A little bit more information about Cream-Cheese (History)

Opinions differ when it comes to the cheese for the cheesecake. Some swear by double-cream cream cheese, so that the baked goods taste nice and juicy, others reach for low-fat quark because they want to save calories.

In this country, i.e., in Germany/Austria/Switzerland, quark is usually used in cakes. To make it, thickened, pasteurized and skimmed milk is mixed with lactic acid bacteria so that it coagulates. The resulting whey is drained, and the remaining quark gets a creamy consistency by stirring. Refined with cream, it gets its different levels of fat—from lean to creamy.

Double cream cheese is with its 60 to 87% fat content in dry matter, it is the classic for New York cheesecake. It gives the cake a nice crispiness. On the other hand, it loses its airy freshness.

A special feature is the layered cheese, a non-passed, unstirred quark that is layered in different fat levels. Confectioners appreciate the firm consistency, the hearty taste and the intensive yellow color. The mass also becomes firm and aromatic. Ricotta is not made from whole milk, but from whey proteins. It is pressed into molds and partly smoked, baked or dried. Especially in southern Italy, the fresh cheese variety with its high fat content and delicate, creamy consistency is used in the dough for cheesecake.

Mascarpone, which is made from cream, is a very rich, Italian cream cheese. Because of its mild, creamy taste, it is used in desserts and cakes. During its production, the cream is thickened by heating and adding citric or acetic acid and has a fat content of 80% after draining the whey. (Quelle: Lisa M.I.G. Medien Innovation GmbH)


Here is another beautiful picture which I found on Facebook. Is shows the diversity of food in Germany.

The Best of German-Bavarian-Austria and Switzerland


Author: Jacob Tanner

Nutrition is a social phenomenon; it provides insight into the social order and can be interpreted as a factor and indicator of socio-cultural change. The socio-historical and cultural-historical investigation of nutrition thus provides important information beyond the physiological, for example on material culture (eating and drinking habits), social differences, gender-specific role norms, population development, migration patterns, power relations or worldviews.

The history of nutrition is by no means limited to the preparation and consumption of food, but deals with the entire economic chain, from the agricultural constitution and agricultural technology to the distribution structures, sales structures and stockpiling to gastronomic housework and family work and the problems of preservation and disposal is sufficient. It is therefore important to base the historical interpretation on a vertical explanatory model that relates the production, distribution and consumption of food. Because the problem of justice and the postulate of health come into play with the question of the availability, distribution and quality of food, social conflict constellations are also involved. Both everyday and holiday dishes were able to generate a sense of community or to stage social distance and subtle differences. The community-building as well as socially polarizing role of food points to the political dimension of nutrition. The tension between cultural diversity (nutritional regionalism) and national identity (so-called national dishes) is important for the Swiss “we-awareness”. In the following, it is important to keep an eye on this multifaceted nature of nutrition.

Prehistory to the early Middle Ages

Author: Margarita Primate

Biologically, humans are omnivores. Up until a few millennia ago, they largely based their diet on what was available in the environment. In the steppe climate of the Ice Age, meat consumption dominated, supplemented, for example, by bird eggs, as evidenced in Hauterive-Champréveyres (NE). The consumption of plant food could be inferred from the condition of the teeth in some cases.

With the cultivation of grain in the Neolithic, the proportion of carbohydrates in the diet increased considerably, which could lead to deficiency symptoms in the case of an unbalanced diet. In the riverside settlements in Switzerland, however, there is evidence of a varied, seasonally changing diet consisting of leftovers from hazelnuts, berries, sloes and other fruits. Gathering, like hunting and fishing, was still very important. Wholegrain rolls made from sourdough have been around since around 3600 BC. proven. The winter supply consisted of grain, dried fruit (especially apples) and the meat of domestic animals slaughtered in the autumn, which was possibly smoked.

However, salt should not have been known until the 2nd millennium BC. have been used to a large extent as a preservative; the traces at the brine springs and the mountain salt deposits suggest this conclusion. In the Lower Engadine, the population probably took advantage of the climatic conditions as early as the 1st millennium BC. for the production of dried meat; perforated shoulder blades of beef and pork indicate this. Honey has long been collected as a sweetener, as rock paintings from Spain suggest. In Switzerland, the use of beeswax and thus indirectly the extraction of honey (beekeeping) in the 2nd millennium BC. well documented.

