My travels continued in early February to Switzerland, where Chief International and Foundation Officer Dr. Anna Morrison and I attended the European Summit in Zurich.
Before we began our travels, Anna and I researched the food scene and were excited to try the cheese fondue, which is a national specialty in Switzerland. Upon arriving at the hotel, however, we weren’t greeted with cheese, but rather with chocolate fondue! We enjoyed bits of fruit dipped in milk chocolate, white chocolate, hazelnut chocolate, dark fruity chocolate…the varieties the Swiss chocolatiers have perfected are endless. Needless to say, Anna and I quickly slipped into a chocolate dream!
On our first evening in Zurich before the hustle of the European Summit began, Anna and I visited a quaint local restaurant in town called Restaurant Le Dézaley, positioned right next to the Limmat River. Without any hesitation, she and I ordered cheese fondue because this was obviously the local plate to try.
Everyone around us was dunking their bread, potatoes and veggies in their bubbling pots of liquid cheese. Since we had experienced chocolate fondue earlier at the hotel though, we thought that the restaurant would also serve this specialty as a desert. Why wouldn’t they? The Swiss are known for their fondue and their amazing chocolate – Anna and I were just putting two and two together!
After enjoying our cheese fondue for dinner, we asked the waitress for chocolate fondue for dessert. Upon our request, the waitress stared back at us with a confused look. So, we gladly repeated ourselves that we wanted chocolate fondue for dessert, and that we were happy to try whatever the special was that evening. It only seemed natural. With a hint of sarcasm, the waitress informed us that chocolate fondue is actually not Swiss at all – it’s American! After a good chuckle, Anna and I explained that we had been tricked by our hotel greeter into believing chocolate fondue was Swiss. Even though we were trying to blend in with the locals, we clearly blew our cover with this chocolate request. Rather than having chocolate fondue for dessert as planned, we quickly adjusted and settled with a champagne sorbet. A great second choice!
So, if I can offer any advice when traveling to Switzerland, keep your fondue strictly cheesy!