Monday, January 31, 2011

A Taste of Switzerland

I’m on my way to Switzerland. That may sound exciting, but it’s for business, not vacation. I’m not a cold weather person, so I probably wouldn’t choose 20 degree weather for a vacation. But the good news is that I was able to fly business class. And an advantage of business class is the food. Most airline food these days (if there is any) is disgusting. Swiss Air has what they call “Taste of Switzerland.”

They describe their menu as a “gastronomic concept that brings you a taste of the various regions of Switzerland and their culinary traditions.” My dinner was created by Mattias Roock from the Kempinski Hotel, St. Moritz.

For the first course, I selected prosciutto with potato salad. It was nothing special, but it was edible, unlike much airline food. For the main course there was a choice of beef, chicken, salmon or pasta. I chose sautéed pumpkin gnocchi with porcini mushroom cream sauce, baby rocket and sun dried tomatoes. I’ve had pumpkin ravioli that was so sweet it should have been dessert. I was hoping this wouldn’t be sweet and my gamble paid off. It was a perfect main course and maybe the best gnocchi I've ever eaten. I don't think I've ever had it browned like this before.

The gnocchi was a fluffy pasta pillow with a dollop of pure pumpkin in the middle. The mushroom sauce was rich and earthy and even piping hot. They offered a Swiss Pinot Noir on the wine list, Von Salis Bundner Herrschaft 2009, so in my effort to eat and drink regionally, I chose it to go with the pasta. It was a reasonable choice, if not ideal.

There was a cheese plate offered for dessert with three large triangles of cheese served with fruit. This would have been a very European choice, but there was no way I could eat that much cheese after the pasta. So I chose a vanilla mousse with blackberry compote. It looked better than it tasted. But the box of Swiss chocolates passed by the flight attendant made up for it. My random selection of a rich creamy mocha version, more than made up for the mousse. How will I ever go back to economy class travel??!!


  1. Lucky thing! Sounded so good, I would have just asked to stay on the plane and turn back and have extra chocolates. Great review.

  2. Ha!! It's kind of like that Seinfeld episode where Elaine has to sit in coach because she doesn't know what she's missing!
    We got upgraded one time, and ohhhhh.... now I know what I'm missing. My 8 hour flight to Tahiti was torture, although our food on Air Tahiti Nui was pretty darn good.
    Hope you get to do something touristy while you are in Switzerland, take pictures for us!!

  3. We've got enough miles to take a trip to Europe via biz class. Now to find the time to go!!! Hope you enjoyed Switzerland :-)

  4. Looks absolutely delicious. Our food on a flight back from Amsterdam last fall was awful. Since it was 11 hours nonstop I couldn't even grab some food in another airport during the trip home.

  5. We have some plan trips coming up and am not looking forward to food choices. Oh, well. Have to wait until we get there!


  6. My oh my... if you want real Swiss food never go to fancy hotel... ever... best food is served in Gasthauses :) I used to live there and best food is always off the main road :)
    Thank you for your lovely comment over Chef's Dennis blog, it made me smile that your son ate only chocolate muffins for breakfast, which I thought was a smart thing to do - chocolate is so good for you, healthy for brain and muscles :)and I bet he was a happy child thanks to all those endophines chocolate issues in the brain :)