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My guide to the food and food culture to look out for in Switzerland.

Yet another post in my endlessly growing list of Swiss resources.
Not all of these are truly Swiss, but what isn’t unique is very dominant at least in Switzerland. Wikipedia has a good list. Mostly the food is fairly normal by western standards. However veal is very common here, as is horse (my town even has a specialist butcher for horse meat) which will not be to everyone’s ethical taste.
This post is also going to be far from complete. There are endless little variations on cured meats, breads, and cheese all over the country. And I will probably have missed a few big things too. And as with all my posts is going to be heavily biased towards the German speaking region (which itself makes things confusing by having different names/spelling in every town).
For more info
Generally it isn’t hard to find a local dish, or a local version of a product. Walking around a Coop or Migros supermarket will make it obvious what is local. You can often buy cheese, meat, eggs, honey and other products direct from farms which have an honesty box (or sometimes even a vending machine) outside the farmhouse or by a walking path. The local market (Saturday morning, and maybe also during the week) is a safe bet too.
With thanks to /askswitzerland for their feedback to me, this comment by Kyffhaeuser especially deserves to be recognised.
Cheese
There are something along the lines of 450 different cheeses, and various dishes made using them. You could (and somebody probably has) write a gigantic book on this.
There are various groups and often rules like what altitude the cows must have been and what they have eaten. A few types you commonly see are Mutschli, Hobel (German for plane). Sbrinz is a hard cheese that is like the Swiss Parmesan.
The Swiss Cheese Union were like a sinister cheesy mafia who controlled what was made and pushed Fondue and Raclette into the national dishes they are today. Though they were apparently responsible for this amazing sponsored ski uniform which is wonderful enough to forgive them for everything.
Emmentaler, Gruyere and Appenzeller are the big 3 cheese types that you will find in every shop in Switzerland.
  • Emmental, or if it is in the actual region protected form Emmentaler Switzerland (non-protected may well come from France, Germany or a range of other places), is the classic hole filled “Swiss Cheese” of cartoons. The mild and normal versions are a bit bland, but the strong has a good flavour to it.
  • Gruyere from the touristy village of the same name. A classic choice for melting.
  • Appenzeller is the least well known of the three (outside of Switzerland anyway) and I think the most interesting by far. Be sure to try some. They also have the best adverts.
Beyond these there are endless cheeses that are found in each area and time of year.
Then there are of course the famous cheese based meals….
  • Fondue is one of the classic dishes associated with Switzerland, and most Swiss people do own a set. Best eaten in cold weather, with wine or black tea on the side. Remember not to lose your bread in the pot or let your mouth touch the fork. An interesting (especially to watch) variation on this is Chäsbängel which is basically a fondue filled baguette that I have only seen at Basel Herbstmesse, trying to eat it without causing an eruption of liquid cheese is something of a challenge.
  • Raclette. This tends to be less well known than Fondue, but works much better during summer. Traditionally it should be a fat slab of cheese where you keep scraping the melted top off, however for practical reasons it is most commonly seen as thin slices that you put under a mini grill.
  • Chäswäie / Käsewähe more of a snack than a full meal. A savoury cheese pie that can be found in most cafes and bakeries.
  • La Boîte Chaude comes from the Jura and is far less known than Fondue or Raclette and is unsurprisingly rather rare to come across. Basically a oven baked cheese dish.
  • Chässchnitte is sort of prepared like French toast, but with a more Welsh Rarebit like savoury nature. Apparently it is a big part of Swiss-army life
There are also a few show dairies about where you can see it being made like Gruyere or Emmental amongst others (anywhere touristy will probably have one somewhere around it)
Chocolate
Unsurprisingly the options here are also pretty extensive.
At the top (expensive) end you have local specialised chocolate shops. This will almost always be the best option (but not the cheapest). The most famous (make your own mind up on best or not) is Sprüngli in Zürich which has expanded so much that they have their own factory elsewhere now and chain stores in various other places (even in Dubai) - but every city/town will have at least one independent special shop, many of which double as cafes (Eg: Hofer in Solothurn, or Walder in Neuchatel). Just to make the point here is an article about the endless options in Zürich.
The 2nd fanciest option is the Läderach chain of shops which can be found just about anywhere with tourists and/or more than 10,000 inhabitants. They are high quality and most notable for the gigantic slabs of chocolate in the windows. At the one in Bern you can book to do a chocolate workshop.
If you just want to buy a standard chocolate brand then supermarkets will be the cheapest option. They offer a big range of chocolate in just about any location, and in tourist areas the chocolate section tends to be massive.
Frey, Cailler, and Ragusa are the most interesting options that are hard to find outside of the country. There is of course Lindt and Toblerone, but they are so common the world over that I wouldn’t bother myself with buying them in Switzerland.
Kagi Fret is slightly more biscuit than chocolate but is one of the truly Swiss brands that most outsiders wouldn’t know about.
The Branche praline/nut bars (Cailler are the best option, Coop do their own cheaper brand) are very Swiss too.
One interesting choice of chocolates are Katzenzungen (cat’s tongues). The box design from the type sold at Coop is wonderfully odd. Though they are not truly Swiss.
At Easter the shops fill up with ranks of chocolate hares who stare at you with manic smiles, which are probably meant to be cute - but to me look like evil murder-bunnies.
You can visit the Cailler chocolate factory my post on that here, or the Alprose museum which is in the arse-end of nowhere. There is also the Villars factory in Fribourg, which you can’t tour but you can buy discount rejects from. And the Ragusa factory in the Jura too…
Breakfast / Znüni
Znüni (literally meaning 9am) is the slightly earlier version of elevenses. It might be a pile of bread-rolls and gipfeli (croissants) or it might be loafs of bread with jam, cheese, and meat. Either way it is the go to choice for how to celebrate your birthday or other occasions at work.
  • One very traditional breakfast or Znüni is to get a bread-roll and stuff a branche chocolate into it. Like a DIY Pain au chocolat.
  • Müsli and Birchermüsli. One of the few Swiss-German words to enter the English language.
  • Butterzöpf is a plaited bread that is the traditional go-to for Sunday morning breakfast (or any breakfast)
  • Croissants are called Gipfeli (little peaks). The Nussgipfel is a rather good option.
Meat
  • Cervelat a beef/pork sausage. This is a key part of Swiss culture. To be truly Swiss you must go hiking with a pack of these and roast them over a little fire (having first cut the ends in a cross shape). The experience will be far more memorable than the flavour though it must be said.
  • Bratwurst and brot can be found almost anywhere as an easy fast food option. Oddly the bread is literally a chunk of bread - it has no resemblance to the shape of the Wurst so you have to alternate bites between each. This can make eating it and holding a drink something of a balancing act. Whether or not you have mustard with it is something of a regional rule - leading to the Senfgraben.
