Hello everyone! My friend today invited me to Gourmesse food festival/exhibition and I think it’s a great opportunity for both locals and foreigners to know more about food. This festival/exhibition is not only about food, but also about kitchenware, dining ware etc. Anyway, this is a festival/exhibition of all the things that are related to eating. There is a wide range of products shown here, from cheese to wine, from chocolate to olive oil, from tea to chips, from seafood to spices, from fruits to sushi. You can also find traditional swiss dishes such as cheese fondue and raclette. Most of the food on exhibition here are from Europe and surprisingly Japan. Whether you’re from Switzerland or not, for a foreigner like me, most of the products are new and interesting and of course exciting. This is really a good opportunity for people like me to know more about European food such as cheese, olive oil, chocolate, wine and so much more.
- Location: Kongresshaus Zürich (Claridenstrasse, 8002 Zürich)
- 2016 Event opening time: Friday 7. Oktober: 12.00 – 22.00, Saturday 8. Oktober: 11.00 – 21.00, Sonday 9. Oktober: 11.00 – 20.00, Montag 10. Oktober: 11.00 – 20.00.
- Entry ticket price: Adult: CHF 20.-, Pensioner, Student: CHF 10.-, Child (13-16 Jahre): CHF 10.-
There are in total 3 floors of exhibition and each floor has bars that you can either try or have a drink there with your friends. I’ll first show you what there are on the three floors and then give you some tips about visiting Gourmesse.
The first floor
The second floor
The third floor
One of the greatest achievements of attending Gourmesse is that I finally got ride of my prejudice of cheese fondue. The first time I had fondue was in Bern this summer. I know it’s in general weird to have cheese fondue in summer, but that day was really cold and we couldn’t even sit outside. However, we ordered cheese fondue and after the first try, all my hope and fantasy about the holy swiss traditional dish was destroyed……All of a sudden I felt all in all, I’m not swiss or even European, and with a most famous national dish like this, I can never even try to be like one. The cheese fondue I had in Bern was kind of sour with a very strong flavor of alcohol. What’s more, it has a weird taste of the cheese and I couldn’t even tell whether it’s gone bad or not……After that, my friend invited me for dinner and he asked whether I like cheese or not. The first thing I said was:” You can not making cheese fondue right? I like normal cheese…not some weird cheese you use to make cheese fondue……” Then he made raclette.
In this exhibition, we saw a booth selling cheese and relevant products for cheese fondue and I was just ignoring it. My friend said:”Come on! Try this one. This seems quite authentic.” I was like, nahhhhhhh, I’m ok. When I was walking away, the exhibitor gave me some picks with bread and says, try try try, it’s our traditional dish. I was thinking, yehhhhh, I know what it is……but I was too embarrassed to refuse him so I just took the picks with bread. I was so worries what I should say afterwards. Hmmmmm, soon good? but I look like oh no, never again? Anyway, I dipped the bread in with a little bit of cheese on it. I ate it and I was soooooo surprised! Is this also cheese fondue? Why is there such a huge difference between this one and the one I had in Bern? I feel confident again that, when someone asks me, “hey you’ve been living in Zürich, have you tried cheese fondue and do you like it?”, I can say yes to both questions. You should understand how a swiss feels when he asks you how do you like cheese fondue and you say “OMG! Never again!” lol.
I was really surprised and I tried again. “Yes! It’s great! I like it!” The exhibitor saw that I was so excited and obviously I loved it, and he took me to another fondue pot and introduced to me that it’s truffle cheese fondue. I tried it as well. Omg, really wonderful! I asked my friend afterwards and described my experience before. He asked me “did you have cheese fondue in a Chinese restaurant?” lol.
One lesson learnt from this experience, always give food a second chance especially when only one certain restaurant or person has prepared it for you once.
Some tips for you when you visit Gourmesse
- Don’t be shy to try the food or wine offered by the exhibitors. All of them are super friendly and most of them speak English. Whether you wanna buy their products or not, they will explain what they exhibit and what’s special about them in detail and patiently.
- Don’t feel pressed or embarrassed if you tried something but you’re not sure whether you like it to not. The exhibitors know that everyone has a different taste and they are always smiling and understanding.
- I’m not sure whether the products here are more expensive than buying then in other occasions, but some of them are local products and I’m not really sure where you might be able to buy them when this event ends. Always ask for a business card of the product you like so you can check later where you can get them after this event.
I spent more than 2 hours in this exhibitions trying and buying some products. All in all, the only advice is to TRY TRY TRY! Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to try. If you really like what you’ve tried, take some home, if you don’t like it, try next one. You don’t know what surprises you might get unexpectedly. I don’t drink alcohol (maybe 3-5 times a year), but I even bought some strawberry alcohol. There are so many bars or trying booths of hundreds kinds of wine. If you go with friends, it’s also a great opportunity to hangout and have fun.
I think trying new things is the essential part of visiting Gourmesse. Maybe if you’re local you already know all the food and how they taste, whether you like or not, but for me, there are so many new things, and even for the things I know, for example olive oil, I never knew there are hundreds of kinds of it.