Besides Switzerland’s picturesque landscape, the beautiful country is famed for its lip-smacking dishes, most of which have potatoes and cheese as their primary ingredients. While it has a host of regional cuisine, many are a result of the influences of the French, German, and Italian speaking communities present there. It shows versatility in the platter it has to offer as there is everything from fritters, and tarts to wholesome rice or meat platter, alongside the delicious desserts and beverages.
What is it: One of the most sought after appetizing dishes of Switzerland, made prepared from molten cheese, alongside a host of other ingredients like white wine, cornflour, and garlic. A topping of kirsch is often sprinkled upon it for an added flavor. Following the tradition, it is served in a caquelon, a ceramic pot, having a burner beneath to keep the fondue’s temperature constant. The cheese fondue must remain warm enough to maintain its smoothness, but heating it too much could burn it. Fondue comes from the French word meaning, to melt, absolutely justifying the state which it is served in. The earliest recipe for this dish dates was published in 1699, in a book in Zurich. There is a unique way of eating fondue by dipping cubed bread into the contents of the pot using a long fork. At present, pears, apples, cauliflower, broccoli, roasted potatoes, and meatballs also go as accompaniments. The Swiss Cheese Union announced it as Switzerland’s national dish in 1933.
What does it taste like: Soft, smooth, creamy, though make sure you do not add wines like Moscato to it as it could make the fondue exceptionally sweet.
What is it: A semi-hard Swiss cheese, also prepared into a delicious dish when scraped upon potatoes, served along with pickled onions, gherkins, charcuterie (cold cooked meat), and bread slices. Following the traditional norms, the melting happens by placing the cheese near the open fire so that it gets the heat directly. In modern times this has been replaced by electric grills to fasten the process. For a purely vegetarian dish, omit the cold meat as sides.
What does it taste like: The cheese tastes, creamy, with tinges of sweetness, saltiness, and nuttiness. When sprinkled upon potatoes, it becomes all the more delicious, a perfect savory snack.
What is it: A famous potato dish prepared as a fritter, initially consumed by the farmers in the Berne area for breakfast. At present, it is predominantly eaten in parts of the country having German influences. However, its popularity has spread throughout Switzerland as well as worldwide. The grated potato made into patty-like, or round shape is either parboiled or fried raw. Though the traditional rosti would only comprise of potato, the present times see the inclusion of ingredients such as cheese, bacon, onion, fresh herbs, and apples. Besides being a breakfast dish, it even serves as an accompaniment for some sausage or egg platters. Many regard Rosti as one of the national dishes of the country.
What does it taste like: Crispy and yummy, the taste would vary with the kinds of ingredients added to it and the sides eaten along with it.
What is it: A tasty tart comprising of pastry crust with fillings of meat, vegetables, cheese, seafood, eggs, milk, as well as a savory custard. Though a French dish, it has eventually become Switzerland’s traditional food, because of France’s profound influence on the country.
What does it taste like: Smooth, rich, crusty, with a savory flavor that can alter with the fillings added.
What is it: An oatmeal dish served cold, prepared from rolled oats, as well as nuts, seeds, grains, as well as fresh and dried fruits. Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner developed it for hospital patients during 1900. Presently most people have it for breakfast, while it also forms a wholesome supper in Switzerland when teamed with bread, jam, butter, and a cup of milk coffee. Traditionally the ingredients that went into its preparation included rolled oats, lemon juice, nuts, apples, cream or honey, and sweet condensed milk. At present, there have been several variations of this dish, particularly regarding the choice of fruits. Packaged muesli is also available in the market at present, having rolled oats as its main component.
What does it taste like: Fresh, crunchy and fruity, with the addition of dried fruits, could give it a sweet, nutty flavor.
What is it: A tart-like pastry filled with chocolate, and topped with green icing and ganache, mostly prevalent in parts of Switzerland where French influence is prominent. They could be as small as 8cm or as big as 25 cm, apt for gatherings where they are served as slices.
What does it taste like: Sweet, and chocolaty, every bit of it melting into your mouth at an instant.
What is it: A boiled cornmeal dish mostly made from yellow maize, though white maize or buckwheat may serve as an alternative. Traditionally it was regarded as a staple diet of the poor primarily eaten in Switzerland, as well as other parts of Europe like Northern Italy, Slovenia, and the Balkans Peninsula. One may eat it hot as a porridge or even cool it down, allow it to solidify and then fry, grill, or bake it. It generally has a long cooking time, though at present new techniques are being invented to lessen its preparation span. One can top it with baked potatoes or even eat it with accompaniments like lentils and pork sausages.
What does it taste like: It has a bland taste, mostly like mashed potatoes, though the combination of a spicy side dish could enhance its flavor.
What is it: A tasty Christmas biscuit, indigenous to the Zurich city of Switzerland. Its first recorded history dates back to 1461 when these biscuits were known as Dirgel. They were prepared using wooden molds, with regional or Biblical themes carved on them. Flour, sugar, water, and honey are the essential ingredients that go in the making of tirggel. These biscuits, especially the ones manufactured, are noted for their durability, having the reputation of not getting stale.
What does it taste like: They are thin with a sweet taste and a hard texture. When sucked for a considerable point of time, the taste of honey gets increasingly prominent.
What is it: A fried cheese ball, popular in the western part of Switzerland, particularly in the municipalities of Luins, Vinzel, Begnins, Bursins, and Eysins. This dish of cheese fritters took its name after the Battle of Malakoff, discovered by the Swiss mercenaries when the siege of Sevastopol happened. One could team it with mustard, gherkins, and wine.
What does it taste like: Crispy and crusty on the outer end and smooth and creamy within. O
What is it: A perfect dish of macaroni and cheese, initially a staple diet of the Alpine herdsman. Alongside pasta, the other ingredients that go into its preparation include potatoes, molten cheese, onions, tiny bacon pieces, and toppings of caramelized onions, served over applesauce.
What does it taste like: It has a rich, subtle flavor, with the sharp taste of applesauce, blending fabulously with the entire dish, making it all the more delicious.
What is it: A caramelized pastry filled with nuts originated in Switzerland’s canton of Graubünden in the 1920s. One of the famous Swiss street foods, the main ingredients that go into its making, includes shortcrust pastry, chopped walnuts, cream, and caramelized sugar.
What does it taste like: Sweet, nutty, crispy, and crusty, with every bite of it transcending it to a different level altogether.
What is it: A wonderful fusion dish, prepared primarily with risotto rice and saffron strands, alongside additional ingredients of chopped onions, butter, chicken stock, egg yolk, wine, and cheese. This platter has its roots in Ticino, Switzerland’s Italian speaking community.
What does it taste like: Soft, smooth, and creamy, with the subtle flavor of saffron immensely dominating.
What is it: A unique dish made with a whole lot of meat and sausages such as beef, pork belly, smoked pork, bacon, alongside veggies like potatoes as well as green or dried beans. The meat and sides are separately prepared and then combined in the form of a buffet. The discovery of this dish is indeed an accident originating in 1798 on the 5th of March. The Bernese had defeated the French in the Battle of Neuenegg that called for a celebration. The community came up with whatever supplies they had at home to prepare this simple dish that became remarkably popular later.
What does it taste like: The taste would be rich, salty, and savory, depending upon the choice of meat involved.
Apart from the dish mentioned above, one should surely not forget to gorge on the mouthwatering varieties of Swiss chocolate particularly the milk ones that the country boasts of. It even has a plethora of beverages like rivella (a carbonated drink), absinthe, and so on.
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