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I have quite a few “issues”, including an aversion food that’s blue which wasn’t intended by nature to be so (I don’t understand what’s up with that ‘blue raspberry’ soda), I don’t like getting dressed first thing in the morning or talking to others for at least the first hour of the day, I get uneasy when being driven anywhere by a taxi or hired driver, and I’m so terrified of my bank back in Paris that I avoid making money so I don’t have to go in there and do anything scary like, say, make a payment or deposit money into my bank account.

swiss yogurt

But nothing strikes fear in the heart of me more than one thing: Hotel Breakfasts.

Aside from requiring me to hop out of bed and try to look presentable, plus having to suffer under a round of cheery “Good morning, sir!” by the staff when I walk in the dining room, I tend to eat things I wouldn’t normally chow down on at home as I have zero power to resist a big tray of hot crispy bacon or Migas, scrambled eggs with corn tortillas. But not undercooked scrambled eggs, please; those yellow goopy curds fall under my list along with eating a bowl of blue raspberries. None for me, thanks.

hotel juice bar

After thirty-five years in the restaurant business, no one appreciates how hard people work in kitchens and dining rooms. But I just feel like saying, “Look, here’s the deal: Let me help myself to coffee instead of you sprinting across the dining room to top it up every time I take a sip. You can say a sincere ‘Hi’ when I walk in, but that’s as friendly as you need to be to me. (And considering I’m not the nicest person in the morning, that’s a pretty good deal.) And if you only come over if I truly do look like I need something, I promise to give you your 20% tip.”

I prefer how they do it in Europe with bringing a basket of bread and jam, a pot of coffee and some warm milk, and letting you eat in solitude. Or better yet, just putting everything on a buffet and letting you help yourself.

fruit salad müesli

(Although this morning’s meal in the hotel dining room was a little more interesting for me because from the sound of things, the man in the next room last night was having an amazing time, which I deduced from the very vocal moaning and groaning that came through the wall at various intervals. However I was surprised to discover this morning at breakfast that he was, indeed, alone. Which raised a few questions about him—but I won’t get in to those now. He’s obviously got bigger issues than things like blue raspberries and undercooked eggs to deal with.)

It’s surprising that I like Bircher Müesli so much since yet another thing I’m not fond of is soggy food. Yet there’s something strangely compelling—and delicious, about oats, grains, and whatever, mixed with yogurt and left to rest overnight. After coming directly to Switzerland from Sharjah, there’s a bit of another culture shock. And I miss the creamy hummus spreads and spiced eggplant purees we had every morning, so you can imagine the appeal of a big bowl of creamy Bircher Müesli had for me.

honey mixed fruit

My first experience with müesli was Alpen cereal, which was introduced in America when I was a teenager. I was the bulls-eye on the target for their advertising campaign as it made me feel really continental to open that coarse dark cardboard box of oats and grains in the morning, the one with a Swiss-style window overlooking the majestic Matterhorn on it, and eat it with milk. Even back then I had a hard time reading the fine print, but it probably said that it was meant to be mixed with yogurt a day ahead and enjoyed for breakfast the following day. But I had it just poured milk over the untoasted oats and grains and munched my way though anyway thinking I was all European or something.


This morning at my hotel in Switzerland, after I had my fully-cooked scrambled eggs, toast, and fresh fruit salad, I noticed the Bircher Müesli on the self-service buffet, and filled a bowl with a healthy dollop.

I added some dried fruits and nuts and took a spoonful, and it was wonderful and I felt healthy and revitalized, and ready for the day. A little honey spooned over the top with a second pot of hot coffee, and I can say it was pretty great to just sit there and eat it undisturbed while reading the paper and looking out through the tall windows at the fog sitting over the expansive lake that placidly rested outside.

hotel dining room

Oh, and the bacon at the buffet was pretty good, too. So much so, that I went back and took seconds—all by myself.