In the Bronze Age, new crops were introduced, millet and proso millet, as well as field beans (agriculture). This less demanding legume is particularly well represented in alpine settlements. Millet may have been used not only as food, but also as a raw material for brewing beer. Certainly the drinking customs in the 2nd and especially in the 1st millennium BC. some importance in social life, which can be seen, among other things, in the sets of crockery among the grave goods. The social aspects of nutrition and their embedding in the general trend towards an increased division of functions and labor can be identified in the course of the 1st millennium BC. get more specific. Wine and olive oil from the western Mediterranean region are identified by amphorae in individual settlements in Switzerland.

In the Roman Empire, it was primarily the socially better-off sections of the population that adopted new eating habits. Mediterranean specialties such as fish sauces were imported, viticulture and fruit growing spread. In the large Roman estates, there are differences between the diet of the manor and that of the servants, for example in the consumption of meat. Oysters, asparagus, figs, dates and exotic spices also enriched the tables in the villas. Horticulture (horticulture) seems to be one of the lasting achievements that survived the political changes of late antiquity. Whereas it was previously assumed that this cultural element had temporarily disappeared north of the Alps in the 5th century and was later reintroduced by the monasteries (gardens), settlement research now conveys a more differentiated picture. It seems that the care of the gardens and fruit trees and the cultivation of vegetables and herbs (spices, medicinal herbs) outlasted the change in power structures, at least in some areas.

High and Late Middle Ages

Author: Martin Illi

In the High Middle Ages, the growing population required an intensification of agriculture; at the same time, forests (collecting) and pastures lost importance as sources of food. Written sources provide insight into the diet in the monastic environment. The table blessings of the St. Gallen monk Ekkehard IV list the foods and drinks that the author (before 1025) knew from everyday life and literature: different types of bread (bakery), salt, fish, poultry, cattle for slaughter, game, dairy products (dairy farming) , fruit, spices and medicinal herbs, vegetables, mushrooms, wine, cider, spiced wine, honey wine (mead) and beer.

The information about nutrition is condensed in the late Middle Ages. Grains, and chestnuts in southern Switzerland, were the most important sources of calories for broad sections of the population, followed by legumes, vegetables, dried or cooked fruit and, ideally, meat as additional food. “Mus and bread” were synonymous with everyday food, wages in kind in the form of bread were widespread. Even in areas with market-oriented livestock farming, dairy products were by no means dominant. Only leftover products from milk processing were consumed on the spot in addition to grain food. However, butter gained great importance as a cooking fat, as numerous fasting dispensations (so-called butter letters) show. Cheese, an important source of energy, was the food of choice during harvest time.

Compared to the early modern period, when the relationship between food production and population numbers deteriorated again, meat consumption was high in the late Middle Ages. This becomes clear, for example, in the pledge agreements of the Heiliggeistspital in St. Gallen, which in the late Middle Ages offered a varied diet even to the lowest-ranking beneficiaries. Recipe collections and menus provide information about the diet of the upper classes: The recipe collection “Viandier” (middle of the 14th century), also known in Switzerland and attributed to the master chef of King Charles V of France Taillevent, the cookery book by Maître Chiquart (around 1420) for the The Savoyard court and the diet of the St. Gall abbot Ulrich Rösch (around 1480) for the Wil court testify to a high consumption of meat, including offal. On the days of abstinence distributed throughout the church year, meat was replaced by fish (so-called lean food), which was not just fasting food, but a common food. Urban upper classes met their food needs from their own country estates or from the city markets, which were under the supervision of the authorities. Excreted food, which did not necessarily have to be spoiled, was sold or given to the poor. The middle and lower classes could only keep up with the meat consumption of the upper class on holidays and slaughter days, for example at the tithe feasts: On the day of the tithe payment, the Kleinhüninger Dinghof farmers wanted peppered ox meat, veal, chicken, white bread, red and white wine, among other things to be tasted. The bills from the Basler Domhütte for food for their skilled workers in the crisis year 1438 are also revealing (grain food not included): purchases of meat accounted for 54% of the budget, and fish for 27% (including salted and dried sea fish).

