My very Swiss ideas for Christmas

December 16, 2010, 2 Comments

Nine shopping days left and still stuck for Christmas present ideas? Want something original? Then how about designing your own Swiss chocolate bar or creating your own muesli. You can’t get more original – or Swiss – than that! There are two websites that let you get creative (in English or German) without even getting your hands dirty.

Thanks to one Daniel Peter, a Vevey resident who invented milk chocolate back in 1875, the Swiss have cornered the market in divine edible presents of the sweet brown variety. I know the Belgians think they do okay on that front, and I’m still rather partial to a square of Dairy Milk (it’s a childhood thing), but there really is no other chocolate as great as the Swiss stuff. So why not make a bar of your very own? The guys at My Swiss Chocolate let you do just that.

First select your base (white, milk or dark). Then add in an optional flavour, such as cinnamon or caramel (or none at all). Next throw in up to four extras – maybe cranberries or poppy seeds, jelly beans or hazelnuts, or even an edible rose or Swiss flag. Or go the whole hog and use a photo. Give your creation a name, and order it. Easy as that. Of course designer chocolate isn’t as cheap as Co-op Prix Garantie. A basic 100g creation with one flavour and four normal extras (ie no 23 carat gold flakes, which are an option!) will come to about 10-12 francs, plus shipping. But it will certainly be a one-off.

If that’s far too unhealthy for you, what about DIY muesli? No problem. At My Muesli you pick-and-mix from 80 different ingredients to create a memorable breakfast for Christmas morning. The principle is the same as for the chocolate – pick a base, from über-healthy to almost-guilty, add in a whole orchard of dried fruit, plus maybe nuts and seeds or something naughty like chocolate-covered sultanas, mix and order. A 575g box costs about 14 francs, depending on which extras you choose, and shipping is a flat rate no matter how many boxes you order.

I have to confess I haven’t yet tried either product, so the only Swiss gift I can recommend with hand on heart is: Swiss Watching! It’s available at bookshops all across Switzerland, either in person or online: Stauffacher, Orell Füssli, Payot, Thalia and Lüthy Balmer Stocker, plus the lovely independent English ones Bergli Books in Basel, Off the Shelf in Geneva, The English Bookstore in Lausanne and Pile of Books in Zürich.  

If you’re outside Switzerland, ask in your local bookshop (be that Waterstone’s, Barnes & Noble, Dymocks or an independent) or order online: for links to Amazon and others, click here. But there is a world beyond Amazon. If you live outside the free delivery zones, try The Book Depository, who send books postage-free all around the world. Or maybe even get all 21st-century and buy the Kindle edition.

I’m off to sell some books, and not just my own one.

2 Comments on "My very Swiss ideas for Christmas"

  1. Chun Myung Kim Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at 04:10 PM · Reply

    I’ve been spending the entire morning+afternoon looking through pretty much every single post on your blog! As a total lost alien in Bern, your posts are extremely helpful & entertaining. I really like this ..very Swiss gift haha. It’s adorable. I think I’m going to make some for my friends. Thanks 😉

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