Monday, October 19, 2009

Swiss Skimpiness and Skinniness

"You must have lived in Switzerland for awhile now," said a Swiss colleague to me over lunch one day.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because you're not fat anymore," he said.
Clearly, as an American, I must have been fat in a former life.

Which brings me to point #2. Breakfast at Manor.

When it comes right down to it, maybe the Swiss aren't fat because they can't afford to be. After all, that extra butter packet doesn't come free. And neither does that extra pad of jam. 

This ad, for breakfast at Manor (which is actually a great deal at CHF 6 when you consider one sip of orange juice can cost that alone) is telling of Swiss culture by the description of what's included in this deal:

1 cup of coffee or espresso
1 dl orange juice 
1 croissant
1 slice of bread
1 small roll
1 butter packet
1 jelly packet

I can just hear my Swiss neighbor,

"We have to go to Manor, because one pad of butter is free there!" 

Earth shattering for the typical Swiss.

Anyhow, besides the fact that your one dl of orange juice will be strictly observed with a line on the glass (not to mention this amount is equivalent to one American sip), I find the whole one butter packet and one jelly packet reflective of the whole culture of Swiss stinginess and restraint. But maybe if American restaurants charged their customers for things like butter, we'd have less waste and smaller waistlines? (Or maybe just smaller purses, if you're the type that pockets these things from American diners like my grandmother did).

Something to think about as I ponder my former fat self.


Amanda said...

I eat butter on my bread like it's cream cheese. One packet of butter for 3 pieces of bread just won't do! Instead of buying an extra butter, I just take my husband's...

Chantal said...

Good idea. Take the husband's...

I know a lot of Swiss that never use butter on their bread and they sure don't give it out at restaurants. Or olive oil. Or anything. Dry bread it is. And with only 1 dl of juice to accompany that dry bread, I'm surprised more people aren't sitting at tables coughing...

mrsmac said...

I still forget to ask for ketchup when we go to fast food places. And then I sit down, open the bag, curse under my breath, and have to go back up to the counter.

Also, I manage to gain weight everytime I go back to the US. I think that says a lot! I'm determined not too next time!

Chantal said...

The ketchup thing is annoying. I realize paying for it makes you not waste it, but still, I think giving everyone one free ketchup packet for their overpriced French Fries at McDonald's would be a nice gesture. Especially since it's an American company anyway!

Jenni said...

There's something to the foods in other countries: either the portion size or foods made with less processing / preservatives. I ate non-stop for a month in Thailand and came back 5 pounds lighter.

Somehow I don't think the gluhwein, Eis, and pastries that I'll enjoy this December in Germany will have the same effect...

The Antiques Diva™ said...

I love the hypothetical neighbor's comment - in fact, this is something you'd hear in Holland too!!!

Chantal said...

Traveler for Good,

Don't worry, you'll burn off all those Christmas Market calories by shopping and freezing!

The Antiques Diva,

Yeah, the things you do to get free butter...

Deborah said...

I have to attribute the skinniness to cigarettes and a active lifestyle. I am still waiting to snatch a photo of a Swiss with a cig in one hand while sporting some spandex pants.

Chantal said...

The active lifestyle is definitely part of it. Heck, I get a workout just trying to get my groceries up to my apartment. Especially if Coke's on sale. Then I really burn the calories getting home.

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Probably, you are right! Americans used to live prosperously. Because, of that they are fat. I also think, that this is contributed to a fast food. Fast food - is bad and junk food. If you want to be healthy eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. And if you want to have giood grades, buy essay paper online from a professional writers.

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