Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cooking costs in early 20th century ZH

Swiss German cookbook from 1923
I found this gem of a cookbook at the local charity shop recently.  The pages are intact and recipes many.  Interestingly, each recipe's ingredients are shown with requisite cost.  A grand total, if you will, is provided at the end of each list.

It costs approximately 7 CHF for a 12 oz. cup of hot chocolate from Starbucks in today's Zurich.  In 1923, according to Ms. Bosshard's cookbook, 500 grams of pork cost 2 CHF.  The ingredients for a pork goulash feeding three cost a total of 2.25 CHF.  For that price I could have a few sips of hot cocoa at the local coffee chain.

Snout to tail!

The cookbook's index contains over 40 potato recipes, almost 20 recipes containing chocolate, and about 17 recipes involving cheese, two of which are fondue.

Here is the first fondue recipe directly translated:

for three people

some garlic
200 gr of Emmental
11/2 dl of white wine
1 knife point of flour
11/2 small glass Kirsch

I like that some of the recipe's measurements are not too terribly exact.  What would be the portion of pepper?  How much is a 'knife point' of flour?  I should think that depending on who you are 'some garlic' could either be a little or a lot or somewhere in between.  The cost for this recipe totals 1.22 CHF.  I recently worked at a place that sold fondue mix for 4.90 CHF per 100 gram.  The times they have a-changed!


  1. Sounds like a delicious cookbook! :) Potatoes, chocolate and cheese... nom nom nom .. How have you been?

    1. The cookbook is a trip! I intend to use it as often as I can. How many ways can one prepare a potato? I shall endeavor to find out! :D

      I have been all right. How 'bout you? -excited for summer?

  2. Sounds like how my mother tells us her recipes too. A bit of this, and a bit of that, but not too much.

    1. Yeah, I like the leeway of 'a pinch of this' and 'a dash of that'. I would imagine nervous, newbie cooks and bakers might not be too comfortable with vague directions. :D


A piece of your mind here: