Swiss skimpiness and skinniness

Swiss skimpiness and skinniness

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A comment at work leads writer and blogger Chantal to ponder the reason behind stereotypical Swiss versus American body shapes. More butter anyone?

"You must have lived in Switzerland for a while now," said a Swiss colleague to me over lunch one day.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because you're not fat anymore," he said.

Clearly, as an American, I must have been fat in a former life.

Which brings me to point number two. Breakfast at Manor.

Breakfast at Manor advert


When it comes right down to it, maybe the Swiss aren't fat because they can't afford to be. After all, that extra butter packet doesn't come free. And neither does that extra pad of jam.

This ad, for breakfast at Manor (which is actually a great deal at CHF 6 when you consider one sip of orange juice alone can cost that) is telling of Swiss culture by the description of what's included in this deal:

1 cup of coffee or espresso
1 dl orange juice
1 croissant
1 slice of bread
1 small roll
1 butter packet
1 jelly packet

I can just hear my Swiss neighbour:"We have to go to Manor, because one pad of butter is free there!"

Earth shattering for the typical Swiss.

Anyhow, besides the fact that your one dl of orange juice will be strictly observed with a line on the glass (not to mention that this amount is equivalent to one American sip), I find the whole one butter packet and one jelly packet reflective of the whole culture of Swiss stinginess and restraint.

But maybe if American restaurants charged their customers for things like butter, we'd have less waste and smaller waistlines? (Or maybe just smaller purses, if you're the type that pockets these things from American diners like my grandmother did).

Something to think about as I ponder my former fat self.


Chantal Panozzo (One Big Yodel)
Chantal Panozzo (otherwise known as 'The Hausfrau') is a writer in Switzerland who has written for a variety of publications on two continents. She’s the author of One Big Yodel, a blog about life in Switzerland and moving abroad, and also discusses living abroad as a freelancer at Writer Abroad. 

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