Links and Related Recipes

Maximillion Bircher-Benner (Wikipedia)

Next Generation Bircher Müesli (delicious:days)

Bircher Müesli (Nami-Nami)

Bircher Müesli (Kitchen Parade)

The French Breakfast

The Best Granola Recipe

Le Petite Suisse

Swiss Chard Tart

The Best Croissant in Paris



    • Leah C.

    Wow I never knew muesli was meant to be eaten like that! I remember I first tried back in high school… and I made the same mistake of eating it straight with milk. Haha I seriously learn so many interesting things from your site =) Thanks!

    • wakekay

    I remember when I was living/studying in St. Gallen (eastern Switzerland) bircher muesli was one of the more affordable snacks that I could afford, since everything just seemed really expensive. I do enjoy the texture of the oats and grains after having them soaked in yogurt over night.

    I agree with you on the hotel breakfast! It’s a love/hate relationship for me since I almost always overeat at hotel breakfast buffet and always end up eating way more than I do at home and choosing the unhealthiest options – chocolate croissants, bagels, lots fo scrambled eggs..

    • Stephen

    Müesli – AFAIK, which is admittedly not very far, if you use the umlaut it should be Müsli otherwise it should be Muesli. Müesli would be transposed as Mueesli. Mötley Crüe (or perhaps I should say Moetley Cruee) have a lot to answer for.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Leah C: I know. I felt so goofy when I found out I was doing it all wrong!

    Stephen: Not being a German speaker, I looked at the post by Nicky who is German and blogs at delicious:days (linked above) and she spells it the same way I listed it. And offers an explanation on her site, sort of.

    • Elisabet Figueras

    Nothing better than a good breakfast, but I agree, in some hotels it’s impossible…

    • Ida

    Hmm. I cringe at the mere thought of porridge-type consistencies, so I’ll keep munching my muesli with milk, or youghurt without letting it sit. I prefer the crunch. And I love runny (safe) scrambled eggs!

    • parisbreakfast

    LOVE hotel breakfasts, especially in the room, where you can make a complete mess and eat in bed…

    • Shuku

    I’ve lurked for the better part of a year (mostly out of sheer nervousness) but just -had- to come out of the woodwork because the comment on issues and breakfasts made me laugh so hard. I’ve just come back from Hanoi where breakfast wasn’t -as- bad as cardboard – in fact it was rather good, buffet style – but usually by the time I got there, everything was soggy including the bacon. I’m gluten-intolerant, so nowadays most breakfasts have the added danger of making me ill!

    I did get a fantastic breakfast one day just by walking across the street for a bowl of steaming hot bun rien (rice noodles in a sort of sour crab broth) though!

    And I had no idea that’s how one is supposed to eat muesli! I always ate it without milk when my mother brought it home as a child…it always felt like I was chewing cud.

    • deadlock

    Müesli is, indeed, correct. It is a Swiss German word (and a loanword in German), so the “normal” rules of German really do not apply.

    • Romy

    Deadlock is right. I am Swiss-German – müesli is the correct spelling since both the ü and e are pronounced separately. If it was just spelled ‘müsli’ it would mean “small mice.”

    Are you passing through Zürich at all, David? If so, you have a fan who would be happy to show you around or treat you to a hot chocolate at Sprüngli!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    deadlock and Romy: I try to be grammatically correct when using words in languages, even if they are foreign to me. So thanks for the confirmation.

    And Romy..I don’t have plans to go to Zürich but the offer of free hot chocolate is almost good incentive to change my itinerary!

    parisbreakfasts: Well, another of my neuroses is room service, since I never know what or how much to tip. They generally add a 18% service charge, then some sort of ‘room service fee’, which would lead one to assume the gratuity is the service charge.

    (If not, why not just raise the prices of everything to include it then?)