Karl der Kühne und Kaiser Friedrich III. in Trier 1473. Illustration aus der Eidgenössischen Chronik von Werner Schodeler, wiedergegeben 1572 von Christoph Silberysen (Aargauer Kantonsbibliothek, Aarau, MsWettF 16: 2, Fol. 36v; e-codices).

Results of the late medieval diet are available, among other things, from latrines in Basel, Zurich, Constance, Schaffhausen and Biel: Fruit, nuts, berries, garden vegetables and tropical fruits such as pomegranates and figs have been identified. Bone remains lead the latrine sediments mainly from cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and wild animals. Because most of the latrines studied were in upscale neighborhoods, the results tend to reflect upper-class diets. The latrines seldom provide any information about grain food. On the other hand, charred grains of grain in the ground are well preserved: in fire layers of six wooden houses from the 13th-15th c. In the 19th century in Laufen, oats and spelt have been proven to be the main grains, as well as einkorn, emmer, seed wheat, barley, millet and rye (with the toxic ergot fungus) as well as the legumes field beans, peas, lentils and vetch. A second group of plants included 25 special crops, including garlic, turnips, cabbage, nuts and fruit, as well as aromatic and medicinal plants.

Signs of malnutrition and malnutrition (e.g. iron deficiency) – such as spongy deposits on the roof of the eye socket (Cribra orbitalia), so-called Harris lines (inhibited growth in the long bones of small children) and rickety bone deformations – were diagnosed in the investigation of the church deserted village of Bühl near Nänikon (including 73 child burials from the late 15th and early 16th centuries), Cribra orbitalia even in a sixth of all non-adults. Such results highlight repeated shortages (famines) in a late medieval rural society.

modern times New foods and proto-industrialization (16th-18th centuries)

Author: Jacob Tanner

For centuries, two opposing stereotypes dominated the image of nutrition in Switzerland: On the one hand, it was considered a “poorhouse” that was unable to feed its population, which is why young men put themselves in the service of foreigners. On the other hand, thanks to their frugal diet, the Helvetic shepherds were considered to be extremely healthy powerhouses.

Socio-historical investigations show differentiated nutritional patterns that are related to the late medieval and early modern development of agricultural zones. The two predominant patterns can be assigned to the northern Alpine “land of shepherds” and the “cornland” of the Mediterranean: the former a combination of dairy foods, cheese, nuts, berries, mushrooms, vegetables and fruit, the latter an interplay of mush, soups, bread, legumes and vegetables and possibly wine. In both rooms bread played an important role. Overall, eating and drinking was strongly subject to seasonal fluctuations. In winter, dried fruit and sauerkraut were served instead of fresh vegetables from the garden. In times of shortages, acorns, turnips, roots and types of bread diluted with substitutes had to be eaten more frequently.

The view that nutrition from the 16th to the 19th century was based on self-sufficiency and was a reflection of local agricultural production must be countered with the fact that most regions of Switzerland were integrated into larger economic areas early on, which also had an impact on nutrition affected. There are two main aspects to consider:

From the beginning of modern times onwards, with population growth and stagnating agricultural productivity, the scope for food became narrower, which brought with it a vegetalization and an impoverishment of the diet. The supply was irregular and insecure, resulting in famine and high prices. However, the implementation of a “porridge-mush standard” took place in an economic scenario that also shows long phases of prosperity, which, for example, enabled a richer diet (including dairy products, meat).

Second, European colonialism and culinary innovation began to interact. The conquest of America changed the geography of food and triggered processes of cultural appropriation and change, initially with feasts (sugar, pastries, fruit, etc.). For a long time, the acculturation of food was limited to the urban upper classes in particular. In the 18th century, with the breakthrough of the potato, there was also an exemplary emergency innovation from below.

At the end of the 18th century, a “food revolution” started with proto-industrialization. In addition to the potato, coffee and – a little later – brandy prevailed, with bad substitutes often predominating (coffee substitutes, sugary drinks, so-called booze). In Ticino, in the St. Gallen Rhine Valley and in parts of Graubünden, corn spread and with it the polenta breakfast, which represented a contrast to the potato and milk coffee breakfast popular in the Mittelland, Jura and Prealps. Overall, this bundle of innovations had a more lasting effect on the socio-cultural change in nutrition than the subsequent industrialization.

