Food We Have Tried In Switzerland
Updated: Apr 12, 2021
Swiss food perfectly compliments the beautiful landscape and the weather! It is comforting, delicious and somehow works in perfect harmony with way of life. The large unspoilt meadows with happy cows grazing their days out give the Swiss the luxury of some of the best cheeses in the world! The meat is expensive but of very high quality and the vegetables are fresh and tempting! The deserts are rich and the wine is so well loved that it doesn't really get to travel out of the country! All in all a wonderful concoction of comfort and taste.
Fondue: Considered as one of the most popular dish of Switzerland, fondue is a communal dish where melted cheese with white wine is served in a pot and is eaten by dipping pieces of bread in it using long handled forks. The fondue pot is placed over a small stove when served just to keep the pot hot enough to keep the fondue warm and runny. The long handled fork with the bread piece at the other end is then used to stir the fondue before eating. This way of eating maintains the smooth consistency of the fondue while perfectly coating the bread piece with melted cheese! Emmental and Gruyère cheese are mainly used and though this dish is eaten throughout the year, it is especially popular during winter months- no brainer really!
Rosti: Considered as the 'national dish' of Switzerland, Rosti originated as a breakfast dish for the farmers in the German speaking canton of Bern in Switzerland. Rosti is a type of potato fritter which is made from raw or boiled grated potatoes fried in butter. Different regions of Switzerland have their own versions where other ingredients such as onions or bacons also added. Starting off as a breakfast dish, Rosti today is mainly used as accompaniment with other main dishes such as Zürcher Geschnetzeltes or Fleischkäse.
Raclette: Raclette is a type of cheese, but mainly the name Raclette refers to a Swiss dish of melted cheese on bolied or roasted potato, pickled onion and cornichons. Originating in the French speaking canton of Valais in Switzerland the name Raclette comes from the French word ‘racler’ which means ‘to scrape’- warm melted cheese is scraped from a big block of cheese and served over bread or baked potato. The cow-herders from Valais region used to bring the cheese and potato with them up in the Alps in summer months and the cheese used to be kept next to the fire in the evening to melt slowly- it was theb scraped and served over bread or potatoes. These Raclette is very popular all over the Swiss Alps ski regions- a delight for the tourists after a long day in the mountains.
Zürich Geschnetzeltes: Zürich Geschnetzeltes, is considered as one of the classic and most authentic stew from the canton of Zurich. It is prepared with thinly sliced pan fried veal in a white creamy sauce (made from white wine and cream) and mushrooms. Sometimes veal kidney is also added to the dish to enhance its richness. Zürich Geschnetzeltes is traditionally served with Rosti, rice or noodles.
Kalbsgeshnetzeltes an Rahmsauce
Kalbsgeshnetzeltes an Rahmsauce: Similar to Zürich Geschnetzeltes, Kalbsgeshnetzeltes an Rahmsauce is a veal dish in white creamy sauce traditionally served with Rosti or noodles. We ate this in a restaurant in Murren and were told that they considered this dish as a local alpine dish- comparing to Zürich Geschnetzeltes, the taste and texture is similar but without the mushrooms.
Älplermagronen: This traditional Swiss Alpine dish, Älplermagronen is a rustic and hearty pasta dish which literally translates to Alpine macaroni and also more popularly known as herdsman’s macaroni. This dish was invented during 1930s when pasta arrived in Switzerland along with the Italian workers. Soon pasta gained popularity among the locals herdsman and made its place in Swiss cuisine. All key ingredients used in this dish such as pasta, cheese, cream, onions, and potatoes were all readily available to the herdsman who used to bring their cows to the mountains to graze. To enhance the flavour, Älplermagronen is often served with caramelized onions, applesauce and sometimes bacon.
Swiss Alpine Potato Soup
Swiss Potato Soup: A very rustic and hearty Swiss Alpine dish popular among locals and tourists- this is very comforting and delicious made with potato, milk and cheese and seasoned, and sometimes garnished with bried bacon and served with bread. This is a simple comfort food which can be a great way to fuel up after a day of hiking. We tried this dish in a local restaurant in the mountains of Meiringen region after a long hike. With tired legs this was the best way to relax while soaking in the beauty of the mountains on a clear day!
Swiss Cheese Board
Swiss Cheese: The first image that springs to mind while thinking about Switzerland is cheese. There is an entire range of Swiss cheese that can categorized into hard, extra-hard semi-hard and soft cheese. During our stay in Switzerland, we tasted various cheese from breakfast to dinner including Gruyère, Emmentaler, Appenzeller and wild garlic goat cheese (Bärlauch Geisskäse).
Meringue: This light, airy and sweet desert is often associated with Swiss, French and Italian cuisines and is traditionally made with whipped egg white and sugar. The origin of meringue is contested by various nations including England and Poland. The most common claim about the origin of meringue is that it was invented by a local chef Gasparini in the village of Meiringen in Switzerland which was later improved by an Italian pastry chef, but many food historians disagree to this claim. Others debate that it was invented in Oxfordshire England in 1604, from a handwritten note describing a baked beaten-egg-white-and-sugar confection. To add yet another layer, it is said that the meringue was invented by a chef for King Stanislas I Leszcynski. The king supposedly left the recipe to his daughter, who showed it to the French. Through its actual origin is still unknown, what is known is that a French chef used piping bag to give the shape of meringue where initially spoons were traditionally used to prepare this desert. We tried the traditional meringue in the Tea room in Meiringen.
Bündner Nusstorte: Also known as Engadiner nusstorte, this traditional sweet nut filled tart originated in the canton of Graubünden by Engadin confectioners. The main ingredients of nusstorte are short crust pastry, cream, caramelised sugar and walnuts. The crusty casing has the nuts in a gooey and soft filling. As walnuts are not native to the region of Graubünden, it is believed that nusstorte was invented by the Engadin confectioners who used to work across Europe in various cafes and restaurants and who brought along the walnuts with them to Graubünden to develop nusstorte.