Thursday, 19 June 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: An Ounce of Home

You’re embarking on a yearlong round-the-world adventure, and can take only one small object with you to remind you of home. What do you bring along for the trip?

The Swiss national sausage, the cervelat

First of all a small correction. Mrs. Angloswiss does not go tripping off a year without Mr. Swiss. I might fall down and break something, been there and done that and he will pick me up. I might lose something, forget something important: he is my life saver, my second memory. Despite my independence I would not disappear for a year without taking him with me. Generally I do not even go to the supermarket without Mr. Swiss, although there are exceptions.

Having established that fact, and there being two seats first class reserved in the plane for Mr. Swiss and I, we will depart: not forgetting to pack our two WordPress t-shirts – it is called public relations and sponsoring.

We have packed our bags and are ready to go. We make a check and have ensured that our cervela are also in the bag. Just a moment, you do not know what a cervela is? It is the main source of nourishment for a Swiss. Without the cervela a Swiss is lost in a foreign country. You can buy hamburgers everywhere, Mr. MacDonald’s name can be seen from Alaska to Australia and in between. The Italians buy salami in every country, the Spanish have their chorizo and the English their fish and chips, but where do you find a cervela?

There you have the problem, you do not find them on the streets of the world. They are prepared in Switzerland. You can eat them cold or cooked according to your needs. If you take a hike on a Swiss mountain path, or through the forests your rucksack is packed with provisions. Something to drink and something to eat and what could be more suitable than a cervela, the original Swiss sausage. It is not just a sausage, it is a national emblem, even William Tell comes second to a cervelat. They contain a mixture of various meats, mainly pork, but also a little beef to refine the taste. Nothing could be better.

You are hungry on your walk? Take the cervela, remove the skin and eat it. No other preparation is necessary, although a little mustard may be added to refine the taste. This eaten together with bread completes the meal. It might be that you prefer something warm, something grilled, a Swiss bar-b-que, no problem with your cervela. Peel it, cut a cross at each end with your Swiss army knife of course, and stick it on a twig. Twigs lay everywhere in the Swiss landscape, just waiting for the opportunity to pierce a cervela. Whilst the Swiss wife is preparing the food the men are building a fire: just a small fire with more twigs. When the wood is glowing and the heat intense you hold the cervela by the stick over the fire. Oh the delights of a grilled cervela. I would add it has saved many the life of a Swiss soldier camping in the cold of the Swiss alps. I am almost certain that each Swiss soldier carries a pair of cervela with him when on an exercise. It is a question of survival.

There was once Swiss crisis, the country came almost to standstill, the future of the Swiss nation was threatened. It was discussed in the government – no joke.The main import market for cervela skins was Brasil. It seems their cows produced the best quality. Brazilian skins were the only product versatile enough to provide a top quality gourmet experience when eating the sausage both raw and cooked.This was, of course, a national secret kept away from the knowledge of the Swiss until there was a suspicion that Brasilian cows might be victims of the mad cow disease and import of such was banned by the EU.

Scientists in Switzerland began to search for a solution. They formed a task force to develop a substitute. It seemed there was none and the Swiss cervelat was condemned to extinction. Many a Swiss retired in the evening fearing whether he could survive the next day without a cervela. However, the problem was solved by imports from Uruguay, Argentina and Praguayand the Swiss cervela was rescued.

My younger son worked for a few years in Brussels, Belgium, for the Swiss government and what did he take with him after every holiday spent at home? Yes, at least two pairs of cervela, it was a question of survival. Even the gourmet food of the European metropole could not compete with a cervela.

And so when Mr. Swiss and I depart for a year, we will take a few pairs of Swiss cervela with us, hoping that we can organise further 24 hour express deliveries of the Swiss cervela via such organisations as DHL, UPS and TNT to ensure that we will remain in good health during our journey.

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1 comment:

  1. Although not widely available, I know Cervelat can be purchased in the UK. Usually at delicatessens that specialise in imported products. I'm fairly sure I have tried it at some time in the past, although I don't recall the flavour.