At the Fringe: Stories from Davos (9) – Sweet Memories in Davos

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When you are a child, close relatives always selfishly try to brainwash your perceptions about favorite places they have by giving you home-made sweets and delicious cakes. This is their tricky way of persuading you that they are always right. And because you are just an innocent child you get these images and tastes left in your mind forever.

Walking around on the streets in Davos, days before the World Resources Forum (WRF), I was searching for something. Growing up in Bulgaria, my aunt had always told me that Switzerland was the best country in the world. She would assure us that the streets were clean, the food was delicious and the amount of garbage that Swiss people throw out is so small. “I am so jealous,” she said when I told her that I was coming to Davos for WRF. “It is the best country in the world.”

I don’t know why she thought this or what had led her to love Switzerland so much. But when we were kids she always used to make this nutty caramel dessert that you would think that you could only find in a country such as Switzerland. It was so delicious that just the thought of it made me start wondering if I would ever find such taste again in my life.

And then, on my first visit to this mythic place, I saw it: In the bakery chain Schneider’s the lights reflect the glory of the caramel, one of the main ingredients in the Nusstorte, a famous pie from the region. The minute I saw on the showcase the layers of caramel and nuts in the piece I knew that this was going to be exactly the same taste as the one from my childhood.

The famous Nusstorte from Davos

lamiacucina/flickr

The famous Nusstorte from Davos

Made from a simple recipe that includes walnuts, honey, sugar and cream melted and baked in between two layers of pastry cake, the cake is one of the local prides. Its taste is so exciting that it makes people that sell it really proud and emotional. When asked for a quick interview people working in one of the local stores grabbed their phones and started competing who would give the best presentation of the delicious cake.

The manager of the Schneider’s on the main street in Davos quickly tells the story of how the cake was traditionally a flat cake made from butter pastry. Later on, a young pastry chef decided to make the cake with more sophisticated taste and he added caramel and nuts. He also described the fact that the same type of pie is also famous in the Rheto-Romanic part of Switzerland, Engadin. There, the cake is called Engadin cake. However, people from Davos could not use the same name so they named it “Nusstorte”.

There is only one metaphor that could depict the deliciousness of the cake. The combination of honey and nuts melt in your mouth and they slide along your tongue the same way as a skier would slide his/her skies on the snowy and fluffy slopes in Switzerland. By using this cake my aunt left this memories in my mind that inspire and it becomes almost impossible not to believe that this is not one of the best places in the world.

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