Dried meats
Every little region has its own special ham or similar type of cured or dried meat. You can normally get a plate of mixed dried meats and cheeses at restaurants. I refer you to this comment for more details.
But again there are endless more around the country like: the thick Saucisson from the Romandie,
Apéro
The Swiss really bloody love an Apéro. There is no better way to end the day, have an event, or just do whatever, than with a few drinks and light snacks.
Meals
A key part of lunchtime in Switzerland is saying “En Guete” (basically “bon appetit”) to everybody you see doing anything between 11:30 and 13:30.
One thing that surprised me is how much the Swiss utterly love to BBQ and regard summer as grill-season. The ownership and enthusiasm to break out the grill puts even the Aussies to shame. Starting a little fire in the countryside to cook something is always popular - you see makeshift fire pits everywhere.
  • Salad. Having a salad before a meal is downright essential. Usually it is a not very exciting green or mixed salad - but the Swiss utterly must eat one before a meal. Probably the most interesting salad option is Nüsslisalat. Wurst-Salat is common too, but I consider that more German.
  • Soup is also pretty common before (or as) a meal. Bündner Gerstensuppe is one of the very Swiss options, though most areas have their own special types like Soledurner Wysüppli, or the Mehlsuppe served at Basel Fasnacht.
  • Regional platters. Berner Platte, Appenzeller platte, etc:. Slices of cold meats, cheese, and some veg (or at least a gherkin).
  • Älplermagronen kind of like macaroni cheese, often served with apple sauce.
  • Rösti is the classic Swiss-German meal. So much so that the language divide between the French and German parts is called the Röstigraben. Basically it is a big hashbrown.
  • Pastetli / Vol-au-vent is kind of like an open topped pie made with puff-pastry. Usually a soft crust with a creamy mix of meat and mushrooms inside.
  • Zürcher Geschnetzeltes
  • Le papet Vaudois
  • Fleischvogel (literally translates as meat-bird). Technically the German Rouladen, but the name makes them stand out - not least as there is no bird in it normally.
  • Cordon Bleu. Basically a schnitzel. Take a large bit of pig/veal, hit it until it is thin and tender, combine with cheese and ham, cover in breadcrumbs and fry. Tasty, hearty, and most of your days calories in one easy go.
  • Mountain/lake fish they might be far from the sea but it is easy to spot big trout and other fish in the lakes and rivers.
  • The Swiss-Germans go as crazy as the Germans for asparagus in the springtime. Expect it to dominate the menus then.
  • Less well known, but in autumn rich venison and other game dishes appear on menus and are a perfect fit for the season
  • Aromat is an MSG based condiment found on most tables.
Dessert
There are various staples
  • Fruit Wähe a flan type cake with fruit on top. Easy and found all over.
  • Vermicelle. Basically spaghetti like worms made from pureed and sweetened chestnut. Usually served with cream, and sometimes schnapps too. Especially common in autumn and my favourite dessert option.
  • Meringue. Supposedly coming from the town of Meiringen. Which is also noted as the death site of Sherlock Holmes. You can combine both into one and get a Meringue with Sherlock Holmes on it. The french speaking town of Gruyeres does a thick double cream with Meringue dish (and it is one the best attempts outside of the UK of proper thick cream).
There are also various regional cakes:
  • Bündner Nusstorte is the classic. Very rich so you only need abit, but it lasts well so no rush with it.
  • Birnbrot is a pair based pastry. Slightly towards a mince pie in theory, but a different taste and texture.
  • Zuger Kirschtorte is fairly famous, though I have yet to try it.
And the list just keeps on going
Drinks
  • Rivella is basically the Swiss national soft drink - like Iron Bru is to the Scots. The taste isn’t especially good or bad. What does make it memorable is that is is made with milk serum (though you would never know that from the taste or look).
  • Tea. You get various alpine herbal types, including in some places Edelweis which is quite good. (Needless to say you can’t get a proper British tea)
  • Coffee tends to be quite small (despite the high price) and cappuccino is often something of a disappointment. “Haus” or “Special” coffee means with enough schnapps to knock out a small animal. “Kafi Lutz” is a popular choice during Fasnacht.
For alcoholic drinks saying cheers (or prost as it is) is a somewhat tedious affair as you have to clink the glass of every single person whilst looking them in the eye and saying their name. I rather miss the quick and easy British way of saying cheers, waving your glass in the air for a second, then drinking.
  • Beer. There are an amazing number of breweries from national to local level - the one-man website Bov.ch is trying to visit and review all of them. Feldschlossen is the mass produced default beer that is everywhere. Better than the default lagers in the UK, but still best avoided for something more interesting and local if possible. Finding a more local beer in bars or the supermarkets won’t be a problem. If you are on a tight budget then Coop lager is 50 cents a can (no idea how it tastes myself though).
  • Wine. The Swiss make surprising quantities of wine in just about every region of the country, most of which is drunk domestically so you rarely see it abroad. It is generally more expensive than imported wines but is also generally good quality (or at least it is now, apparently it was awful 20 years ago when wine imports were limited and there was no real competition).
  • Whisky. The Swiss do make some surprisingly good (to my taste) whisky. Säntis malt is the most common option.
  • Schnapps. Various local varieties, not a big fan myself.
  • Appenzeller Alpenbitter. Not a fan myself but it is rather popular.
  • Absinthe. Invented, banned and then re-legalised in Switzerland. The beautiful and rather forgotten Val de Travers in Neuchatel is the place to go for this. The train station at Noirague is well stocked with the stuff and is a starting point for a hike in the beautiful Aruse gorge or the Cru De Van. Further up the valley you can visit dedicated bars and distillers.
Misc sweets/bits:
  • Kambly little biscuits from the Emmental region.
  • Biberli. A slightly marzipan like cake from the Appenzell region. The little packets you find in supermarkets are great for taking on your travels. Though the proper stuff from a bakers is rather different - and much better really (if less practical).
  • Ricola the classic sweet with the classic adverts. Interestingly they are a very ethical company and fund various types of research.
  • Heiss maroni. Not uniquely Swiss, but so super-common during the colder months that it is a real part of Swiss culture in winter..
submitted by travel_ali to solotravel [link] [comments]

My guide to the food and food culture to look out for in Switzerland.

Yet another post in my endlessly growing list of Swiss resources.
Not all of these are truly Swiss, but what isn’t unique is very dominant at least in Switzerland. Wikipedia has a good list. Mostly the food is fairly normal by western standards. However veal is very common here, as is horse (my town even has a specialist butcher for horse meat) which will not be to everyone’s ethical taste.
