to many geological findings such as fossils and dino prints. But what I find most inspirational about my day in Kanton Glarus, is its simple unmistakable beauty. It almost seems like a lost treasure that has stood still for hundreds of years. The town is small, yet charming, and the architecture mode is typical Swiss and loaded with character. Founded by the Irish monk Fridolin in the 9th Century, Glarus has seen many changes since its inception. Glarnerland was even part of Napolean’s reich until 1803, and was known then as Kanton Linth.
The rich history continues, as Kanton Glarus was stuck by famine in the 1840’s as desolation hit the land. Many if not most of its inhabitants were greatly effected by the famine of the 1840’s. The ticket out of poverty was in a new start in America. In fact it was not only offered but strongly urged. Thus formed in 1844 The Glarus Emigration Society. This special society or agency helped place most new Swiss entering America in the state of Wisconsin, in a township named New Glarus. And this is why Wisconsin is nick-named “Little Switzerland”. A fact which I never knew!
Though many of it’s citizens did go off to America, I would say a lot was left behind. As every town offers charm, this was clear while driving the small curvy road through the center of the towns, that this landscape was quite quaint and welcoming. Nature from every angle, steep granite domes, and bustling streams making their way down from the top, all take center stage in this region.
Beer, Spirits and chocolate
The “small town does good” motto is widely felt here. As Glarus not only has the world famous Läderach chocolate factory but it also has a damn good beer brewery, Adler Beer, as well a damn good ‘citro’ drink factory Elmer. And, what small kanton would be with out it’s own digestive distellery. Named “Glarus Alpen Bitter” this after dinner schnaps is filled with the local herbs from the region and made to perfection. With all this culture staring us in the face, it was still only about the bread for us. Today was about the bakeries and about the search for the perfect Kanton’s bread known as the Glarner Brot.
The Glarner Brot
The characteristics of the Glarner Brot is long in shape, split down the top middle and a nice thick, crunchy crust. The flour is either a straight ruch (wheat), or a ruch-halbweiss (wheat and half white flour). The bread is molded and shaped, then struck down the middle forming a split. Thus providing a little peek inside when all is baked, between the strong crusty outside. After the bread is baked, it’s brushed with hot water to give the bread a nice light shine.
Like all the lovely little breads we brought home that day, the Glarner Brot is hard and crunchy on the outside and airy and soft on the inside. These breads are near perfection in my opinion. Crafted over hundred’s of years, the timeless tradition continues.
I found myself craving vegetables throughout the day in Glarus, and we happened to stumble on a deliciously prepared red cabbage salad “to go”. Upon the ride home, we opened this container and munched the hell out of this delicious raw red cabbage salad, coupled with rips of the fresh bread. I loved this salad so much in fact, that when we got home, I made us our own version. I’d highly recommend it. It couples with a hippy bowl, or on it’s own. Fresh, and refreshing and a bit of inspiration was brought home with me from Kanton Glarus.