    But then the person who brings breakfast usually hovers uncomfortably for a few moments after they drop it off, so I give them a few dollars more. It’s too stressful in the morning trying to figure out what to do! (And sometimes I can’t sleep the night before because I’m so worried about it…)

    • Wei-Wei

    I have muesli at home, and once I tried cooking it like oatmeal. Uhm, fail. So now I know… it’s like overnight oats! (People soak their oatmeal in yogurt in the fridge overnight, too.) I think I’ll save it for summers, though; hot oatmeal is much more comforting than cold muesli in the wintertime.

    • wakekay

    Romy how I wish I was still living in St. Gallen. I miss Sprüngli!

    • Foodie in Berlin

    I love Bircher Muesli – although not all Bircher Muesli was created equal! Some is too sour, too floury, all kinds of issues. But when it’s just right, it’s a pleasure!
    Funny post. Grumpy morning people are so much fun to watch as long as you stay out of their line of fire…

    • Poppy

    I agree with your fear of hotel breakfasts, there’s nothing worst than fellow diners staring one down due to a love of canned mandarins.

    • girl japan

    OH this is my absolute favorite meal… I buy mine here in Tokyo, but imported from Switzerland and England.. it’s so healthy too.. oats are great for us.

    I hear you on working in a restaurant/pastry shop…it’s tough work, and I remember there were days my feet hurt SOOOO bad, that they became itchy…. culture shock and then reverse culture shock.. I fit nowhere anymore.. but I still pine for my home town NYC.

    • Hannah

    Your comment about the bank made me laugh out loud :D I adore bircher muesli, though I have to admit to the faddishness of adding chia seeds to mine lately. I wonder what Mr Bircher would think?!

    • Michelle B

    Foodie in Berlin: Grumpy morning people are so much fun to watch as long as you stay out of their line of fire…


    You better be able to keep your delight to yourself, because nothing irritates a grumpy morning person more than when they see others enjoying their grumpiness–not only do these preternatural people enjoy life in the morning, they enjoy others not enjoying it! Aaaargh.

    Our neurotic inclinations are hysterically funny. Really enjoyed this post (but I wouldn’t if I read it first thing in the morning).

    I also love soaking muesli overnight either in milk or yogurt but I have to say, since I am basically non-functional in the morning, my eating this wonderful concoction is wasted on me until about one hour later when I realize, goodness, that was good.

    • Jenn

    I haven’t lived in Switzerland that long yet, but I need to give müesli another chance I think – I tried it once and wasn’t much of a fan of the texture – I tend to prefer making granola instead to eat with my yogurt and fruit. But maybe I just need to give it another try :)

    • Marlene

    Before Alpen (and I seem to recall this company bought out the brand that I used to buy years and years ago—it came in a smaller box and it was a denser mix) of Bircher Müesli. Alpen just doesn’t quite have the same texture, taste or finish in the mouth.

    But, as they say, “…if the only game in town is a crooked card game and you want to play! You play.”

    Hilarious about the bank, more so telling — ‘your avoidance of making money to avoid the bank!” Haha! Wonder if I suffer the same fear? Nah! I think it is wishing I were making more money and could happily grumble all the way to the bank!

    • Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf

    aaah, what is a breakfast post from switzerland without birchermüesli ? i think when i moved to zürich, the first things i did were buy a freitag bag (everyone has one) and learn about this mushy oat/berry/yogurt specialty that is served everywhere and at all times of the day. not just for breakfast in fact, i see a lot of locals having it for lunch, and there are plenty who do it for dinner too. i didn’t taste it for a while though, as it just looked, well, mushy, and i love extra crunchy granola. but it’s totally different, not to be compared. and i’m now a fan.

    if romy has managed to talk you into heading our way in swiss german territory, guess who will be joining you… ;)

    • Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan

    Oh! I could have written this post, I agree so wholeheartedly with your points (especially not liking mushy food and not wanting to speak in the a.m.!)

    Best hotel breakfast ever: the Circus Hotel in Berlin. Everything including coffee is self-service and the background music is soothing and at just the right volume, i.e., it can be heard but it’s unobtrusive… like when someone is wearing the exact correct amount of perfume… it’s there but one doesn’t notice it.

