Swiss Watching trivia, No 17: Muesli

August 17, 2010, No comments

Muesli, or Birchermüesli as it’s known here, was first made in 1900 by Dr Maximilian Bircher-Benner from Aarau as a healthy evening meal for his patients. And for many Swiss, it is still exactly that. The rest of the world may think of it purely as breakfast, but the Swiss eat muesli whenever they fancy. It is, in fact, the Martini of Swiss foods, to be eaten anytime, anyplace, anywhere. The original recipe sounds distinctly unappetising: oats mixed with water, lemon juice, condensed milk and grated apple. Hmm, no thanks. For non-Swiss people muesli means a birdseed-sawdust mix that’s as tasty as grated cardboard. And, to be frank, that’s about right unless it’s eaten the modern Swiss way – soaked in milk then mixed with yoghurt, nuts and fresh fruit. It might have the appearance and consistency of cold porridge but it is scrumptious. Truly. And when red berries are added, it even loses that sickly pallor and becomes my favourite breakfast – though the picture above was taken at a lunch buffet!

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