Swiss Macarons & Ice Cream – ZH
Besides sausages, the BF and I have been eating a lot of sweets in Switzerland; pastries for me, ice cream for David. Everywhere you go, there seems to be a Sprüngli (a Swiss confectionery shop) or a Mövenpick (a Swiss ice cream shop), so sating our sweet tooths hasn’t been an issue.
One thing I like about pastries in Switzerland is that there’s a lot of variety, and also the prices are comparable to New York. In a country where a single cucumber is $2, that’s a major plus. (Don’t even get me started on how much it cost the BF to dry clean two suits. $75, if you must know! Good god, I’m still recovering from the shock.) Sprüngli is no different. All the shops carry a good selection of sweets, and nothing is ludicrously expensive.
As I mentioned in my Ladurée post, there’s a Swiss version of macarons called Luxemburgerli which are exclusively sold at Sprüngli. The macarons are smaller in size, and the fillings are more plentiful. However, as I mentioned before, I prefer French macarons. Because of the smaller size, the Luxemburgerli cookies end up too crisp with no chew, and the predominant flavor of the fillings, regardless of the choice, is usually buttercream. The only plus, is since they’re so small, you can try a lot of flavors. Of the four I tried — champagne gold, apricot, caramel with fleur de sel, and citron (CHF 4.40 / USD $4.61) — apricot and citron were the best in that the flavors were actually apparent.
And if you care of such things, the macarons come packaged in a cute, little box. It’s a good idea to try Luxemburgerli once, but on your next visit, it’s advisable to move on to other sweets.
For example, on to these mini Prussiens (palmiers) which were intensely buttery, and densely lacquered with a sugar glaze. And while it was glazed only on one side, it was enough. The Prussiens are sold by weight. Two will cost around $2.
Mövenpick, on the other hand, will cost you a pretty penny, or in this case, a Swiss franc. A carton a little less than a quart will run you around CHF 13.90 (USD $14.89) at the supermarket. However, it’s high quality ice cream with a lot of attention given to the details, and considering Häagen-Dazs costs around $10 here (WTF?!), it’s somewhat understandable. There’s a carton of crème brûlée in the freezer now (we’re staying with David’s cousin, Alvin), and when we first opened it, the top was actually brûléed. Of course, it wasn’t crunchy, but it was a nice touch. Taste-wise, it’s without a doubt crème brûlée in ice cream form. David and Alvin’s favorite though is the caramelita, caramel ice cream with caramel ripple and little squares of caramel. The little square of caramel really make the ice cream, however, I notice kept in the freezer too long, the bits can turn a bit grainy. Savor yet eat it quick! David and Alvin are experts at this. Every night, the boys eat a bowl of caramelita with salt, which makes it even better. It’s an expensive habit, but definitely the lesser of most life’s evils.
Mövenpick also makes sorbet, and on a recent visit to a shop, David and I shared a scoop of passionfruit & mango and a scoop of raspberry & stawberry in a waffle cone (CHF 7.90 / USD $8.47). Both were really smooth, not icy at all, and I liked the bits of fruit studded throughout. The cone was really good also. It was thin, nutty, and really crisp. As can be expected, the waffle cones are made fresh daily.
Sweets are everywhere in Zurich, some better than others. Luckily, at Mövenpick the cost is justified (relatively), and as for Sprüngli, a gamble here and there won’t break the bank.