    The food! Coldcuts made from grassfed meat; organic cheese; high-quality, perfectly-cooked mollet eggs; organic, house-made breads, fresh sliced vegetables and fruit; organic, house-made jams and butter. FANTASTIC!

    If you find yourself in Berlin, it’s a wonderful boutique hotel with personality, excellent service, and a breakfast I wish I was eating right now!

    • Claudia

    You should try breakfast anywhere in Mexico mmmmm delicious. Such sweet fresh fruit, eggs at the moment anyway you want it, bacon, refried beans, quesadillas, its the best meal when you are on holidays just having time to sip your morning coffee
    and then linger around the beach, what else can you ask for?

    • Alanna Kellogg

    I couldn’t get enough of Bircher Muesli when I was in Switzerland ten years ago, so much so that my fellow travelers laughed at me every morning, “There she goes, back to the buffet table again. She’s crazy for that oatmeal.” It’s so easy to make at home, makes for a very relaxed breakfast for lots of people, too. PS Thanks for the link!

    • Adele

    I’m with you on hotel breakfasts, with two notable exceptions, both in France: (a)
    the breakfast at Hotel Varenne, which is impossibly charming and delicious, at some times of the year, included in special room rates. They know how to serve discreetly and leave one to one’s coffee and the croissants, bread and pastries are so fresh; and (b) breakfast at Troisgros — yes it’s an incredible splurge but you won’t have to eat again for days and the quality and variety is dazzling.

    • Hillary

    Two questions:

    1. What is that ORANGE-orange juice in the middle of the photo? I’m guessing that the one on the left is actual orange juice, and grapefruit on the right.

    2. What is “miel etranger” as written on the Bonne Maman label? “Foreign honey”?

    I’m with you on avoiding the industrial scrambled eggs at hotel buffets – blech!

    • Adele

    I would guess one of the juices is Apricot Nectar.

    Miel Etranger == Wild Honey?

    • Lillianne

    I don’t understand what that dealy-bob is on top of the jar of honey with the picture of bees.

    • Caffettiera

    I fell in love with Bircher Muesli at a hotel breakfast the first day I spent in the place I live in now, in Germany. So far their breakfast is pretty much the only thing I fell in love with here.. Though I have to admit it is spectacular. We Italians don’t understand breakfast at all, and in particular we don’t understand hotel breakfast; and in the UK you can happily leave your stomach behind for the day, after a full fry up.

    I now always look out for Birchen Muesli when travelling, since it is both nourishing and light; I found out they make a very good one even at the airport!

    • Elana Iaciofano

    I’m with you on the hotel breakfasts. I don’t love it when they refill my coffee after I’ve gotten it juuuuust the way I like it. I want to give them credit for effort…but….

    • Anna-Kristiina Laukkanen

    Oh my God, you and I would get along famously as I also detest getting dressed first thing in the morning – but unfortunately I have to, at 5:30 am, because I have to go to work. And Lord help the person who talks to me before 9:00 am because I’m so not a morning person. It makes things a bit tricky that I’m a receptionist, but hey, whatever. I do, however, enjoy a hotel breakfast. Not the cheery hotel people because I’d like to smack them, but the whole experience of having breakfast in a hotel. A nice hotel.

    I love your blog, Paris and anything French. I feel vile that I’m living at the moment in Alberta, Canada and cannot find anything even remotely delicious here.

    • Xandra

    Not only do I love muesli, but I am more than a little amused (and disturbed) that I seem to share all of your “issues”. I dread eating breakfasts in hotels because for some reason, no matter where I am, I always feel confused about the process and overwhelmed by the number of people there to greet me and the food options before me. I try very hard (and it is a struggle in the morning) to be friendly when all that I really want is for them to bring me a big pot of coffee and get the heck away from me.
    I have to say that was never a cereal person growing up (most are far too sweet for my taste), but was so excited when I discovered Alpen (which I still eat with just milk). I can’t say that I’m sold on yogurt in muesli though. I am a bit of a purist when it comes to certain foods, and I refuse to spoil delicious yogurt with the addition of any cereal (or vice versa).

