Tips and tricks: Shopping for Food in and around Geneva

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An amazing resource – the AIWC Super Tuesday Coffee morning this month looked at eating local foods, minimising food packaging waste and where to source foods we miss from home.  Below you can read just how resourceful this group of women are as we share our tips for buying those goodies we crave.

Buying Local:

The Swiss are keen to support purchasing local food and many supermarkets show where products are from and who the local farmers are.  Look out for the Genève Region Terre Avenir (GRTA) sign that shows that the product is local and 100% natural.  GRTA on restaurant menus also suggests the dish is locally sourced.

Logo GRTA

The Union Maraïchère de Genève near the M-Parc, sells excellent “second choice” and over stocked local produce at a reduced price. Check out our blog Second Choice Produce at Discounted Prices.

Landi (which looks like a garden centre but sells food as well) stocks local food staples such as flour, sugar, oil, lentils and more at a significantly lower price than the grocery stores. They also sell local cider, wines and beers. Our blogger, Alpenhorn wrote about this store in her blog A Little Bit of Everything at Landi. You can also visit their website for list of local shops.

The markets in Rive and Carouge offer excellent local vegetables and cheese.  For those fancying a trip further afield the market at Divonne on a Sunday morning provides a real foodie treat.

One person in our group proposed the 50 km diet – try and source all foods within this radius from Geneva. This area includes some great cheese producing regions as well as Bourg en Bresse where the best chicken in the world hails from.  The following recipe (made by a member and tasted by all at the coffee morning) is entirely local.

Savoury Locavore Loaf
Made from local ingredients

  • 300g Geneva flour
  • 1 sachet of baking powder (Poudre à lever)
  • 200g bacon pieces (lardons) or cubes of ham (dés de jambon)
  • 150g finely grated strong Gruyère (salé)
  • 3 eggs
  • 20cl white wine
  • 10cl of rape seed (colza) oil or other cooking oil
  • salt and pepperCombine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and cheese in a mixing bowl.   Make a well in the middle and beat in the eggs, wine and oil.  Stir in the bacon.  Pour into a non-stick or lined loaf tin.  Cook at 160°C for approx 45 minutes

Buying Organic:

The Satoriz chain over the French border offers an excellent range of organics products as does Botanic (the garden centres).

Looking after our environment

AIWC members are keen to do their bit in this area.  Suggestions for swapping local products for those that have to be flown in included local green lentils rather then the South American quinoa; and local linseed rather then the Bolivian chia seed.

To minimise packaging members suggested shopping for pulses, rice and spices at Lyzamir, rue des Corps-Saints 3 in central Geneva, where you take your own cartons to be filled with your purchases. Others suggested using the biodegradable bags or simply sticking the bar code on the fruit and veg direct! Many of the supermarkets in Switzerland also offer refillable cleaning products such as the oecoplan range at the Coop.

Sign up to Zero Waste Switzerland for more ideas

Buying those items from home that seem difficult to find:

Try the American Food Avenue in Cologny for peanut butter (though Migros has a less sweet, excellent brand on hand), baking soda in large quantities, American chocolate chips (Migros has a tasty tiny square chocolate chip brand).

British treats such as Branston Pickle and Marmite from Jim’s British Market (based in St Genis in France and Gland in Switzerland).

The ExPat Store in Eaux Vives also does home delivery and stocks US and UK products.

Indian spices, naans and poppadums also from Lyzamir, rue des Corps-Saints 3 or Ashanti, Rue de Montchoisy, 23 in Paquis

Brown sugar can be found at Aligro and many French grocery stores.

All the major supermarkets also tend to have an international aisle that is worth checking out.

Quick tricks when we can’t find what we need:

Wheat bran seems to be impossible to find but ground up All Bran cereal works just as well.

Choc chips for cookies – Coop Prix Garantie chocolate seems to work if finely chopped and is excellent value at 50 cents a bar; and Migros stocks dark chocolate chips in tiny squares.

Money Saving tips

Always useful – Denner for fabulous wine offers, Manor and Coop for meat offers and Ikea for frozen salmon pieces and great sauces for a cheat’s dinner party!

Using the pharmacies across the border can save CHFs and there are more things available without  a prescription.  Finally, go direct to the chemist for a flue jab rather than via your doctor – the Sunstore pharmacies are offering them for CHF45.

Feel free to share any tips or trick that you think we missed or ask about a product that you are having trouble finding.

We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/

2 thoughts on “Tips and tricks: Shopping for Food in and around Geneva”

  1. My daughter took your advice about going to a pharmacy for her flu vaccine. At Rive she paid only CHF 30!

  2. Laraine Munro said:

    What duty must I pay on IKEA kitchen at £2,000 buy in Geneva take to France

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