This post is also going to be far from complete. There are endless little variations on cured meats, breads, and cheese all over the country. And I will probably have missed a few big things too. And as with all my posts is going to be heavily biased towards the German speaking region (which itself makes things confusing by having different names/spelling in every town).
For more info
Generally it isn’t hard to find a local dish, or a local version of a product. Walking around a Coop or Migros supermarket will make it obvious what is local. You can often buy cheese, meat, eggs, honey and other products direct from farms which have an honesty box (or sometimes even a vending machine) outside the farmhouse or by a walking path. The local market (Saturday morning, and maybe also during the week) is a safe bet too.
With thanks to /askswitzerland for their feedback to me, this comment by Kyffhaeuser especially deserves to be recognised.
Cheese
There are something along the lines of 450 different cheeses, and various dishes made using them. You could (and somebody probably has) write a gigantic book on this.
There are various groups and often rules like what altitude the cows must have been and what they have eaten. A few types you commonly see are Mutschli, Hobel (German for plane). Sbrinz is a hard cheese that is like the Swiss Parmesan.
The Swiss Cheese Union were like a sinister cheesy mafia who controlled what was made and pushed Fondue and Raclette into the national dishes they are today. Though they were apparently responsible for this amazing sponsored ski uniform which is wonderful enough to forgive them for everything.
Emmentaler, Gruyere and Appenzeller are the big 3 cheese types that you will find in every shop in Switzerland.
  • Emmental, or if it is in the actual region protected form Emmentaler Switzerland (non-protected may well come from France, Germany or a range of other places), is the classic hole filled “Swiss Cheese” of cartoons. The mild and normal versions are a bit bland, but the strong has a good flavour to it.
  • Gruyere from the touristy village of the same name. A classic choice for melting.
  • Appenzeller is the least well known of the three (outside of Switzerland anyway) and I think the most interesting by far. Be sure to try some. They also have the best adverts.
Beyond these there are endless cheeses that are found in each area and time of year.
Then there are of course the famous cheese based meals….
  • Fondue is one of the classic dishes associated with Switzerland, and most Swiss people do own a set. Best eaten in cold weather, with wine or black tea on the side. Remember not to lose your bread in the pot or let your mouth touch the fork. An interesting (especially to watch) variation on this is Chäsbängel which is basically a fondue filled baguette that I have only seen at Basel Herbstmesse, trying to eat it without causing an eruption of liquid cheese is something of a challenge.
  • Raclette. This tends to be less well known than Fondue, but works much better during summer. Traditionally it should be a fat slab of cheese where you keep scraping the melted top off, however for practical reasons it is most commonly seen as thin slices that you put under a mini grill.
  • Chäswäie / Käsewähe more of a snack than a full meal. A savoury cheese pie that can be found in most cafes and bakeries.
  • La Boîte Chaude comes from the Jura and is far less known than Fondue or Raclette and is unsurprisingly rather rare to come across. Basically a oven baked cheese dish.
  • Chässchnitte is sort of prepared like French toast, but with a more Welsh Rarebit like savoury nature. Apparently it is a big part of Swiss-army life
There are also a few show dairies about where you can see it being made like Gruyere or Emmental amongst others (anywhere touristy will probably have one somewhere around it)
Chocolate
Unsurprisingly the options here are also pretty extensive.
At the top (expensive) end you have local specialised chocolate shops. This will almost always be the best option (but not the cheapest). The most famous (make your own mind up on best or not) is Sprüngli in Zürich which has expanded so much that they have their own factory elsewhere now and chain stores in various other places (even in Dubai) - but every city/town will have at least one independent special shop, many of which double as cafes (Eg: Hofer in Solothurn, or Walder in Neuchatel). Just to make the point here is an article about the endless options in Zürich.
The 2nd fanciest option is the Läderach chain of shops which can be found just about anywhere with tourists and/or more than 10,000 inhabitants. They are high quality and most notable for the gigantic slabs of chocolate in the windows. At the one in Bern you can book to do a chocolate workshop.
If you just want to buy a standard chocolate brand then supermarkets will be the cheapest option. They offer a big range of chocolate in just about any location, and in tourist areas the chocolate section tends to be massive.
Frey, Cailler, and Ragusa are the most interesting options that are hard to find outside of the country. There is of course Lindt and Toblerone, but they are so common the world over that I wouldn’t bother myself with buying them in Switzerland.
Kagi Fret is slightly more biscuit than chocolate but is one of the truly Swiss brands that most outsiders wouldn’t know about.
The Branche praline/nut bars (Cailler are the best option, Coop do their own cheaper brand) are very Swiss too.
One interesting choice of chocolates are Katzenzungen (cat’s tongues). The box design from the type sold at Coop is wonderfully odd. Though they are not truly Swiss.
At Easter the shops fill up with ranks of chocolate hares who stare at you with manic smiles, which are probably meant to be cute - but to me look like evil murder-bunnies.
You can visit the Cailler chocolate factory my post on that here, or the Alprose museum which is in the arse-end of nowhere. There is also the Villars factory in Fribourg, which you can’t tour but you can buy discount rejects from. And the Ragusa factory in the Jura too…
Breakfast / Znüni
Znüni (literally meaning 9am) is the slightly earlier version of elevenses. It might be a pile of bread-rolls and gipfeli (croissants) or it might be loafs of bread with jam, cheese, and meat. Either way it is the go to choice for how to celebrate your birthday or other occasions at work.
  • One very traditional breakfast or Znüni is to get a bread-roll and stuff a branche chocolate into it. Like a DIY Pain au chocolat.
  • Müsli and Birchermüsli. One of the few Swiss-German words to enter the English language.
  • Butterzöpf is a plaited bread that is the traditional go-to for Sunday morning breakfast (or any breakfast)
  • Croissants are called Gipfeli (little peaks). The Nussgipfel is a rather good option.
Meat
  • Cervelat a beef/pork sausage. This is a key part of Swiss culture. To be truly Swiss you must go hiking with a pack of these and roast them over a little fire (having first cut the ends in a cross shape). The experience will be far more memorable than the flavour though it must be said.
  • Bratwurst and brot can be found almost anywhere as an easy fast food option. Oddly the bread is literally a chunk of bread - it has no resemblance to the shape of the Wurst so you have to alternate bites between each. This can make eating it and holding a drink something of a balancing act. Whether or not you have mustard with it is something of a regional rule - leading to the Senfgraben.
Dried meats
Every little region has its own special ham or similar type of cured or dried meat. You can normally get a plate of mixed dried meats and cheeses at restaurants. I refer you to this comment for more details.
But again there are endless more around the country like: the thick Saucisson from the Romandie,
Apéro
The Swiss really bloody love an Apéro. There is no better way to end the day, have an event, or just do whatever, than with a few drinks and light snacks.
