Or the lack of them.
I genuinely like vegetables. And here you can get some lovely vegetables. Humorously shaped squash that would never make it onto the shelves in the UK. Beautiful tomatoes, fresh lettuce, juicy fruits, all proudly grown here and labelled Swiss. Just don’t try to eat them with your meal.
The side salad is officially NFI in Switzerland. Order a salad and it comes first. Order it at the same time as your meal and people look at you as if you asked to wear it as a hat. I ordered a salad alongside a pizza. The pizza arrived. I could see the salad. Sitting there. Waiting. And everyone ignored it.
Finally, a waitress asked her colleague where it was destined. To us. With the pizza. WITH the pizza? Yes. A look of shock and concern. Were these people mad? What are they doing? Who eats a salad with their meal?
I do. And I will continue to do so despite the funny looks of waiting staff and fellow diners alike. Unless of course I am asked by the migration authorities, in which situation I will proudly claim that eating a salad with your main meal is a travesty and decidedly un-Swiss and I would never do it.
**A footnote on salad: (Who knew salad could be so controversial?)**
In his book, Swiss Watching, UK journalist Diccon Bewes notes that cutting your salad leaves is a social faux pas. I assumed this was a huge stereotype and asked some actual genuine Swiss people. Apparently its not. Salad origami is a thing…