Skip to main content

I Love Cinnamon Stars

Zimtstern - Joujou  / pixelio.de 
It's true, we Swiss eat cookies all year round but there are certain types of cookies that we only eat in December. To be honest, some of us might start eating Christmas cookies in November or others even as early as October because we can't wait for the Christmas season or - which is the case more often than not - we simply are looking for any pretext to be eating something sweet.

Now, Zimtsterne (Swiss German: Zimetschtern, English: Cinnamon Stars) are on of the most popular Christmas cookies in Switzerland. A Zimtstern is a star shaped almond cookie with lots of cinnamon in it and a merengue on top.  Although some Germans claim that Zimtsterne are in fact a German cookie , they are certainly very Swiss and have become an almost iconic Swiss item. So much that even a clothing company named "Zimtstern" was founded in Zurich. Their brand logo is a combination of mountain and a cinnamon star. Nice, right?! 

Zimtsterne are so Swiss that in 1998 Zurich song writer Andrew Bond wrote a Swiss German version of the famous Christmas carol "Jingle Bells" and named it "Zimetschtern han i gern" (I like cinnamon stars). I'm assuming you know the melody, so I'll only give you the words of the chorus. Most of the cookie names I've translated and explained in the Christmas Dictionary.

Zimetschtern han i gern
I like cinnamon stars
Mailänderli au
Mailänderli as well
Tirggel und Spitzbuebe
Tirggel and Spitzbuebe
und Ring us Willisau
and Rings of Willisau

Läckerli - liebe-n-i
Läckerli - I love them
Chräbeli no mee
Chräbeli much more
Totebeinli, Pfäffernüss
Totebeinli, Pfäffernüss
mit Puderzuckerschnee
with snow from powdered sugar

If your mouth is watering at the mere thought of merengue topped cinnamon stars then you might want to try yourself at making a batch. I found this recipe in English: Zimtsterne Cinnamon Stars

Have a look at this full version of "Zimetschtern han i gern" and sing a long!





© 2015 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Comments

  1. I absolutely love the Zimtstärnli song. I have never heard of it before! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You have something to add or would like to ask a question? I would love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

How to Spot a Swiss Person

As an expat one usually spots fellow expats right away. It's not only the language or the looks of people but rather the little peculiarities of life that seem so normal at home that give us away while abroad. Obviously, it's a cliche that all people from the same place (country, city, continent) behave in the same way and I am far from making that claim. However, growing up in a certain surrounding does rub off on people's behavior and some similarities can certainly be observed.

This is also true for Swiss people. According to the Swiss stereotype, we are a clean, punctual and strictly organized people. However, there are many exceptions like my Swiss friend who is always late or my brother whose room was a total mess while growing up. Yet, although they do not fit the description of a typical Swiss person, they still have some traits that give them away as Swiss. The same is probably true for myself - if I like it or not.
10 Signs you are dealing with a Swiss Person So,…

Schätzli, Schnüggel and Müüsli - Terms of Endearment in Swiss German

If you've ever been invited to the home of a Swiss couple, you are probably familiar with the most popular Swiss German term of endearment "Schätzli" (little treasure) or one of it's many varieties like e.g. "Schatz" or "Schätzeli". Obviously, this is not the only pet name used by Swiss couples (or parents for that matter). Like many other languages, Swiss German offers a wide variety of words and phrases that you can use to address your loved one.

What most of these pet names have in common is the ending "-li" which basically turns the thing or person a word refers to into something small. For example "Haus" means house and "Hüüsli" means small house. This ending "-li" can also be added to first names as a means of endearment, e.g. Benjaminli, Estherli or Fabienneli.

I tried to come up with a collection of Swiss German pet names but realized I only know a handful. However, after combing through the interne…

10 Fun Things to do on a Rainy Day in Switzerland

The weather has been so so these last few days and will remain rainy and rather cold. No swimming in one of the many lakes of Switzerland, going on a nice bike trip or playing soccer outside unless you are willing to endure some heavy rain. :)

However, there are plenty of fun things to do in Switzerland even on rainy days. Here's the list of my current favorite rainy day activities:
Alpamare: Biggest water park of Switzerland with dozens of water slides and pools. It's open all year round since most of the baths and slides are indoors. It is perfect for a rainy day since there are usually less people than on a sunny day.Zoo Zurich: The famous zoo in Zurich features bears, elephants, monkeys, tigers and the mazoala hall (a tropical glass house). Many animals can be visited in their houses.Swiss National Museum: The Swiss National Museum in Zurich gives an overview over the cultural history of Switzerland. Swiss Museum of Transport: The Museum of Transport in Lucerne tells the h…