Meals
A key part of lunchtime in Switzerland is saying “En Guete” (basically “bon appetit”) to everybody you see doing anything between 11:30 and 13:30.
One thing that surprised me is how much the Swiss utterly love to BBQ and regard summer as grill-season. The ownership and enthusiasm to break out the grill puts even the Aussies to shame. Starting a little fire in the countryside to cook something is always popular - you see makeshift fire pits everywhere.
  • Salad. Having a salad before a meal is downright essential. Usually it is a not very exciting green or mixed salad - but the Swiss utterly must eat one before a meal. Probably the most interesting salad option is Nüsslisalat. Wurst-Salat is common too, but I consider that more German.
  • Soup is also pretty common before (or as) a meal. Bündner Gerstensuppe is one of the very Swiss options, though most areas have their own special types like Soledurner Wysüppli, or the Mehlsuppe served at Basel Fasnacht.
  • Regional platters. Berner Platte, Appenzeller platte, etc:. Slices of cold meats, cheese, and some veg (or at least a gherkin).
  • Älplermagronen kind of like macaroni cheese, often served with apple sauce.
  • Rösti is the classic Swiss-German meal. So much so that the language divide between the French and German parts is called the Röstigraben. Basically it is a big hashbrown.
  • Pastetli / Vol-au-vent is kind of like an open topped pie made with puff-pastry. Usually a soft crust with a creamy mix of meat and mushrooms inside.
  • Zürcher Geschnetzeltes
  • Le papet Vaudois
  • Fleischvogel (literally translates as meat-bird). Technically the German Rouladen, but the name makes them stand out - not least as there is no bird in it normally.
  • Cordon Bleu. Basically a schnitzel. Take a large bit of pig/veal, hit it until it is thin and tender, combine with cheese and ham, cover in breadcrumbs and fry. Tasty, hearty, and most of your days calories in one easy go.
  • Mountain/lake fish they might be far from the sea but it is easy to spot big trout and other fish in the lakes and rivers.
  • The Swiss-Germans go as crazy as the Germans for asparagus in the springtime. Expect it to dominate the menus then.
  • Less well known, but in autumn rich venison and other game dishes appear on menus and are a perfect fit for the season
  • Aromat is an MSG based condiment found on most tables.
Dessert
There are various staples
  • Fruit Wähe a flan type cake with fruit on top. Easy and found all over.
  • Vermicelle. Basically spaghetti like worms made from pureed and sweetened chestnut. Usually served with cream, and sometimes schnapps too. Especially common in autumn and my favourite dessert option.
  • Meringue. Supposedly coming from the town of Meiringen. Which is also noted as the death site of Sherlock Holmes. You can combine both into one and get a Meringue with Sherlock Holmes on it. The french speaking town of Gruyeres does a thick double cream with Meringue dish (and it is one the best attempts outside of the UK of proper thick cream).
There are also various regional cakes:
  • Bündner Nusstorte is the classic. Very rich so you only need abit, but it lasts well so no rush with it.
  • Birnbrot is a pair based pastry. Slightly towards a mince pie in theory, but a different taste and texture.
  • Zuger Kirschtorte is fairly famous, though I have yet to try it.
And the list just keeps on going
Drinks
  • Rivella is basically the Swiss national soft drink - like Iron Bru is to the Scots. The taste isn’t especially good or bad. What does make it memorable is that is is made with milk serum (though you would never know that from the taste or look).
  • Tea. You get various alpine herbal types, including in some places Edelweis which is quite good. (Needless to say you can’t get a proper British tea)
  • Coffee tends to be quite small (despite the high price) and cappuccino is often something of a disappointment. “Haus” or “Special” coffee means with enough schnapps to knock out a small animal. “Kafi Lutz” is a popular choice during Fasnacht.
For alcoholic drinks saying cheers (or prost as it is) is a somewhat tedious affair as you have to clink the glass of every single person whilst looking them in the eye and saying their name. I rather miss the quick and easy British way of saying cheers, waving your glass in the air for a second, then drinking.
  • Beer. There are an amazing number of breweries from national to local level - the one-man website Bov.ch is trying to visit and review all of them. Feldschlossen is the mass produced default beer that is everywhere. Better than the default lagers in the UK, but still best avoided for something more interesting and local if possible. Finding a more local beer in bars or the supermarkets won’t be a problem. If you are on a tight budget then Coop lager is 50 cents a can (no idea how it tastes myself though).
  • Wine. The Swiss make surprising quantities of wine in just about every region of the country, most of which is drunk domestically so you rarely see it abroad. It is generally more expensive than imported wines but is also generally good quality (or at least it is now, apparently it was awful 20 years ago when wine imports were limited and there was no real competition).
  • Whisky. The Swiss do make some surprisingly good (to my taste) whisky. Säntis malt is the most common option.
  • Schnapps. Various local varieties, not a big fan myself.
  • Appenzeller Alpenbitter. Not a fan myself but it is rather popular.
  • Absinthe. Invented, banned and then re-legalised in Switzerland. The beautiful and rather forgotten Val de Travers in Neuchatel is the place to go for this. The train station at Noirague is well stocked with the stuff and is a starting point for a hike in the beautiful Aruse gorge or the Cru De Van. Further up the valley you can visit dedicated bars and distillers.
Misc sweets/bits:
  • Kambly little biscuits from the Emmental region.
  • Biberli. A slightly marzipan like cake from the Appenzell region. The little packets you find in supermarkets are great for taking on your travels. Though the proper stuff from a bakers is rather different - and much better really (if less practical).
  • Ricola the classic sweet with the classic adverts. Interestingly they are a very ethical company and fund various types of research.
  • Heiss maroni. Not uniquely Swiss, but so super-common during the colder months that it is a real part of Swiss culture in winter..
submitted by travel_ali to travel [link] [comments]

I am trying to make a general introduction/overview to Swiss food and drink, any suggestions on what I am missing?

I am not trying to list every single type of local cheese etc:, but more like an introduction for what to look out for and some interesting points to know.
Edit: this has been updated a few times with suggestions from the comments.
Not all of these are truly Swiss, but what isn’t unique is very dominant at least in Switzerland. Wikipedia has a good list. Mostly the food is fairly normal by western standards. However veal is very common here, as is horse (my town even has a specialist butcher for horse meat) which will not be to everyone’s ethical taste.
This post is also going to be far from complete. There are endless little variations on cured meats, breads, and cheese all over the country. And I will probably have missed a few big things too. And as with all my posts is going to be heavily biased towards the German speaking region (which itself makes things confusing by having different names/spelling in every town).
