Today I discovered two things I was previously pretty sure did not exist: a beer store and a bulk spice store in Lausanne. This, despite my extensive searches for the very same items in the last few months! This, despite the fact that I was just trying to buy coffee. No doubt this is exactly how Columbus felt (ignoring some details, e.g. the thing he was actually looking for was spices, etc).
I found the beer store first, close to central Lausanne. It is called Mise en Bière: échoppe de bières artisanales, and they have a large selection of Swiss, Belgian and French beers, and smaller amounts of Canadian, English, German and others. Supposing I told you the number of American beers they had is less than 5, can you guess which ones are lining their shelves? You should not count the American-inspired Duff beer which they sell (brewed by Eschweger Klosterbrauerei). Have you prepared your final answer? If you said they only sell Coors, you would be right. They also sell a beer-based vinegar which I think should have some tasty applications.
Later in the day, I was in Chailly (east part of Lausanne) and wandered by something with the sign “l’épicerie du pont de chailly.” Cool enough, it is hard to find certain spices, and therefore worth a look inside. What I then discovered is that Chailly is a foody paradise.
Lo and behold: they had spices in bulk (épices en vrac)! All of your favourites: allspice, garam masala, mustard seed, szechuan peppercorns, and you can buy exactly as many grams as you like. (I did fail in one search there, the shopkeepers confirmed they have no Grains of Paradise but said it could be ordered.) Not since Bulk Barn back home have I seen such an array of inexpensive edible accoutrements. They also sell a selection of wines, olives, pasta, chocolate, jams, and what have you.
Finally, let’s suppose that, due to Columbus, you have a hankering for some cuisine from the Americas. Then you should head over to “Du Québec à Tierra del Fuego” in central Lausanne, where you can buy Kraft dinner, maple syrup, refried beans, tequila and tortillas (although I do not recommend this particular combination for a meal).
Update: Go figure, 2 days later I found another place that sells some spices (not as many) in bulk/vrac, and has a small collection of beer, and has random jams, tofus, and organic foods. Le Topinambour is located near the Lausanne Gare, and is open Mon 14-19h, Tues-Fri 9-12h30+14-19h, Sat 9-17h.
Filed under: beer, canadiana, food, Lausanne, stores | 1 Comment