Economic growth, factory industrialization and urbanization (19th century)

Author: Jacob Tanner

Ernährung (hls-dhs-dss.ch)

With factory industrialization, the dietary patterns formed in the 18th century became generalized. The famines of 1816-1817 and 1845-1847 were the last crises of subsistence. As a result, the economic cycle became decoupled from fluctuations in agricultural harvests. Although the deficiency syndrome was not overcome by the end of the 19th century, various related developments resulted in an expansion and stabilization of the food supply.

Four processes improved the food supply in the last quarter of the 19th century:

1) The second agricultural revolution brought about an increase in agricultural productivity in the 19th century. Commercialization and specialization gave rise to an efficient livestock and dairy industry, which supplied exports as well as domestic sales markets and industrial customers.

2) The establishment and expansion of traffic routes and transport capacities made it possible to interlink regional markets and create a world market. Grain became the most important international commodity, and the possibility of falling back on cheap overseas “bread resources” facilitated the development of modern industrial society employment and settlement structures.

3) Even if the butchery in Switzerland never reached a level of concentration as in the industrial regions in the north-east of the USA, the centralization in slaughterhouses brought the meat industry into the wake of increasing industrial efficiency.

Fliessbandarbeiterinnen in der Konservenfabrik Hero in Frauenfeld. – Google Suche

4) The rise of the food and beverage industry, and especially the canning industry, created a new field for corporate investment. Swiss companies were particularly prominent in the areas of milk processing (condensed milk, milk powder), chocolate production, pasta production and soup food. The result was an increasing and stable supply of food, which could be purchased by ever broader sections of the population due to the income effect associated with economic growth.

Marktplatz mit Ständen der staatlichen Lebensmittelfürsorge in Basel, um 1918 (Staatsarchiv Basel-Stadt, BILD 13, 785b). – Google Suche

However, the industrialization process also provoked nutritional problems, whereby four aspects can also be distinguished: First, with the decline in self-sufficiency, dependency on income increased. Even if purchasing power increased considerably in the long term, the monetization of nutrition made large sections of the population dependent on an anonymous market situation. In addition, as can be read in Jeremias Gotthelf’s “Die Käserei in der Vehfreude” (1835), milk disappeared from the tables and was exported. Added to this was the problem of deterioration and counterfeiting of food: especially in urban centers, its quality decreased as the interdependence chains between producers and consumers lengthened. A federal food law was not introduced until 1905. Thirdly, factory work forced a separation of work and home, of gainful employment and housework, and thus called into question well-established forms of division of labor and everyday organization. Nutrition in particular was a sensitive area in which breaks with tradition and heteronomy made themselves felt. Because factory work was largely done by women in the first phase of industrialization, role conflicts arose, which mostly had a negative impact on nutrition. Fourth, closely related to this is the rise of new “food surrogates”: schnapps and sugar in particular were very popular, which could result in a physiological deterioration in nutrition even with rising incomes.

Scientificization and ideologization, postulates and statistics (first half of the 20th century)

Autorin/Autor: Jakob Tanner

From the last third of the 19th century onwards, the public discussion about the effects of industrialization on eating and drinking increasingly became the focus of nutritional science. This was initially committed to a work-centered, thermodynamic understanding of the body. In the course of the 20th century, it propagated a series of health ideologies in the form of do’s (e.g. more vitamins, dietary fibre) and don’ts (e.g. less alcohol, fat) and thus adopted postulates of nutritional reform concepts (life reform movement). Nutrition was the preferred topic of popular enlightenment, which was dominated by educated middle-class circles, which often had a missionary touch and pursued socially disciplining intentions. At the same time, new fields of activity opened up for the training of women in cooking and housekeeping, as well as for the formalization of culinary knowledge, above all through cookbooks and guide books. During the global economic crisis of the 1930s, when meals were increasingly charged with national stereotypes, the harmony-creating fondue emerged, which can be understood as the counterpart to the conflict-ridden Röstigraben, although this too embodies a cliché that is not tenable in terms of nutritional history. The effects of the nutritional reform, which was increasingly propagated between the wars, remained marginal, even if Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner’s Birchermüesli later rose to international fame.