For more info
Generally it isn’t hard to find a local dish, or a local version of a product. Walking around a Coop or Migros supermarket will make it obvious what is local. You can often buy cheese, meat, eggs, honey and other products direct from farms which have an honesty box (or sometimes even a vending machine) outside the farmhouse or by a walking path. The local market (Saturday morning, and maybe also during the week) is a safe bet too.
With thanks to /askswitzerland for their feedback to me, this comment by Kyffhaeuser especially deserves to be recognised.
Cheese
There are something along the lines of 450 different cheeses, and various dishes made using them. You could (and somebody probably has) write a gigantic book on this.
There are various groups and often rules like what altitude the cows must have been and what they have eaten. A few types you commonly see are Mutschli, Hobel (German for plane). Sbrinz is a hard cheese that is like the Swiss Parmesan.
The Swiss Cheese Union were like a sinister cheesy mafia who controlled what was made and pushed Fondue and Raclette into the national dishes they are today. Though they were apparently responsible for this amazing sponsored ski uniform which is wonderful enough to forgive them for everything.
Emmentaler, Gruyere and Appenzeller are the big 3 cheese types that you will find in every shop in Switzerland.
  • Emmental, or if it is in the actual region protected form Emmentaler Switzerland (non-protected may well come from France, Germany or a range of other places), is the classic hole filled “Swiss Cheese” of cartoons. The mild and normal versions are a bit bland, but the strong has a good flavour to it.
  • Gruyere from the touristy village of the same name. A classic choice for melting.
  • Appenzeller is the least well known of the three (outside of Switzerland anyway) and I think the most interesting by far. Be sure to try some. They also have the best adverts.
Beyond these there are endless cheeses that are found in each area and time of year.
Then there are of course the famous cheese based meals….
  • Fondue is one of the classic dishes associated with Switzerland, and most Swiss people do own a set. Best eaten in cold weather, with wine or black tea on the side. Remember not to lose your bread in the pot or let your mouth touch the fork. An interesting (especially to watch) variation on this is Chäsbängel which is basically a fondue filled baguette that I have only seen at Basel Herbstmesse, trying to eat it without causing an eruption of liquid cheese is something of a challenge.
  • Raclette. This tends to be less well known than Fondue, but works much better during summer. Traditionally it should be a fat slab of cheese where you keep scraping the melted top off, however for practical reasons it is most commonly seen as thin slices that you put under a mini grill.
  • Chäswäie / Käsewähe more of a snack than a full meal. A savoury cheese pie that can be found in most cafes and bakeries.
  • La Boîte Chaude comes from the Jura and is far less known than Fondue or Raclette and is unsurprisingly rather rare to come across. Basically a oven baked cheese dish.
  • Chässchnitte is sort of prepared like French toast, but with a more Welsh Rarebit like savoury nature. Apparently it is a big part of Swiss-army life
There are also a few show dairies about where you can see it being made like Gruyere or Emmental amongst others (anywhere touristy will probably have one somewhere around it)
Chocolate
Unsurprisingly the options here are also pretty extensive.
At the top (expensive) end you have local specialised chocolate shops. This will almost always be the best option (but not the cheapest). The most famous (make your own mind up on best or not) is Sprüngli in Zürich which has expanded so much that they have their own factory elsewhere now and chain stores in various other places (even in Dubai) - but every city/town will have at least one independent special shop, many of which double as cafes (Eg: Hofer in Solothurn, or Walder in Neuchatel). Just to make the point here is an article about the endless options in Zürich.
The 2nd fanciest option is the Läderach chain of shops which can be found just about anywhere with tourists and/or more than 10,000 inhabitants. They are high quality and most notable for the gigantic slabs of chocolate in the windows. At the one in Bern you can book to do a chocolate workshop.
If you just want to buy a standard chocolate brand then supermarkets will be the cheapest option. They offer a big range of chocolate in just about any location, and in tourist areas the chocolate section tends to be massive.
Frey, Cailler, and Ragusa are the most interesting options that are hard to find outside of the country. There is of course Lindt and Toblerone, but they are so common the world over that I wouldn’t bother myself with buying them in Switzerland.
Kagi Fret is slightly more biscuit than chocolate but is one of the truly Swiss brands that most outsiders wouldn’t know about.
The Branche praline/nut bars (Cailler are the best option, Coop do their own cheaper brand) are very Swiss too.
One interesting choice of chocolates are Katzenzungen (cat’s tongues). The box design from the type sold at Coop is wonderfully odd. Though they are not truly Swiss.
At Easter the shops fill up with ranks of chocolate hares who stare at you with manic smiles, which are probably meant to be cute - but to me look like evil murder-bunnies.
You can visit the Cailler chocolate factory my post on that here, or the Alprose museum which is in the arse-end of nowhere. There is also the Villars factory in Fribourg, which you can’t tour but you can buy discount rejects from. And the Ragusa factory in the Jura too…
Breakfast / Znüni
Znüni (literally meaning 9am) is the slightly earlier version of elevenses. It might be a pile of bread-rolls and gipfeli (croissants) or it might be loafs of bread with jam, cheese, and meat. Either way it is the go to choice for how to celebrate your birthday or other occasions at work.
  • One very traditional breakfast or Znüni is to get a bread-roll and stuff a branche chocolate into it. Like a DIY Pain au chocolat.
  • Müsli and Birchermüsli. One of the few Swiss-German words to enter the English language.
  • Butterzöpf is a plaited bread that is the traditional go-to for Sunday morning breakfast (or any breakfast)
  • Croissants are called Gipfeli (little peaks). The Nussgipfel is a rather good option.
Meat
  • Cervelat a beef/pork sausage. This is a key part of Swiss culture. To be truly Swiss you must go hiking with a pack of these and roast them over a little fire (having first cut the ends in a cross shape). The experience will be far more memorable than the flavour though it must be said.
  • Bratwurst and brot can be found almost anywhere as an easy fast food option. Oddly the bread is literally a chunk of bread - it has no resemblance to the shape of the Wurst so you have to alternate bites between each. This can make eating it and holding a drink something of a balancing act. Whether or not you have mustard with it is something of a regional rule - leading to the Senfgraben.
Dried meats
Every little region has its own special ham or similar type of cured or dried meat. You can normally get a plate of mixed dried meats and cheeses at restaurants. I refer you to this comment for more details.
But again there are endless more around the country like: the thick Saucisson from the Romandie,
Apéro
The Swiss really bloody love an Apéro. There is no better way to end the day, have an event, or just do whatever, than with a few drinks and light snacks.
Meals
A key part of lunchtime in Switzerland is saying “En Guete” (basically “bon appetit”) to everybody you see doing anything between 11:30 and 13:30.
One thing that surprised me is how much the Swiss utterly love to BBQ and regard summer as grill-season. The ownership and enthusiasm to break out the grill puts even the Aussies to shame. Starting a little fire in the countryside to cook something is always popular - you see makeshift fire pits everywhere.
