Historically speaking, Switzerland is a nation of farmers. Traditional Swiss dishes came from simple ingredients such as cheese and potatoes. What makes this tasty dishes more exciting is the regional influences which include North Italian, German, and French cuisine. So imagine the rich cream sauces brought by North Italian influence, or the wrapping of meat by German style of cooking, and discover the freshness, lightness, and clarity of flavor which are inspired by French cuisine. Food may be one of the best reasons why Switzerland must be on your travel list. If you want to know more about this awesome country, you must start discovering their traditional food. Check out this article to learn more about traditional food in Switzerland!
1. Rösti (potato pancake)
Rösti is first on the list for potato lovers. This traditional Swiss recipe is made with grated or parboiled potatoes, which are shaped into patties with salt and pepper, and usually pan-fried with oil or butter. Some ingredients are also added such as cheese, bacon, fresh herbs, and onion, and can be paired up with sunny side up eggs which makes rösti a versatile dish. You can now enjoy the potato crispness of this delicious dish.
2. Raclette (semi-hard cheese)
Cheesy lovers, presenting this humble Swiss dish which is made of cheese! Yes, lots and lots of cheese! Raclette came from Alpine cow milk which is a semi-hard cheese. It is usually used for melting or being eaten in a slice. Since generations, it has been the favorite of peasants who lived in the regions of Valais. Traditionally, this dish is served on the side over pickled onions, boiled potatoes, and sliced cold meats. This delicious dish is simple, very filling, and can melt your heart. You should never miss tasting this dish in Switzerland.
3. Carac (chocolate-filled tart)
Looking for sweets in Switzerland? Well, worry not, Carac will satisfy your cravings! This one-of-a-kind pastry is traditionally made from the finest ingredients, from fondant to cream to chocolate to shortbread pie crust. Carac is covered with green-colored fondant, which is added for the sweet and appetizing look of this dessert. This tar-like Swiss dessert pastry can be served in parties as slices or pie. It’s now time to satisfy those craving moments of a sweet tooth!
For more cheesy moments, you should find fondue in Switzerland! Just to give you a little background of this dish, it was in the year 1699 that the earliest known book recipe for fondue was published entitled, “To Cook Cheese With Wine”. Cheese fondue is a mixture of wine, grated cheese, and seasoning which are stirred carefully until melted. This is another dish that should not be missed, which can melt your heart as well.
5. Tarts and quiches
If you are craving a sweet and salty adventure in Switzerland, well, tarts and quiches can work the magic for you. The recipes are easy and really tasty. While quiche is loaded with custard, cheese, fish, meat, or vegetables, tarts sport diverse toppings from onion to sweet apple. These dishes are also the stars for many occasions like anniversaries and birthdays. So, don’t miss to taste this food and try to make one back home.
6. Malakoff (ball of fried cheese)
Malakoff is one of the best meals you’ll ever taste in Switzerland. Indeed, Swiss cuisine never runs out in giving you more cheesy moments, do you agree? Just a little trivia about this food, its name came from the Battle of Malakoff and was invented by Swiss mercenaries. This yummy food is made of cheese balls or sticks and often served as an hors-d’oeuvre. This is another cheesy moments to die for.
7. Älplermagronen (Alpine macaroni)
If you are craving for a creamy and cheesy meal, trying this classic food called Älplermagronen in Switzerland is the best choice you could ever make. Älplermagronen will satisfy your appetite, which has a good combination of ingredients from small cuts of bacon, onions, potatoes, macaroni, cream, and of course – cheese! The perfect partner of this meal is mostly applesauce or vegetable salad. You can now taste the heavenly flavor of this dish.
8. Landjäger (semi-dried sausage)
It’s now time to taste the German side of Swiss cuisine, presenting Landjäger, which is a traditional snack food during extreme activities like hiking. It is a semi-dried sausage made of red wine, sugar, spices, portions of beef, and pork that can be paired with fresh greens and potatoes. Historically this food is known as smoked air-cured sausage.
9. Muesli (oats)
To start and energize your Switzerland escapade, you must eat a healthy breakfast like muesli which contains fiber ingredients such as nuts, seeds, dried fruits, rolled oats, and grains. Of course, what is oat without milk, you can choose from almond milk, plant milk, soy milk, milk yogurt, or fruit juice to complete the meal. To give you a little story about this food, during the 1900s, muesli was developed by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner which was ready-made meal in a dry-packaged form for patients in the hospital.
10. Polenta (cornmeal)
Another traditional interesting food to taste in Switzerland is the polenta. This dish can make you full. It is basically just boiled cornmeal, and made from other grains. Polenta is also known as the food for the poor. Just a little background about this dish, another 200 years had passed before it was first made of mixed flour. You can eat it while it’s hot in a porridge form or it can also be served as a loaf that can be fried, grilled, or baked. Whatever you prefer it remains delicious and tasty.
By Richard Dean Suyat