Cooking with Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Version 4 TOTALe is really improving my communication skills here in Switzerland. I wish my PhD studies weren’t so demanding. Last week I gave a talk at a conference about the symmetries of DNA molecules, a fascinating subject. The social-outing event of the conference was also fascinating: they took us to a chocolate factory in Vevey.

I’d been in Vevey once before. It’s a beautiful little town on the shore of Lake Geneva, thirty miles east of Lausanne. They have a great photography museum with old Méliès films and some original prints by Daguerre. Nestlé has its Musée de l’alimentation, which I didn’t have a chance to visit, but I think the idea of a food museum is a remarkable one.

Instead of Willy Wonka, our host at the chocolate factory was a bold, athletic Swiss. I’ve never seen such energy and passion for chocolate. We all think we’re more passionate about chocolate than anybody else, but this was different. I said before that he was athletic. In fact, he doesn’t eat much chocolate. Apparently, our host spends all day trying to clear his mind and palate so that the few pieces of chocolate that he does eat are appreciated in the right way. That’s not because he’s interested in being fit or healthy; eating more than he does, he argues, will spoil his sensitivity and, ultimately, his search for the perfect chocolate. He spoke broken English with a thick French accent, but it got me thinking that Rosetta Stone should add an extra DVD with cooking lessons. You’d learn French cuisine at the same time that you learn how to speak French.

Lake Geneva is full of mystery. On Vevey’s shore of the lake there’s a surrealist sculpture, a giant fork. Perhaps this fork inspired my “Cooking with Rosetta Stone” idea. It’s hard to say. What the reader can take without risking any uncertainty is that Vevey has great chocolate.


La Fourchette from Musée de l’alimentation website (

Learn more about Guillermo Jones’s adventures in language learning.

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