Street Food: Zurich, Switzerland

Street Food By Marcus Samuelsson

Street Food is one of my passions, and it's even the basis for my group of Street Food restaurants in Sweden. Do you have a great recipe for Swiss brezel, panini or Jhal Mudi? You could have a chance to win a trip to New York! For more information about the competition go to the Street Food Competition site.

Zurich offers a variety of street goods that don't need any reservations or table service. In the center of town there are stands that sell bratwurst, delicious sausage served with a mustard that has a fiery wallop of horseradish.

The Swiss love their pretzels, except they call them brezel. These are used in place of sandwich bread, stuffed with cheese, ham, tuna or cream cheese. However unlike the pretzel stands in New York or picking up the twists from a bakery in Europe, these brezels have a hearty yeasty flavor with a nice hefty chew.

On the famous Langstrasse, get a doner kebab, a more Turkish interpretation of tubed meat. This is wrapped in Turkish crisp flatbread called lavash, in the excellent company of lettuce, tomatoes, onions and a variety of sauces that allow you to make it as spicy or mild as you like.

When it gets cold in Zurich, it is time for chestnuts. All across the city vendors sell freshly roasted nuts in large wok-like pots, over coals, stirring to ensure even roasting. The best of these nuts, the sweetest and the meatiest, come from the south, very near Italy. Your paper cone comes filled with hot chestnuts comes with another empty paper cone attached to it. When I understood the reason for the paper cone, I had new found love for the Swiss consideration for their customers and their cities. The empty cone is for you to put the shells of the eaten chestnuts, so that they don't mix up in one cone and you don't need to litter the city in trying to keep them separate.

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