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Hard-to-find non-perishables in Switzerland

Hard-to-find non-perishables in Switzerland

Mar 21st, 2007, 05:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Hard-to-find non-perishables in Switzerland

Hi all! I'm putting together a care package for my sister, who recently became a Basel-tonian, of items that are hard to find in Switzerland. So far, I have nori seaweed, Thai noodles, peanut butter, and (cover your eyes, boys) plastic covered tampons. Anything else I should add?

nuffster is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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I hope this is not too late--

When I visit them in Basel, my daughter and son-in-law are pleased when I bring--

favorite cosmetics and toiletries (sometimes they are not available; sometimes prices are way higher than in the States--deordorant, contact lens solution, dental floss, her brand of make-up);

dry-cleaner kit that can be used in the home drier;

books and magazines from 'home' (again, these are quite a bit more expensive in the English-languagr book-store and in the airport);

and, believe it or not, chocolate chips! (She is renowned among her friends for her chocolate chip cookies and, while we all know that the chocolate in Switzerland can't be beat, she hasn't found the good, ol' traditional chocolate chips!)

kmbp is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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Chocolate chips: yes! Luckily, I live near the Felchlin chocolate factory and can buy my chocolate chip bags there. It's the only place I know of in Switzerland.

Vanilla flavouring. You can't get it here and that's one staple you need for baking.

You can get peanut butter here but there's not a big selection.

Angel Food Cake mix. It's quite a hit at parties because the Swiss have never seen Angel Food Cake. Not available in stores anywhere.

Aspirin. VERY expensive here.
kleeblatt is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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Are you sure they can't get Thai noodles? I ask only because my friend who lives there often cooks Thai food for us at her home.
suze is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 12:12 PM
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Thai cooking has made quite a splash recently in Switzerland. I believe almost everything needed to cook it is now available in larger grocery stores.
kleeblatt is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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A cute side story, when she first moved to Europe over a decade ago, her Mom kept sending care packages with things like Bic pens and band-aids... like they don't have those in Switzerland ;-)

nuffster~ I wish I'd seen your post this morning 'cause I just hung up from a long telephone chat w/ my friend; coulda asked her suggestions. she used to have me bring Pepto Bismol but not recently (i guess since she hasn't mentioned it it is available, or else her stomach is better these days).
suze is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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I moved to Switzerland from Boston 8 years ago and have more or less adjusted to living here and don't need so many American products anymore EXCEPT my Origins toner and Prescriptives eye makeup, Ban unscented deodorant (everything over here has way too much perfume in it), Oreos, Advil, Pepcid AC, Marshmallow peeps at Easter and People magazine. We have peanut butter, all sorts of thai and japanese foods and unfortunately, I've passed beyond the age of knowing whether or not the tampons are plastic covered or not!
beaupeep is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 12:43 PM
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Thai food is pretty popular here. We have pad thai noodles and rice noodles. I have not seen the crushed peanuts in the grocery store, but I haven't been to the Asian grocery store- I am sure they are there.
I've even seen "Old El Paso" kits to make enchiladas and burritos.

Other "staples" I have not found here: Advil, Cheerios (they have Special K), A1 steak house.

We have Gillette razors (the Venus ones), but they cost about $15 each. In the US, hit any Wal-Mart and you pay $5-$7) If your sis wears contacts, I would suggest the disposable kits that include the eye drops. They have eye drops and solution here, but it's VERY expensive. Also Advil.

Oreos, Chips Ahoy
freeman0819 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 12:46 PM
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Oh, yes! Vanilla flavoring! When I visited last month, DD had some vanilla in a tiny vial but for baking we both prefer the pure extract in the small bottle.

I'll let them know about the Felchlin chocolate factory...in case they are ever in the vicinity... Thanks!

kmbp is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Glad to be of help.
Here's their link: http://www.felchlin.com/d/frames/kontakt.html

Go to "Hier finden Sie Max Felchlin..." for directions on how to get there.

Felchlin is a chocolate factory that sells to business only. Luckily, they have a store at the factory where you can try their chocolate or buy their goods. It's not cheap but of highest quality. No tours.
kleeblatt is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Well. I don't know if it is the same for the Swiss, but my I just sent a package to my friend in Austria. Actually, I sent it is August but she just received it this week.

I sent her Ziploc bags, Pledge furniture wipes and the thing she was thrilled with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

Sher is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 01:50 PM
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Thanks for the reminder - Shout sticks for the laundry, I always bring those back with me from the U.S.
beaupeep is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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I'm in the U.S. stocking up on stuff to take back to Europe with me next week. If she has a dog, the 8 in 1 conditioner (dog shampoo is easy to find in Europe, conditioner isn't). I'm also taking back Jet Dry (the hanging basket kind) for the dishwasher, color catcher sheets for laundry, Hanes tagless V-neck t-shirts for DH, Pepperidge Farm cookies (my favorite is Brussels, how appropriate!), Twizzlers (chocolate), Ziploc bags (quart and gallon size, these are always at the top of my shopping list) and various other bits.
Fortunately, Basel is a great shopping town, the Globus food hall is a culinary delight, and you have fabulous Schiesser chocolates across the street...
Re Oreos, they are making inroads...I was surprised to see them in a few supermarkets in Vienna two weesk ago.

Probably the things your sister wants most are American prices for everyday items, if only I could bring those back to Europe with me...;-)
BTilke is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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How right you are about the prices!

We do enjoy food shopping in Basel--Coop, MPark, Manor, and Globus are always on our list--and, like so many FodorFolk, we look for souvenirs to savor. Chocolates from Sprungli and Cailler Frigor Noir were this trip's favorite treats for our friends.
kmbp is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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Interesting thread. By the way, I saw Oreos at Monoprix AND Bon Marche in Paris last November. Just so you know, if you are visiting you could get your "fix".
crefloors is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 10:06 PM
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Thanks! I will be in Paris in May. I saw them at Bon Marché last visit but only regular filling. I am a Double Stuff devotée now.
beaupeep is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 10:11 PM
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Oreos appeared in France about 3 years ago. I always hated them, but I picked up the box to see where on earth they came from. The box said "made in Finland."
kerouac is online now  
Mar 25th, 2007, 08:41 PM
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When I lived in Switzerland, one thing I bought in bulk whenever I got back to the US on work or vacation was vitamins (multi and things like Vitamin E, A, Echinacea etc). Those are very expensive in Switzerland. Itís also very hard to find things lke Motrin, Tylenol, etc. and they are expensive. Cough and cold remedies are a good idea too.

I agree that the peanut butter and the Thai noodles may not be necessary, I could always find those in Zurich... but Basel may be another story.
Cicerone is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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I have to say I do this in reverse(!)... because there are a few items I love in Switzerland that you can't get in the States. For example, one great PH-balanced liquid body wash that everyone uses, etc.
suze is offline  

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