    • Karen@Mignardise

    Funny. As a fellow soggy food hater, I too have a soft spot for muesli. Maybe it’s because you can add in all kinds of good things that give it enough texture.
    I spent a semester in Geneva (many, many years ago) and got hooked on birchermuesli. I’ve yet to make it myself, but your post has given me a push.

    • Lucie

    I remember growing up and looking at my sister like she was some weird alien for enjoying muesli with yogurt in the mornings, as I dunked my tartines into my hot chocolate. Now, a few too many years later, muesli is my breakfast of choice with a hot tea and some chopped fruit if I’m not too lazy. I love it!

    • Monica

    It makes me smile to find another fan of Bircher Muesli, my breakfast of choice on most days (and all to frequent object of photographic obsession). It is revitalizing, isn’t it? I like to have mine with grated pear, toasted pecans and yogurt. And a cup of coffee, of course.

    • steph (whisk/spoon)

    yeah, what’s up with over-attentiveness first thing in the morning? i always thought muesli was so awful until i tried bircher muesli. now i make it at home all the time.

    • Lexi

    mmm… I’m coming to Zurich in a couple of weeks and now I’m looking forward to it even more, thinking about Swiss yogurt and muesli for breakfast every day. (I know, Sprungli is what should really be getting me excited, but there are amazing bakeries in NYC, where I’m coming from. Top-notch yogurt is another question.)

    • Cheryl in Lyon

    I fell in love with the stuff in Geneva and when I asked for the recipe, she said, “It’s just muesli and fromage blanc or yogurt with some cream if you need to thin it.” So I went out and bought a BOX of dry muesli cereal (the crunchy stuff)- BLEH! I told my friend what happened and she laughed, “No, you have to get the uncooked kind, like quaker oats.” Gee thanks!

    Anyway, I’ve done some experimenting and my go-to mix is the 5 flocons variety at the Bio store (La vie claire) and use fruited yogurt- the kind with fruit chunks- the cherry is exceptional, because you get those little fruity bursts about every 3rd bite or so… I tried using the muesli with fruit, but it added a really weird (and not in a good way) flavor. But fresh bananas are tasty. I’ve also thrown in walnuts or pecans and occasionally coconut. If it needs sweetening, maple syrup is tasty, or vanilla brown sugar. I am amazed at how the flakes just don’t get soggy- even after a day or two in the fridge, it’s still pretty toothy. I think it’s because it’s never heated. Great, now I have a craving! :-)

    • Nico

    Considering your aversion for food that’s blue, David, it’s funny that you like Bircher muesli this much, as it often comes in a pink/blue/purple shade :)

    • homegrown countrygirl

    David, your writing is so delightful… I don’t believe you’re as much of a crank as you say you are!

    • Jill

    I’m like a bear that’s been poked in the morning. I hate having to deal with people until my stomach has a little food and at least 2 cups of coffee. My boyfriend learned that one the hard way.

    • Jean Marie

    I didn’t know you were supposed to soak it with yogurt either. It looks so good with the nuts and fruit and honey drizzle. I also do not want anyone to talk to me in the morning. Waiting until lunchtime is best. (p.s. I saw your cookie advice in the Wash Post this morning!)

    • Emilie Chavaillaz

    So nice to hear you’re in my neck of the woods! I really enjoy reading your blog (for the content and your writing style) and I especially love your chocolate recipes. Are you going to meet this guy while you’re here ?

    • Shana

    too bad you won’t be passing through zurich! got super excited when i saw the title of your post and that you were in switzerland.

    ps best birchermuesli i’ve had is at the edelweiss hotel in sils maria (near st. moritz).

