Who doesn’t love to eat well? It’s one of the few examples on which the majority of us can agree. The pleasures of the table are what differentiates us from other animals, it’s a humanistic and ethical practice coming straight from our ancestors. Cooking can be an amazing experience as well, appealing to all our senses, possibly at the same time. Combine great dining with fine wine and you have a winner. Seeing as the Swiss love good food and fine wine, we’ve decided to elaborate on the matter further.
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Among all the pleasures that life offers, there is one that we can practice at any age: the art of “eating well”. What would life be without the aroma of a delicately roasted meat, without the flavour of a juicy vine peach or a handful of ripe cherries, without a fine meal accompanied by a good wine?
The art of the table is a humanistic and ethical practice that comes to us from our ancestors. It allows us to improve and maintain our human relations, to share and enjoy a privileged moment, as a couple, with family, friends or even alone.
Cooking appeals to all our senses: sight when we discover a well-prepared dish, smell when we inhale its aromas, taste when we savour its flavours, lingual touch when we savour a delicately crisp puff pastry, and even hearing when we put into words what has been served to us. We all have sweet or savoury tastes of crunchy, soft or melt-in-the-mouth foods in our memories. The smells of warm jams or chocolate cakes coming out of the oven stay with us throughout our lives. As we grow older, our tastes become more pronounced, our gastronomic culture expands, and the pleasure of sharing a convivial moment with friends over a good meal becomes more and more important. Who hasn’t experienced those very special moments when the master of the house uncorks a bottle of wine forgotten until now at the bottom of a vaulted cellar and gathers his friends to share his discovery?
The Swiss love fine food and good wine. Quality products are on the rise, as are local products bought directly from the artisan who makes his own cheese or sausages. Organic fruit and vegetables are now on our tables, and consumers are increasingly careful to buy healthy products that are free of pesticides. Tasting courses that teach wine lovers how to discover the aromas of different wines are becoming increasingly common. Even some chefs are sharing their knowledge in the form of courses given to amateurs. In many towns and villages, enthusiasts are creating small clubs where members meet monthly to cook together and then enjoy the fruits of their labour over a good bottle of wine.
The cooking segment is so fashionable that various television channels have been offering programmes on food preparation for several years. With good reason: they are all the rage. The pleasures are not reserved for an elite and are available at all prices. Unless you are on a strict diet, everyone can enjoy them. Many people do not deny themselves this, going so far as to organise gourmet itineraries during their holidays or leisure time to discover new gastronomic worlds linked to regions or follow the “Wine or Cheese Routes”.
Good, simple and healthy food is a world we would be foolish to want to deprive ourselves of. For example, as Jean-Pierre Coffe so nicely put it: “Jam is poetry on toast”…