BERN, SWITZERLAND – Designed to tempt and tickle your tastebuds, Switzerland’s annual Taste Week (Semaine du goût) is officially underway, and you can expect to see, smell and of course taste wonderful food, wine and other treats between now and 28 September.
A gala dinner in Bern Wednesday evening kicked off the week, and for 10 days Switzerland benefits from a remarkably creative mix of things to do centred around your tastebuds.
Chef Carlo Crisci at the Cerf restaurant in Cossonay, considered one of the top 10 chefs in a country with no shortage of starred chefs, was named the event’s patron.
The town of Moutier was named the Ville de Goût – home to colourful Saturday morning markets, fruits and vegetables planted in town parks and walkways, a dozen food and wine festivals before the end of the year and projects throughout the year designed to encourage children to discover the joys of the palate.
The week serves as a kind of culinary treasure chest, with a mix of entertainment and education that aims to remind the Swiss of all ages of this part of their heritage. One part of this the national taste day in schools, which took place 18 September; Geneva is particularly active in promoting this.
I’ll be off wine-tasting and dining when I’m not at some of the special events. This evening I’ll be sampling some very special wines from the Geneva region, at Auberge de l’Onde in St Saphorin.
Fine food and wine pairings – my favourite combination was the elegant and crisp Savagnin blanc with rouget and courgettes.
One of the joys of eating and drinking in Switzerland is the rich combination of world-class dining options and the simple basic foods that have sustained people here for centuries.
Events I recommend
Your best starting point is the search engine on the web site for the week, which has categories for ages and type of interest.
Some of my own favourites:
Join The Meal – if you don’t yet know about this worldwide event it is time to learn! Several locations, check out the map.
The Alimentarium in Vevey has a rich programme of workshops and events, one of which is a demonstration, using wild herbs, by chef (and patron of the taste week) Carlo Crisci.
A great series of food-centred educational walks with ASGIP heritage guides
Gourmet visit to the Château de Chillon (details) with a chance to see the traditional bottling of Clos de Chillon 2013 in the first inner courtyard and tasting the new 2013 vintage Clos de Chillon, as well as some 20 other white and red Vaudois wines, accompanied by some local cheeses, starting at 11:00. As of 15:00, wine activities with the 2013 World’s Best Sommelier, Paolo Basso. Note that you can find my book, Vineglorious! Switzerland’s Wondrous World of Wines, on sale at the shop in the castle.