die gesuendeste nahrung plakat der schweiz von herbert leupin – Google Suche

In the 19th and 20th centuries, social, technical and ideal factors resulted in a lasting change in eating habits and taste preferences, accompanied by a loss of importance of food expenditure in the household budget. Between 1830 and 1875, working-class families spent an average of 62% on food. Bread and coffee played the most important role (usually a surrogate, especially chicory coffee), followed by meat, milk and potatoes. There were, however, distinct, namely gender- and generation-specific gradations. At the beginning of the 20th century, the “food quota” of the total expenditures of working-class and white-collar households was below 50% and 40% respectively. In 1950, Swiss households spent on average less than a third on food, in 1995 just over 10%. In terms of consumption preferences, bread and potatoes are the big losers in the long-term trend, while meat, eggs and vegetables have become more popular. Overall, the development of an animal “processing economy” (animal breeding) struck through with an increase in the range of animal calories. In parallel, the traditional focus on carbohydrates weakened; in the latter, starchy foods were substituted by sugary foods. All in all, the meals became more varied, but also more arbitrary.

Development of the consumer society – abundance as a problem (second half of the 20th century)

Autorin/Autor: Jakob Tanner

After 1950, accelerated economic growth brought unprecedented increases in income and purchasing power in all sections of the population. The shift from potatoes and grains to animal and higher-fat foods continued. The proportion of commercially and industrially manufactured products rose; fresh milk in particular has been supplanted by a wide range of dairy products.

In the course of this development, there was an even stronger dissolution of nutritional styles and changes in eating habits. Five aspects can be distinguished: The mechanization of the kitchen and the rationalization of the household, which had been the guiding principles since the 1920s, became widespread from the 1950s onwards. They were accompanied by new products and methods of preparation in the name of convenience food. This, in turn, was a facet of those “rapid times” that is wrongly reduced to Americanized variants of fast food. Despite canned goods and other time-saving products, managing a family’s diet has remained challenging and time-consuming, and the expectation that the convenience food boom would herald the end of the kitchen is ill-founded. After the restorative 1950s, processes of informalization and individualization can be identified. They accentuated the subcultural thrust that culminated in the 1968 movement. The farewell to the rigorous bourgeois table manners and the turn to socially deregulated “uncomplicated eating” was accompanied by the development of lifestyle groups and – more recently – by the rise of event gastronomy that aestheticizes and stylizes meals and surroundings (inns). New connections emerged between leveling tendencies and increasing diversity. In the course of the internationalization of the food markets, not only was seasonality undermined; a colorful specialty kitchen confronts you with the agony of choice in a new way. Contrary to the loss of contours of cantonal cuisine and class-specific eating styles, so-called national and regional dishes are given a folkloric upgrade and used for tourist purposes. The typical Swiss cuisine, with its federalist fragmentation, is by no means subject to decline, even in the age of forced globalization. Conversely, there is an advertising-intensive trend towards the invention of culinary traditions.

With regard to problems associated with nutrition, on the other hand, a transnational convergence can be observed, whereby two aspects should be emphasized: Firstly, the ecological dimension can no longer be ignored. Switzerland, which is dependent on imports, lives on the big foot, especially when it comes to nutrition. Measured against its so-called ecological footprint (total use of resources per unit of area), it requires five times more space than is available within the country’s borders. In terms of quality, too, the uneasiness that consumers feel towards various industrially produced foods, particularly those produced by genetic engineering, is increasing. As a reaction, there is a trend towards reduced meat consumption (vegetarianism), and organic offers have also found their way into major distributors (e.g. Coop, Migros). On the other hand, the abundance causes difficulties. Fitness ideology, health awareness and the cult of slimming have symbolically reversed the polarity of nutrition. The fear of hunger has given way to the threat of excessive and unbalanced nutrition, which threatens the pursuit of physical beauty ideals and physical and psychological performance. Switzerland also shares this problem with other consumer societies (consumption behaviour).


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