Saturday, December 21, 2013

We Made Tacos!

A warning I heard quite frequently from expats living in Europe was that much of the continent lacked decent Mexican-American/Tex Mex food and the ingredients to make them. Tacos are a staple of our regular meal rotation in the US, so from my first visit to Zurich, I was on the hunt. I found that both our local supermarkets in Uster, Coop and Migros, stock a small, but adequate selection of items including taco seasoning, soft and hard shells, refried beans, salsa and tortilla chips. I picked up a bag (yes, bag) of ground beef, a block of cheddar cheese (after searching the hundreds of cheeses for the one kind of cheddar available!) and sauer halbrahm, which my research suggested was the closest thing to sour cream. I also grabbed sauermilch, out of curiosity.

We made the tacos last night and, while a few things were a bit off, I'm happy to report that they absolutely passed the test! The seasoning was spicy, but the flavor wasn't quite what we were used to. The salsa was also quite hot. The hard shells and tortilla chips were a bit off in texture. The cheddar was good and sharp. Both the sauer halbrahm and sauermilch passed as sour cream (I honestly could tell no difference). I apologize for the lack of pictures. We were too busy stuffing our faces and watching Boardwalk Empire on our Slingbox to take photos. 

The ingredients were not cheap.... 3-4 CHF (Swiss francs) each for hard shells, soft shells, beans, salsa, chips. The ground beef was 7 CHF for 0.44 kg, about a pound of meat). A Swiss franc is equal to approx $1.10. In all, the meal cost approximately 24 CHF and fed us both with plenty of leftovers for lunches this weekend.

This weekend we're attempting minestrone soup and baking my mom's butterball cookies for Christmas.... if I can figure out how to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius on the stove. Wish us luck!


  1. I'm sure you already know there are recipes online for homemade taco seasoning and sour cream. Might be worth a try and possibly cheaper. Or if you tell me what brand you prefer, I can send you some of taco seasoning.
    I found this video for making sour cream in a couple of minutes

  2. We do typically make our own taco seasoning, but we're not sure yet if we can get all our usual ingredients here. I'll let you know what we're missing!!

    And I had no idea you could make sour cream.... so cool!

  3. I used this recipe to make cashew "sour cream": I played around with the lemon juice and vinegar until I was happy with the flavor and texture. It was delicious, vegan, and--because I used cashew butter rather than soaking the cashews myself--took less than 5 minutes to make.