Swiss Seasoning.

The hottest thing about Switzerland? Its paprika. Trust me, it’s really hot. So much hotter than I ever expected when I first bought it in Zurich, at my grocer’s next door. You see, when you buy paprika in Germany, you get something mildly spicy, very mildly spicy, especially when you buy it at your nearby supermarket. Why that is I can tell you: Germans don’t like spices. And here’s my proof: once, I had an intern, very smart girl from a very good family, lovely person, but she thought the tiny dose of pepper in a dish at a canteen known for their reasonably priced but absolutely unseasoned food, was an imposition on her taste buds—no irony here, none at all, and she tends not to be the exception, but the rule. Strangely, the exact same people love to tell you the English can’t cook. Aha. Well, try an Indian restaurant in London and one in Berlin then, ha! Anyway, enough German bashing, I better make my point: the Swiss love spices. The paprika from Coop in Zurich, though really cheap, the one from their Qualité & Prix range, it doesn’t get any cheaper in Switzerland, that’s real paprika, really hot, and wonderfully aromatic. When I moved to Berlin, I imported vast amounts of it, and with some potatoes, onions, sweet peppers, and chorizo, you get a spicy dish, even when you prepare it in Germany.

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