I am grateful that my job as CEO of Alchimie Forever has me travel to Geneva quarterly – grateful because I get to go home and see my family “for work,” and grateful because there are still some things that I love to buy in Switzerland. Here are some of the things that often find their way into my suitcase when it is time to head back to the US, for myself or for my loved ones.
Chocolates. Yes, Swiss chocolate is the best, no arguing about it. Having said that, I have an ongoing debate about the best source of chocolate in Geneva. My heart sways between Auer Chocolatier and Teuscher. Auer is one of the oldest chocolate shops, opened by Henri Auer in 1939. It is still a family-run today, and their signature product, Pavé Glacé, is to die for. Teuscher, created by Dolf Teuscher over 70 years ago, makes the best truffles. I usually bring back a couple boxes of the Champagne Truffles, which my girlfriends adore.
Other than chocolates, there are two food products that are made the best in Switzerland. Rosti and Cenovis. These usually make it home with me for myself, not as gifts for anyone else!
Rosti are a typical Swiss dish, grated potatoes made into a flat cake and fried. You might think of this as the Swiss equivalent to hash browns. The best Rosti are the ones sold at Migros.
And Cenovis, well, it’s a little bit like “if you don’t know what it is, perhaps you shouldn’t ask.” Let’s say it’s an acquired taste. Think about it like Vegemite. It is a yeast-based product initially created in the canton of Argau in 1931, and included in rations for Swiss soldiers. I love it on bread, and on cheese.
Caran D’Ache products. This Geneva-based brand created in 1915 offers the most beautiful and well-crafted pens and pencils. Their wooden boxes filled with colored pencils can’t but inspire children and adults to find their creative side.
Bahina jewlery. Based in Corsier and created by two sisters (Bahina in Hindi means two sisters), this brand of jewels and pashminas makes beautiful gifts for the women in my life.
Finally, Heimatwerk toys are the most traditional and cool looking. The brand, which features Made in Switzerland hand crafted goods, focuses on highest quality, functionality, and unique designs.