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Amy Shuster is at the Zibelemärit — The Onion Market & Festival in Bern, Switzerland. It's so great you'll cry!
- Hey everybody, I'm Amy Schuster, and I am here in Bern, the capital city of Switzerland, for the Zibelemaerit. The Onion Festival! This is where people come to celebrate and enjoy all things onion. It's the oldest onion festival in the world, and people come by the busloads. I can't wait to explore everything that the market, and the city of Bern, have to offer. Come with me to discover festivals big and small, from all across the globe. Where people indulge their senses in the celebration of local treats, and time-honored traditions. You with me? Let's do it! This sprawling outdoor market has been taking place right here in the city center for centuries. Zibelmaerit literally translates to mean, the onion market. Every fourth Monday in November, they all come together and celebrate the onion. The market officially opens bright and early at 6:00 a.m. However, visitors begin to arrive as early as four, before the hustle begins. Bernese farmers bring around 50 tons of onions and garlic into the federal capital, setting up 700 onion stalls stands on the Bundesplatz Square. Oh, so many onions! These are gorgeous! And these flowers are beautiful.
- My mother makes this by self.
- Oh, I love it.
- Have a little stack as well.
- Yes! Over the fro. It fits! Oh, these are so cute! These are adorable! Moose and elk and witches and grandmas and little Santa Claus people.
- Since 35 years, I'm here. Every year.
- 35 years!
- These are so beautiful!
- Thank you!
- Do you guys make these?
- The grandparents and the parents did it,
- They did.
- They just made it.
- And the son is doing it right now too.
- Four generations of onion makers.
- Yes. This is for you.
- For me? Oh, thank you! Oh!
- This market's starting to get really crowded. What time is it? Yup! 6 o'clock, there's the bell. I was warned. The market is officially open. More to see.
- Wow, these are cool! So they're a mixture of onion and garlic. These are beautiful! How long have you guys been here?
- My father's father started in 1958.
- Whoa. Is there anything that you recommend I should check out or try or eat?
- You have to take a Gluehwein --
- Yes, that's a hot beverage with wine and tea, okay.
- Awesome. And I've seen people walking around --
- You have to try garlic bread,
- Garlic bread.
- Yes, which is over there. That's a must, that's really a must.
- Onion clocks! Cause we're in Switzerland, after all. Onion people! This festival is full of them! That one's me.
- Danke! Yes! Ah, it's hot too! Awesome! Mm-hm. I'm about to get the wine that everybody's been talking about and drinking. Ah, weiss Gluehwein?
- Danke! It worked! My German is getting better! Swiss German. Danke! Mm. Ah it's so nice and spicy. It's basically a mulled hot wine made with lots of different spices and delicious things. Ah, made it to the garlic stand. I smelled you a mile away!
- That's our goal!
- Awesome! Well, garlic is onion's second cousin,
- If you like you can try it, all of them. Garlic with vinegar, and oil,
- Yes please!
- This is the mild one, this is the spicy one.
- Mild to spicy.
- You like spicy?
- Okay take the first one.
- Okay here we go.
- This is sweet --
- Oh! You weren't kidding! Garlicky!
- Now you have to put my garlic hat because you have tried my spicy one.
- This is --
- You make a little bit public relation firm.
- They've officially made a garlic out of me at the onion festival. So everyone's been telling me I need to get the garlic bread.
- Yeah! I can make you one!
- Mm. This is very good. I love this!
- Thirty years of research. So that's the final product.
- Outside the festival limits, the city of Bern offers so much to see. So I just decided to take a tour. Bern is the fourth largest city in Switzerland, and is also the capital city. Bern is Baer, which means bear. Located in the center of Bern, is the old town and in 1983 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making tourism a big business. Bernese are a mix of Swiss German and Swiss French, and the Swiss are mostly known for their impeccable taste, along with their obsession with time and precision. I'm so lucky to be up here right now. The Swiss are also world renowned for their rich chocolate and cheese, famous for the art of chocolate making, I couldn't resist, and I found myself in the shops buying up all the chocolate and asking to see the cheese wheels. After all, Switzerland is home to 450 varieties of cheese. Bye. While touring the city, I came across the Cathedral at Muensterplatz. The spire is the tallest in all of Switzerland. Did you know that Bern is ranked among the world's top ten cities for the best quality of life? And after touring, shopping and eating, in this charming medieval city, I believe it. Back at the festival, there is still so much to explore, and more onions to try. That's nice! That's fresh! Danke! This is specialty braided milk bread from the region. Can't wait to dig in. Oh it's hard! Mm! Kind of tastes like a pretzel. Mm! All right. French onion soup? That was an effort to get the soup. Everywhere I went they were sold out. But I know it's gonna be worth it. Mm. Yes! So good! And I am so cold right now and this is going to warm me right up. I love it. These little onions are in love! Snails. So cute. There have been so many amazing moments here at the Zibelmaerit. The Swiss really know how to get into the festival spirit and what better way to celebrate the end of a party than a good old-fashioned confetti fight. Oh, it's on now! I have had a fantastic time here at the Onion Festival in Bern, and I can definitely say, I now know my onions. Until next time, we'll see you at another food festival, maybe in your town!
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