  • Salad. Having a salad before a meal is downright essential. Usually it is a not very exciting green or mixed salad - but the Swiss utterly must eat one before a meal. Probably the most interesting salad option is Nüsslisalat. Wurst-Salat is common too, but I consider that more German.
  • Soup is also pretty common before (or as) a meal. Bündner Gerstensuppe is one of the very Swiss options, though most areas have their own special types like Soledurner Wysüppli, or the Mehlsuppe served at Basel Fasnacht.
  • Regional platters. Berner Platte, Appenzeller platte, etc:. Slices of cold meats, cheese, and some veg (or at least a gherkin).
  • Älplermagronen kind of like macaroni cheese, often served with apple sauce.
  • Rösti is the classic Swiss-German meal. So much so that the language divide between the French and German parts is called the Röstigraben. Basically it is a big hashbrown.
  • Pastetli / Vol-au-vent is kind of like an open topped pie made with puff-pastry. Usually a soft crust with a creamy mix of meat and mushrooms inside.
  • Zürcher Geschnetzeltes
  • Le papet Vaudois
  • Fleischvogel (literally translates as meat-bird). Technically the German Rouladen, but the name makes them stand out - not least as there is no bird in it normally.
  • Cordon Bleu. Basically a schnitzel. Take a large bit of pig/veal, hit it until it is thin and tender, combine with cheese and ham, cover in breadcrumbs and fry. Tasty, hearty, and most of your days calories in one easy go.
  • Mountain/lake fish they might be far from the sea but it is easy to spot big trout and other fish in the lakes and rivers.
  • The Swiss-Germans go as crazy as the Germans for asparagus in the springtime. Expect it to dominate the menus then.
  • Less well known, but in autumn rich venison and other game dishes appear on menus and are a perfect fit for the season
  • Aromat is an MSG based condiment found on most tables.
Dessert
There are various staples
  • Fruit Wähe a flan type cake with fruit on top. Easy and found all over.
  • Vermicelle. Basically spaghetti like worms made from pureed and sweetened chestnut. Usually served with cream, and sometimes schnapps too. Especially common in autumn and my favourite dessert option.
  • Meringue. Supposedly coming from the town of Meiringen. Which is also noted as the death site of Sherlock Holmes. You can combine both into one and get a Meringue with Sherlock Holmes on it. The french speaking town of Gruyeres does a thick double cream with Meringue dish (and it is one the best attempts outside of the UK of proper thick cream).
There are also various regional cakes:
  • Bündner Nusstorte is the classic. Very rich so you only need abit, but it lasts well so no rush with it.
  • Birnbrot is a pair based pastry. Slightly towards a mince pie in theory, but a different taste and texture.
  • Zuger Kirschtorte is fairly famous, though I have yet to try it.
And the list just keeps on going
Drinks
  • Rivella is basically the Swiss national soft drink - like Iron Bru is to the Scots. The taste isn’t especially good or bad. What does make it memorable is that is is made with milk serum (though you would never know that from the taste or look).
  • Tea. You get various alpine herbal types, including in some places Edelweis which is quite good. (Needless to say you can’t get a proper British tea)
  • Coffee tends to be quite small (despite the high price) and cappuccino is often something of a disappointment. “Haus” or “Special” coffee means with enough schnapps to knock out a small animal. “Kafi Lutz” is a popular choice during Fasnacht.
For alcoholic drinks saying cheers (or prost as it is) is a somewhat tedious affair as you have to clink the glass of every single person whilst looking them in the eye and saying their name. I rather miss the quick and easy British way of saying cheers, waving your glass in the air for a second, then drinking.
  • Beer. There are an amazing number of breweries from national to local level - the one-man website Bov.ch is trying to visit and review all of them. Feldschlossen is the mass produced default beer that is everywhere. Better than the default lagers in the UK, but still best avoided for something more interesting and local if possible. Finding a more local beer in bars or the supermarkets won’t be a problem. If you are on a tight budget then Coop lager is 50 cents a can (no idea how it tastes myself though).
  • Wine. The Swiss make surprising quantities of wine in just about every region of the country, most of which is drunk domestically so you rarely see it abroad. It is generally more expensive than imported wines but is also generally good quality (or at least it is now, apparently it was awful 20 years ago when wine imports were limited and there was no real competition).
  • Whisky. The Swiss do make some surprisingly good (to my taste) whisky. Säntis malt is the most common option.
  • Schnapps. Various local varieties, not a big fan myself.
  • Appenzeller Alpenbitter. Not a fan myself but it is rather popular.
  • Absinthe. Invented, banned and then re-legalised in Switzerland. The beautiful and rather forgotten Val de Travers in Neuchatel is the place to go for this. The train station at Noirague is well stocked with the stuff and is a starting point for a hike in the beautiful Aruse gorge or the Cru De Van. Further up the valley you can visit dedicated bars and distillers.
Misc sweets/bits:
  • Kambly little biscuits from the Emmental region.
  • Biberli. A slightly marzipan like cake from the Appenzell region. The little packets you find in supermarkets are great for taking on your travels. Though the proper stuff from a bakers is rather different - and much better really (if less practical).
  • Ricola the classic sweet with the classic adverts. Interestingly they are a very ethical company and fund various types of research.
  • Heiss maroni. Not uniquely Swiss, but so super-common during the colder months that it is a real part of Swiss culture in winter..
submitted by travel_ali to askswitzerland [link] [comments]

My guide to the food and food culture to look out for in Switzerland.

Yet another post in my endlessly growing list of Swiss resources.
Not all of these are truly Swiss, but what isn’t unique is very dominant at least in Switzerland. Wikipedia has a good list. Mostly the food is fairly normal by western standards. However veal is very common here, as is horse (my town even has a specialist butcher for horse meat) which will not be to everyone’s ethical taste.
This post is also going to be far from complete. There are endless little variations on cured meats, breads, and cheese all over the country. And I will probably have missed a few big things too. And as with all my posts is going to be heavily biased towards the German speaking region (which itself makes things confusing by having different names/spelling in every town).
For more info:
Generally it isn’t hard to find a local dish, or a local version of a product. Walking around a Coop or Migros supermarket will make it obvious what is local. You can often buy cheese, meat, eggs, honey and other products direct from farms which have an honesty box (or sometimes even a vending machine) outside the farmhouse or by a walking path. The local market (Saturday morning, and maybe also during the week) is a safe bet too.
With thanks to /askswitzerland for their feedback to me, this comment especially deserves to be recognised.
Cheese
There are something along the lines of 450 different cheeses, and various dishes made using them. You could (and somebody probably has) write a gigantic book on this.
