Issues with Ice

Living in the States, there were many everyday conveniences that I would take for granted. Take for example the ease with which it is possible to buy a bag of ice. (Or own a fridge that makes ice, for that matter.) You go to the am/pm or the supermarket, you drop 75 cents, and you take your sack of ice and go. Then, when you get home, the bag sometimes actually fits in the freezer!

Here in Switzerland, as I imagine in other parts of the world that serve Coca-Cola sans ice, there's a bit of a problem with ice. If you're not lucky enough to own a separate freezer that you keep in the cellar filled with twenty ice trays, how on earth do you host a cocktail party with one ice tray in that shoebox of a freezer?

I do know, however, that ice machines exist. In fact, I've stared one down at Migros supermarket, absolutely dumbfounded as to how to retrieve ice from the monster machine and too embarrassed to ask a clerk. Even if you do manage to find a place to sell you ice, or work that stupid machine, it's very expensive. I've heard horror stories of people spending Chf 80.- just to supply enough ice for a party.

My friends, I fret no more. One day at the supermarket, Isaiah stumbled across these nifty plastic bags you see photographed above. Some friends of ours found them on accident as well. I would never have thought to look for them, and had no idea something like this existed, so that's why I am spreading the good word (and hoping you won't judge me for thinking this noteworthy.)

Each package comes with twenty plastic bags for making ice. (We found these at Migros.) You take these sacks specially designed with molds, of sorts, to create different sized ice cubes, whole or crushed. You fill the bags with water, tie the top securely, and leave them in the freezer until the water freezes. Once frozen, you bend and stretch the bag until the ice "molds" are torn apart and you've got crushed ice sitting at the bottom of the bag. The best part is they don't take up as much space as an ice tray and can squeeze into the tiniest of spaces in your freezer.

Although it's far from, "Hey, can you pick up a bag of ice for the drink cooler on your way to the BBQ." It'll have to do.


  1. This post begs a video demonstration :D! hehehe.

    I'm SO going to get a packet of this. My shoebox of a freezer just isn't cooling us with just 1 tray of ice!

  2. Yay, you did the ice post! These little baggies really are super-useful... :)

  3. I did hear about these once but have never tried them. Good to know because my husband always insists on spending at least CHF 50 on ice for our parties!!

  4. Hmmm... have never had an ice problem. Guess I need to get some friends huh?

    Interesting to know for the future.

  5. Juanita - I thought about, and even considered taking more of a photographic tutorial approach, but laziness got the best of me.

    Romy - yes, only because you guys said I should!

    Chantal - yeah, we don't do pricey ice.

    SwissRant - we didn't realize we had an issue with ice until recently :) It can take up to a year!

  6. Excellent! I'm getting some too.

    Oddly enough Migros had a question on its questionnaire (win a 200 CHF shopping spree) that asked why I didn't purchase more frozen foods. I answered I have a freezer the size of shoebox. I thought was pretty common here, and I have always wondered who buys those giant packages of frozen food at the stores.

  7. Hey Kathy - it's people who have extra room for a separate freezer, that's who buys bulk frozen items! The Swiss woman whose kids I used to nanny has a rather large freezer (size of a standard American fridge) that she keeps in the "Hobbyraum" - cellar.


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