I went with my son a couple of weeks ago to Oreill Fussli, the English bookstore on Bahnhostrasse in Zurich. It is so nice to go in and browse the shelves of books I would actually be able to read. My German reading level is very low, so I practice reading in German with my son’s children books.
Another great thing about this store is that they have an international food section. Beware of the prices though. I paid 8.90 chf for a box of Pop Tarts!
I don’t even know why I bought Pop Tarts. For those of you who aren’t American, Pop Tarts are a pastry with strawberry or blueberry filling, and sometimes frosted. They come in a metal foil like those survival blankets. I think they probably could survive an apocalypse with the amount of preservatives in them. They are not a great quality food and the Swiss have a pastry that reminds me of Pop Tarts, but a much better version. A Spitzbube is a cookie with raspberry filling and always has a smiley face. The Swiss have explained to me that this is supposed to be a mischievous little boy. It is fitting that my son loves them.
I know it is silly to complain about not having certain cheeses in the land of cheese, but the Brits have great cheese too. A British expat runs The British Cheese Center in Zurich. You can find him at the open market on Wednesdays at the Zurich station and at any international event or expo.
Coop and Migros don’t normally carry many international foods in their stores, but on their online shopping sites, you can order quite a few foods from home to be delivered to your door. I have ordered from Migros online and was very pleased with the service. You will of course pay more than you would in your home country, but this is Switzerland after all.
There are companies specifically for shipping international foods to expats, but they seem to charge a lot of money. I have never used these before, but I would be curious to hear from anyone who has.
Another option is to have family or friends ship stuff over. I put out an SOS on Facebook once for JIF smooth peanut butter and had such a great response that I ended up with 5 lbs of peanut butter at my doorstep. I have also been known to load up a suitcase with goodies back home to bring with me to Switzerland.
Even though the food here in Switzerland is fantastic, every now and then, you just need a bowl of cheese grits (I am an American Southerner after all!)