There are various groups and often rules like what altitude the cows must have been and what they have eaten. A few types you commonly see are Mutschli, Hobel (German for plane). Sbrinz is a hard cheese that is like the Swiss Parmesan.
The Swiss Cheese Union were like a sinister cheesy mafia who controlled what was made and pushed Fondue and Raclette into the national dishes they are today. Though they were apparently responsible for this amazing sponsored ski uniform which is wonderful enough to forgive them for everything.
Emmentaler, Gruyere and Appenzeller are the big 3 cheese types that you will find in every shop in Switzerland.
  • Emmental, or if it is in the actual region protected form Emmentaler Switzerland (non-protected may well come from France, Germany or a range of other places), is the classic hole filled “Swiss Cheese” of cartoons. The mild and normal versions are a bit bland, but the strong has a good flavour to it.
  • Gruyere from the touristy village of the same name. A classic choice for melting.
  • Appenzeller is the least well known of the three (outside of Switzerland anyway) and I think the most interesting by far. Be sure to try some. They also have the best adverts.
Beyond these there are endless cheeses that are found in each area and time of year.
Then there are of course the famous cheese based meals….
  • Fondue is one of the classic dishes associated with Switzerland, and most Swiss people do own a set. Best eaten in cold weather, with wine or black tea on the side. Remember not to lose your bread in the pot or let your mouth touch the fork. Usually there are a few drops of Kirsch (cherry schnapps) in the Fondue, but some people like to have a glass of Kirsch to dip the bread into everytime. An interesting (especially to watch) variation on this is Chäsbängel which is basically a fondue filled baguette that I have only seen at Basel Herbstmesse, trying to eat it without causing an eruption of liquid cheese is something of a challenge.
  • Raclette. This tends to be less well known than Fondue, but works much better during summer. Traditionally it should be a fat slab of cheese where you keep scraping the melted top off, however for practical reasons it is most commonly seen as thin slices that you put under a mini grill.
  • Chäswäie / Käsewähe more of a snack than a full meal. A savoury cheese pie that can be found in most cafes and bakeries.
  • La Boîte Chaude comes from the Jura and is far less known than Fondue or Raclette and is unsurprisingly rather rare to come across. Basically a oven baked cheese dish.
  • Chässchnitte is sort of prepared like French toast, but with a more Welsh Rarebit like savoury nature. Apparently it is a big part of Swiss-army life
There are also a few show dairies about where you can see it being made like Gruyere or Emmental amongst others (anywhere touristy will probably have one somewhere around it)
Chocolate
Unsurprisingly the options here are also pretty extensive.
At the top (expensive) end you have local specialised chocolate shops. This will almost always be the best option (but not the cheapest). The most famous (make your own mind up on best or not) is Sprüngli in Zürich which has expanded so much that they have their own factory elsewhere now and chain stores in various other places (even in Dubai) - but every city/town will have at least one independent special shop, many of which double as cafes (Eg: Hofer in Solothurn, or Walder in Neuchatel). Just to make the point here is an article about the endless options in Zürich.
The 2nd fanciest option is the Läderach chain of shops which can be found just about anywhere with tourists and/or more than 10,000 inhabitants. They are high quality and most notable for the gigantic slabs of chocolate in the windows. At the one in Bern you can book to do a chocolate workshop.
If you just want to buy a standard chocolate brand then supermarkets will be the cheapest option (COOP has the biggest range). They offer a big range of chocolate in just about any location, and in tourist areas the chocolate section tends to be massive.
Frey, Cailler, and Ragusa are the most interesting options that are hard to find outside of the country. There is of course Lindt and Toblerone, but they are so common the world over that I wouldn’t bother myself with buying them in Switzerland.
Kagi Fret is slightly more biscuit than chocolate but is one of the truly Swiss brands that most outsiders wouldn’t know about.
The Branche praline/nut bars (Cailler are the best option, Coop do their own cheaper brand) are very Swiss too.
One interesting choice of chocolates are Katzenzungen (cat’s tongues). The box design from the type sold at Coop is wonderfully odd. Though they are not truly Swiss.
At Easter the shops fill up with ranks of chocolate hares who stare at you with manic smiles, which are probably meant to be cute - but to me look like evil murder-bunnies.
You can visit the Cailler chocolate factory my post on that here, or the Alprose museum which is in the arse-end of nowhere. There is also the Villars factory in Fribourg, which you can’t tour but you can buy discount rejects from. And the Ragusa factory in the Jura too…
Breakfast / Znüni
Znüni (literally meaning 9am) is the slightly earlier version of elevenses. It might be a pile of bread-rolls and gipfeli (croissants) or it might be loafs of bread with jam, cheese, and meat. Either way it is the go to choice for how to celebrate your birthday or other occasions at work.
  • One very traditional breakfast or Znüni is to get a bread-roll and stuff a branche chocolate into it. Like a DIY Pain au chocolat.
  • Müsli and Birchermüsli. One of the few Swiss-German words to enter the English language.
  • Butterzöpf is a plaited bread that is the traditional go-to for Sunday morning breakfast (or any breakfast)
  • Croissants are called Gipfeli (little peaks). The Nussgipfel is a rather good option.
Meat
  • Cervelat a beef/pork sausage. This is a key part of Swiss culture. To be truly Swiss you must go hiking with a pack of these and roast them over a little fire (having first cut the ends in a cross shape). The experience will be far more memorable than the flavour though it must be said.
  • Bratwurst and brot can be found almost anywhere as an easy fast food option. Oddly the bread is literally a chunk of bread - it has no resemblance to the shape of the Wurst so you have to alternate bites between each. This can make eating it and holding a drink something of a balancing act. Whether or not you have mustard with it is something of a regional rule - leading to the Senfgraben.
Dried meats
Every little region has its own special ham or similar type of cured or dried meat. You can normally get a plate of mixed dried meats and cheeses at restaurants. I refer you to this comment for more details.
But again there are endless more around the country like: the thick Saucisson from the Romandie,
Apéro
The Swiss really bloody love an Apéro. There is no better way to end the day, have an event, or just do whatever, than with a few drinks and light snacks.
Meals
A key part of lunchtime in Switzerland is saying “En Guete” (basically “bon appetit”) to everybody you see doing anything between 11:30 and 13:30.
One thing that surprised me is how much the Swiss utterly love to BBQ and regard summer as grill-season. The ownership and enthusiasm to break out the grill puts even the Aussies to shame. Starting a little fire in the countryside to cook something is always popular - you see makeshift fire pits everywhere.
  • Salad. Having a salad before a meal is downright essential. Usually it is a not very exciting green or mixed salad - but the Swiss utterly must eat one before a meal. Probably the most interesting salad option is Nüsslisalat.
  • Älplermagronen kind of like macaroni cheese, often served with apple sauce.
