I was not on a journey to Asia, but just visiting my late dad in London and taking a few photos. This was Dagenham Heathway, not the high street in Bombay, but the selection was very similar. The world has become smaller and our taste for something completely different has been encouraged. I am sure my mum would have classified this selection as foreign stuff. I remember a visit of my parents to Switzerland. We were in the Bernese Overland and stopped for a meal, I think it was Interlaken, you couldn’t get more Swiss if you wanted to. Anyhow the menu had a few basic items and as mum and dad were always lost abroad without fish and chips or meat pie, they always selected the same as we had from the menu to play safe.
The food arrived and my dad’s comments was “they like that sort of thing”, “they” being me and Mr. Swiss and the kids. It was then I realised that I did like that sort of thing, and I absolutely did not miss english food. On the other hand I had to get used to being married to a Swiss and his tastes. You can always recognise someone Swiss as they will not travel to another country with their Aromat.
and if necessary Maggi, which is a brown liquid, spicy and vegetarian. Mr. Maggi never tells his secrets, but a maggi plant does exist, so it is probably used in the manufacture.
Aromat is Swiss and no Swiss would be without it. When we travelled to another country on holiday, the aromat came as well. It is a yellow powder, salty, but has its own taste and is most probably about 150% glutamat, its healthy properties can be discussed. The Swiss have a remarkable way of eating a fried egg. The cooked egg is smothered in aromat and maggi and eaten, no problem, but the actual taste of the egg disappears somewhere between brown liquid and yellow powder. Our aromat has accompanied us to Mallorca, Marrakesh, New York and a few other foreign parts, including London of course. Luckily London has discovered the wonderful properties of Aromat in the meanwhile, so you can even buy it in Tesco.
As I lived with a Swiss-Pakistani family in my first two years in Switzerland, I got used to eating spicy. I discovered that there was more to life than just salt and pepper and a sprinkling of vineagar on the french fries, and Asian food is usually accompanied by rice in any case. Romantic names such as turmeric, cardamom, cumin, coriander, tarragon etc. etc. were a normal part of spicing the food. I tried out various mixtures when I began to cook for Mr. Swiss and he quite liked the Asian style of spice, but always added a sprinkling of aromat somewhere. I must admit that I always add some aromat to a finished pot of pasta, although Mr. Swiss likes to add maggi as well, but that is an individual Swiss choice.
So summing it all up, if you ever visit Switzerland, you will know you are there when the restaurants have a pot of aromat on the table. If you ever go to a restaurant in your own country and notice someone reaching with shaking hands into their pocket and breathing a sigh of relief when they realise they did remember to bring their aromat with them to sprinkle on the meal, you realise he must be Swiss.