    • Pelabel

    I love hotel breakfasts in Europe. There’s nothing like waking up to a bowl of whole fat whole milk yogurt drizzled with honey. I eat my muesli with yogurt and not milk. Then there’s the lovely fresh baked breads, slathered with the pates in those very convenient little packets. All finished off with a cup (or 3) of thick hot chocolate that no powder mix could ever compete. And they wonder why I’m not hungry for lunch on most days.

    • Shari

    Being an unsophisticated American, I had absolutely no idea that muesli is to be mixed with yogurt the day before! Wow. I also ate it with milk, and honestly it really wasn’t anything special. Now I know why. : )

    • Leah

    David, this post is too funny! And very informative. Thank you. I didn’t know either that muesli had to be eaten that way. I always just thought that it was very, very crunchy. I like hotel breakfasts in the Philippines because it’s usually buffet, food is really good and the choices are just incredible. Even if we weren’t checked in the hotel, my friend and I would up wake really early so we could go to the Peninsula and have buffet breakfast on weekends. Buffets in US hotels don’t quite compare and breakfasts are not good at all. I agree that I like the breakfast trays served in Europe.


    • Jeanne

    Sounds like someone’s not much of a morning socialite… :D Hehe. Love it.

    And, of course, yay for müesli.

    • Nikki

    I love muesli!!! I eat it all the time for breakfast. I first tried it at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. It had lots of berries on top and sauteed apples mixed in, AMAZING. I soak my muesli in milk overnight and by morning, it turns creamy and sweet. Yum! I tried with Greek yogurt recently, but it was no good.

    • paris


    • Thea

    “. . . the expansive lake that placidly rested outside.” Har. Expensive, too, I hear.

    Lovely photo of the light-filled dining room. You can tell there’s a lake somewhere around.

    • Jane Ridolfi

    again, and again……you never disappoint. Always chock full of useful information colored with your wonderful sense of humor…..have I told you how much I love your writing…….well, let me count the ways……………..You are my Blog God……Hope all is well. Best, Jane

    • Susan

    Ha..I did the same thing the first time I tried Muesli. It was like flecks dry paper mixed with lumps of dried fruit in my mouth, impervious to cold milk. Blech! I haven’t eaten it since. Don’t even get me started on Kashi’s.styrafoam kernels..gah!

    • Dime Store Foodie

    When the bacon is good, a second trip is a must! Those windows…I’m not sure I could leave if there was good bacon and a cup of coffee!

    • Cate

    Bircher Muesli ! My favorite. I used to live in Switzerland and first had it there. The original recipe is oats, not instant or pinhead, grated apple and lemon juice, yoghurt and honey. If you are in a hurry you don’t need to do any overnight soaking as the oats absorb the juice from the apple very quickly. Add the yoghurt, and perhaps a few hazlenuts and chopped almonds, then fresh fruit in season if you have any like blueberries or raspberries. I think Alpen is vile and tastes like cardboard and sawdust mixed together. You don’t need any other grains or dried fruit with Bircher Muesli.

    • Pille @ Nami-Nami

    I’m blushing here – thank you for mentioning my little Nami-Nami, David :) Bircher müsli rocks – too absent-minded in the evening to make it regularly, but we do love it at our house.
    When we went skiing in Switzerland last February, we made a point of trying out different versions of Bircher-müsli in different hotels – quite amusing, actually :)

    • pinky black

    nostalgia. i remember my mom would always prepare light breakfast for me and my brothers before we go to school now everything seems to be so instant. instant food. fast food. instant coffee. i just miss how my mom prepares me breakfast. and now with this recipe i’d be able to prepare her a meal and bring back those good old times.

    • angelainprovence

    This was what I ate every morning before going to school in England (my mother was German). I used to be embarrassed about it and pretended I had had Cornflakes for breakfast if anyone asked! Its supposed to be the healthiest start to the day, that and porridge!

    • adrian

    Damn you, David! I wake up and read your blog most days and it makes things a lot brighter. But going from Sharjah to Montreaux?! That and going to Ireland. You are all over the place! This would call for some friendly name-calling, but I’ll not go that far, because you never know how it might come across. Anyway, carry on, go ahead. And be the traveler for me while I sit here at home and wish I was you.

