Happy Saint Nicholas’ Day, a.k.a another one of my favorite days of the year. I hope your stockings were filled with exciting presents and delicious chocolates. Today is one of the few days where people actually queue for something in Switzerland. Queueing for restaurants, bakerys, theatres, etc. isn’t a thing here unlike in London, Manhattan, Sydney, you name it. My most recent queuing failure in London was an attempt to eat at the new Thai place in town – Som Saa. We arrived at 18:30, the wait would have been 2.5 hours… I then inquired at what time one would have to realistically come to grab a table for “normal dinner times”. The answer: 17:00. Seriously?? Who has time for that?!?
Anyways, one thing the Swiss have understood is the uselessness and inefficiency of queuing. Apart from today – my next queuing failure. On Saint Nicholas’ day, Swiss tradition is to eat a Grättimaa – sweet brioche-like bread heaven shaped like a man, the Grättimaa. If you don’t want to make them yourself, the go to bakery to buy these in town is Gilgen. Naively, I went by early afternoon thinking the rest of the world must be working – my was I taken by surprise – there were 2 queues going right out the door past the next shop! And what’s the magic of queues? They attract more and more people, because whatever is at the end must be good. The beauty of it all – some queuers didn’t even know what they were in line for! By the time I finally managed to order, I whipped out my debit card (having just returned from ‘merica where everything is paid for by card) only to hear the words: “Sorry, our card machine is broken today”. MAJOR FAIL. So I queued for nothing…. at least I know how to make them myself and I can decide on the appropriate sugar to bread ratio ;-).
Give it a go and let me know what you think.
adapted from SRF
Who would have thought a significant link between food and doctors has existed for decades? Granted, food is an essential part of life, is partially responsible for shaping our day and is of course also clearly correlated with health. As food and it’s appearance seem to be something everyone knows about and can relate to, instead of challenging the brain with confusing latin names, the medical world has been kind enough to supply laypersons (and medics) with less technical, descriptive food related, terms. It is great for describing findings! If I told you a manifestation of Kawasaki’s disease and Scarlet Fever is an erythematous tongue with hyperplastic fungiform papillae your brain would probably process this: ?!*?!*?!*?!*?!*. If I told you that basically means the tongue looks like a strawberry, your brain could cope. In 1979 the British Medical Journal published a Review titled: Gastrology: the use of culinary terms in medicine (woopwoop research skills put to excellent use). I even found a blog solely dedicated to this! Anyways, here is a list of a few day brightening medical food terms:
- Cherry Red Epiglottis – occurs in epiglottitis, an infection of the small flap stopping your food from going down the wrong tube.
- Pancake Brain – radiologic description of alobar holoprosencephaly, where your forebrain does not separate into two halves at all during in-utero development.
- Salt and Pepper Retinopathy – when affected by the rubella virus, the back of your eye (retina) can show lots of small dark and light spots (like salt and pepper).
- Corkscrew Oesophagus – radiologists description of DES (diffuse oesophageal spasm), where the contractions of your oesophagus are uncoordinated and result in a pretty xray
- Apple-Peel Intestines – malformation of the intestine with either absence or narrowing of a segment, looks like apple peels
- Strawberry Tongue – Scarlet Fever or Kawasaki Syndrom
- Cherry Red Spot – seen on the Retina/back of the eye after occlusion of the supplying artery
- Peau D’orange – Manifestation of inflammatory breast cancer
- Fig Warts – Condylomata acuminata (HPV …. ewwwwww genital warts)
- Redcurrant Jelly – Stool of child with intussusception, when one part of bowel invaginates into another.. ouch
- Pea Soup – Appearance of stool when a patient suffers Typhoid Fever (an evil version of Salmonella)
- Rice Water – Appearance of stool when a patient has Cholera
- Honeycomb Lung – Lung fibrosis looks like honeycomb…. Yum!
- Maple Syrup Urine Disease – Genetic disorder affecting amino acids which makes the child’s urine sweet like maple syrup… but please don’t pour over your pancakes
- Chocolate Cysts – A manifestation of endometriosis (migrating of uterine lining cells) of the ovaries… cysts that oooze out chocolate (actually very old blood and debris)
- Port Wine Stains – Capillary Hemangioma, I’m sure you have all met someone in your life with a red birth mark
- Café au Lait – no this is not coffee, but Neurofibromatosis has spots which are coffee coloured!
- Nutmeg Liver – Congestive hepathopathy; can happen when your heart pumps less and blood collects in the liver
- Cauliflower Ear – never eating cauliflower again
- Bread and Butter Pericarditis – an infection of the sac enclosing your heart
- Sunflower Cataracts – Wilson’s disease (Copper Metabolism Issues)
- Coffee Bean Sign – a radiologists description of a twisted sigmoid (segment of the large intestine)
- Cottage Cheese Discharge – Thrush….nasty
- Apple core sign – when your colon’s lumen is compressed by a large colorectal carcinoma
- Omental Cake – Not from Hummingbirds sadly: Invasion of the omentum majus (fatty tissue within your abdomen) by a tumor, usually related to ovarian cancer
- Butter Stool – can happen when fat absorption/digestion becomes impaired through liver/pancreatic/gall diseases….your stool becomes greasy and fatty.
I’m sure you could all picture something under these terms. Today’s recipe is semi-related to the number 26: Butterzopf. It is a Swiss Sunday breakfast classic, made with lots and lots of butter. Lucky for you it doesn’t cause butter stools in the average healthy individual. Definitely a must try for your next Sunday family breakfast!