Here is Damjan Kostovic’s letter:
I am writing in response to your article about the cultural significance of food.
Being a Swiss citizen, I was often confronted with other people’s preconceptions about Swiss food, and I can assure you that they are, more often than not, a matter of fact. Switzerland, chocolate, and cheese seem to be inextricably intertwined, and the lack of it, consequently, may make deep inroads into the lives of the Swiss population. It stands to reason, therefore, that Swiss food is exceedingly important to the Swiss citizenry.
Continuously being faced with food is an everyday occurrence. Not only are we subject to numerous kinds of tempting chocolate, but we are also confronted by food from every culture of the world. At times, it is not even physical food, as for instance in advertisements for the latest burger newly released by Burger King. And since the opportunities from which you can choose seem endless, there is always something for every taste. The reasons for this food culture are straightforward and clear: the food market is a huge business with millions of dollars’ worth of profit, and humans frequently cannot resist their instinctive drives to eat.
Cheese and chocolate have always been embedded within Swiss culture, but with the inexorable march of globalisation, Swiss customs concerning food have also altered. International food has earned its spot in Switzerland, and since Switzerland has a big proportion of foreigners among its population, it is obvious that they have brought their favourite food customs with them, hance it is no longer a rarity that Turkish ‘kebabs’ and Swiss ‘Applermaggrone’ meet in the streets of Lucerne. Despite this, Swiss people still tend to maintain the status quo when it comes to celebrations such as Christmas. The typical ‘fondue’ still finds its way to the Swiss table, but admittedly, it has become a rarer sight.
Thus, these examples suggest that food plays a fundamental role in our society, but food customs are in a constant state of transformation.
I hope you find my views of interest.
D. Kostevic (Mr.)