    I almost started to correct your spelling on müesli, because in Germany it’s spelled müsli as was pointed out. But I figured it must be Swiss and the Swiss readers here put me straight. Live and learn.

    Your story of your next-room neighbor has me thinking of the Fawlty Towers episode where Basil bursts into a random room at the hotel to find a guest with a rubber doll ;-)

    Take it easy,

    • berit

    Hm I always eat my Müsli without it being soaked for hours…does that make me less European? I just love the crunch and that you have something to bite on.

    • Kiki

    :))) I LOVE Birchermüesli…. – and I even called the grandson of Dr. Bircher-Benner my homeopathic house doctor… :) Müesli and all….
    You described a pretty lovely place David; and I do envy you a bit; when I am back in Switzerland it’s ‘home müesli’, not fancy eating out in gorgeous hotels! And please may I take this opportunity to warn your readers of the so called SWISS joghurts you can buy in France… They are appalling and don’t deserve being named together with my country. The same happened in UK with the Swiss rolls, here with the dough for cakes called ‘recette Suisse’ – nothing could be further from the truth…
    I now really YEARN for a bowl of Birchermüesli – with nuts, fresh apples, real berries, maybe a plain yaourt bio and some organic milk – oh, I have half a banana too and some breakfast sprinkle from my last England visit…. mmmmh – bon appétit!
    Thank you for this delicious beginning of my late afternoon…

    • ryan @ Macarons

    Nice posting…looks quite similar to the everyday breakfast we Americans can enjoy at the local motel 6 :P

    -Jealous of your travels.

    • Liz

    Ha! I am so glad someone else shares many of my aversions. I hate being constantly tended to while I’m dining. I want to be left alone and only served when it looks like I actually need to be served.

    I spent some time in Italy with a class from college one summer. We all made a big faux pas in a hotel in Rome because no one told us why there were separate dining rooms. All we knew was the big bowl of fruit was in the dining room we weren’t in and we just figured that was strange. They were very polite and it was just explained to us that we were not paying enough to be able to eat breakfast in that particular room.

    I also had no idea that that was the proper way to eat muesli, but I love granola and yogurt so I will definitely have to give this a go.

    • David

    adrian: Well, the two events I attended were just a couple of days apart, so it was easier just to go from one to the other (athough packing for the UAE and Switzerland, weather-wise, was a challenge..)

    re the spelling of Bircher Müesli: I saw this billboard advertising it in Montreux. So while I don’t speak German, or Swiss-German, I’m going to say that it’s the correct spelling and that’s that : )

    Shari: I don’t know it either, so you’re not alone not knowing it was meant to be soaked. I have had it for dinner at the home of someone Swiss-French (in Paris) and it was nice when you don’t want something too rich for dinner. I’m going to make it more often…and not just for breakfast!

    • didl

    I love muesli! Thanks for the cool article :-)

    Lillianne – that “dealy-bob” is simply the jar’s lid. The bee paper seal looks huge because it’s one of those tiny single serving jars..

    • Shari

    Yum! David, I would have no problem eating it for dinner. I even eat baked oatmeal for lunch sometimes, -if I didn’t eat it for breakfast. : ) I’m an old fashioned oatmeal freak.

    • Linda H

    Isn’t Montreaux lovely? Lake, rose gardens, hills.

    • Sandra

    I’m not sure if there is a difference between muesli and granola, but they are both very tempting.
    On another note, I told Emily to bring you some candy corn—I don’t know if she will, but I told her about your posts here craving it. Take them to a few more interesting restaurants and test their taste buds, not their usual haunts in Paris.

    • Nadine Rosenthal

    I used to love go out to breakfast. I have now gotten to the point that in most cases I can make something more delicious at home than I will ever order in any restaurant. And, I can do it all in my pajamas. I love muesli but even more than that, I love McCann’s oatmeal cooked in half and half. Life’s way to short to go with skim milk! Some plumped up dried cherries and raisins and I feel like a queen!

    • Olga

    Small spelling point: Müesli may be the Swiss spelling, but the German spelling is, indeed, Müsli without the e. It actually is unusual for Swiss German and German German to differ, spellingwise. Pronunciation is of course always different, and I do know that the Swiss pronounce it differently, but I’m probably the only commenter here that finds this sort of thing exciting.
    Re how it should be eaten: There clearly is another difference between Swiss and Germans here. Germans pour milk over their Müsli right before consumption and delight in the crunchiness. They sell prepackaged yoghurt+cereal containers where the yoghurt is packaged separately from the cereal, to ensure proper crunchiness. So when as a kid you felt “continental”, that was quite appropriate. Just a different part of the continent.
    Personally, I like both the crunchy and the soft version: Whatever! I find though that they never put enough nuts OR dried fruit into the store-bought ones and now mix my own. Which is mostly nuts and fruit…

    • PastryCraft

    You have just reminded me how much I love muesli. And yet, do I buy it here in the States? No. But I love it in Europe. I too feel very healthy when I eat it and certainly, it’s better than granola. Has to be crunchy though. It’s also a great base for the start of a homemade granola (without all of the fat).

    • Fig

    Chiming in to say that I actually loved the hotel breakfasts when I visited Germany and Switzerland with my mom–sooo much more delicious than hotel breakfasts at the places I’ve stayed in the US and Canada! So many delicious breads, with meats and cheeses and cucumber. Oh, and the quark. Mm, the quark. So many good breakfasts–the crowning one being at the Arthotel Munich in, you guessed it, Munich. But even the simple ones were so nice; I think I’ll go buy a cucumber and some nice dark bread to start having with cheese and cold cuts in the morning.

    • Jen

    I just about lived on the combination of yogurt, oats and pureed fruit when I first got my braces on and couldn’t chew at all for six months. Yum.

    • Saskia

    Growing up in Holland I often to mixed my muesli with yoghurt and whipped cream and let that sit overnight. I was hooked on it! Calories be damned….

    • Sissi

    I like oats in cakes, cookies etc. but really hate it softened with yogurt or milk. Have you tried cenovis, another Swiss classic breakfast product? It’s addictive! Most people either love it or hate it, I’m a big fan of cenovis and butter toasts.

    • Anna Johnston

    Aaahhh yes, I hate too much of anything, people included first thing in the morning and the hotel dining room chatter is a bit much even though I still remember being required to do a breakfast shift from time to time way back when too. Much prefer to have breakfast delivered these days…, don’t have to talk to anyone that way.

    • Liana @ femme fraiche

    This post is hilarious–I have some weird tendencies myself. I am miserable and moody and unapproachable in the morning, I have a huge phobia of stairs, especially those scary things that move, and I, too prefer the style of European hotel breakfasts. My experiences have only been good–fresh baked croissants, miniature Nutella packets and unrivaled cappuccinos…

    • Carla Duclos

    Hi David,

    I am very curious to try the Bircher Müesli. It looks delicious. :)

    And, by the pictures I guess I stayed in this hotel when I’ve been to Mountreux in a great trip I did to France/Switzerland in 2009. Is this the Golf-Hotel René Capt in Mountreux ( ?

    When I stayed there, there was no Bircher Müesli in the buffet, otherwise I would’ve tried. But anyway the breakfast was great!

    • Claire

    Buffet breakfasts are really the only classy way to go. ‘An Englishman is never served at breakfast’ – English etiquette recognises that it’s more pleasant to be left alone in the morning than to have to deal with table service, whether in one’s own home or at a restaurant!

    • Sara

    Hey, the hotel sounds nice! Can u pls tell me the name of the hotel u stayed in? I once had a yummy creamy thing served as part of the breakfast buffet at a hotel in Prague, but regretfully never did ask what it was. I wonder if it was Bircher muesli?


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