  • Rösti is the classic Swiss-German meal. So much so that the language divide between the French and German parts is called the Röstigraben. Basically it is a big hashbrown.
  • Pastetli / Vol-au-vent is kind of like an open topped pie made with puff-pastry. Usually a soft crust with a creamy mix of meat and mushrooms inside.
  • Zürcher Geschnetzeltes
  • Le papet Vaudois
  • Fleischvogel (literally translates as meat-bird). Technically the German Rouladen, but the name makes them stand out - not least as there is no bird in it normally.
  • Cordon Bleu. Basically a schnitzel. Take a large bit of pig/veal, hit it until it is thin and tender, combine with cheese and ham, cover in breadcrumbs and fry. Tasty, hearty, and most of your days calories in one easy go.
  • Mountain/lake fish they might be far from the sea but it is easy to spot big trout and other fish in the lakes and rivers.
  • The Swiss-Germans go as crazy as the Germans for asparagus in the springtime. Expect it to dominate the menus then.
  • Less well known, but in autumn rich venison and other game dishes appear on menus and are a perfect fit for the season
  • Aromat is an MSG based condiment found on most tables.
Dessert
There are various staples
  • Fruit Wähe a flan type cake with fruit on top. Easy and found all over.
  • Vermicelle. Basically spaghetti like worms made from pureed and sweetened chestnut. Usually served with cream, and sometimes schnapps too. Especially common in autumn and my favourite dessert option.
  • Meringue. Supposedly coming from the town of Meiringen. Which is also noted as the death site of Sherlock Holmes. You can combine both into one and get a Meringue with Sherlock Holmes on it. The french speaking town of Gruyeres does a thick double cream with Meringue dish (and it is one the best attempts outside of the UK of proper thick cream).
There are also various regional cakes:
  • Bündner Nusstorte is the classic. Very rich so you only need abit, but it lasts well so no rush with it.
  • Birnbrot is a pair based pastry. Slightly towards a mince pie in theory, but a different taste and texture.
  • Zuger Kirschtorte is fairly famous, though I have yet to try it.
And the list just keeps on going
Drinks
  • Rivella is basically the Swiss national soft drink - like Iron Bru is to the Scots. The taste isn’t especially good or bad. What does make it memorable is that is is made with milk serum (though you would never know that from the taste or look).
  • Tea. You get various alpine herbal types, including in some places Edelweis which is quite good. (Needless to say you can’t get a proper British tea)
  • Coffee tends to be quite small (despite the high price) and cappuccino is often something of a disappointment. “Haus” or “Special” coffee means with enough schnapps to knock out a small animal. “Kafi Lutz” is a popular choice during Fasnacht.
For alcoholic drinks saying cheers (or prost as it is) is a somewhat tedious affair as you have to clink the glass of every single person whilst looking them in the eye and saying their name. I rather miss the quick and easy British way of saying cheers, waving your glass in the air for a second, then drinking.
  • Beer. Craft beer has really taken off in the last decade. There are an amazing number of breweries supplying beer from national to village level - the one-man website Bov.ch is trying to visit and review all of them. Feldschlösschen is the standard mass produced default beer that is everywhere. Better than the default lagers in the UK, but still best avoided for something more interesting and local if possible. Finding a more local beer in bars or the supermarkets won’t be a problem. If you are on a tight budget then Coop and other supermarkets do own-brand lager for 50 cents a 0.5L can (apparently it isn’t too bad).
  • Wine. The Swiss make surprising quantities of wine in just about every region of the country, most of which is drunk domestically so you rarely see it abroad. It is generally more expensive than imported wines but is also generally good quality (or at least it is now, apparently it was awful 20 years ago when wine imports were limited and there was no real competition).
  • Whisky. The Swiss do make some surprisingly good (to my taste) whisky. Säntis malt is the most common option. More info here.
  • Schnapps. Made all over the country with various fruits. There are a few stand-out regional products like Damassine from the Jura.
  • Appenzeller Alpenbitter. Not a fan myself but it is rather popular and very Swiss.
  • Absinthe. Invented, banned and then re-legalised in Switzerland. The beautiful and rather forgotten Val de Travers in Neuchatel is the place to go for this. The train station at Noirague is well stocked with the stuff and is a starting point for a hike in the beautiful Aruse gorge or the Cru De Van. Further up the valley you can visit dedicated museums, bars, and distillers.
Misc sweets/bits:
  • Kambly little biscuits from the Emmental region.
  • Biberli. A slightly marzipan like cake from the Appenzell region. The little packets you find in supermarkets are great for taking on your travels. Though the proper stuff from a bakers is rather different - and much better really (if less practical).
  • Ricola the classic sweet with the classic adverts. Interestingly they are a very ethical company and fund various types of research.
  • Heiss maroni. Not uniquely Swiss, but so super-common during the colder months that it is a real part of Swiss culture in winter..
submitted by travel_ali to ali_on_switzerland [link] [comments]

I wrote a guide to the food and food-culture in Switzerland.

Not all of these are truly Swiss, but what isn’t unique is very dominant at least in Switzerland. Wikipedia has a good list. Mostly the food is fairly normal by western standards. However veal is very common here, as is horse (my town even has a specialist butcher for horse meat) which will not be to everyone’s ethical taste.
This post is also going to be far from complete. There are endless little variations on cured meats, breads, and cheese all over the country. And I will probably have missed a few big things too. And as with all my posts is going to be heavily biased towards the German speaking region (which itself makes things confusing by having different names/spelling in every town).
For more info
Generally it isn’t hard to find a local dish, or a local version of a product. Walking around a Coop or Migros supermarket will make it obvious what is local. You can often buy cheese, meat, eggs, honey and other products direct from farms which have an honesty box (or sometimes even a vending machine) outside the farmhouse or by a walking path. The local market (Saturday morning, and maybe also during the week) is a safe bet too.
With thanks to /askswitzerland for their feedback to me, this comment especially deserves to be recognised.
Cheese
There are something along the lines of 450 different cheeses, and various dishes made using them. You could (and somebody probably has) write a gigantic book on this.
There are various groups and often rules like what altitude the cows must have been and what they have eaten. A few types you commonly see are Mutschli, Hobel (German for plane). Sbrinz is a hard cheese that is like the Swiss Parmesan.
The Swiss Cheese Union were like a sinister cheesy mafia who controlled what was made and pushed Fondue and Raclette into the national dishes they are today. Though they were apparently responsible for this amazing sponsored ski uniform which is wonderful enough to forgive them for everything.
Emmentaler, Gruyere and Appenzeller are the big 3 cheese types that you will find in every shop in Switzerland.
  • Emmental, or if it is in the actual region protected form Emmentaler Switzerland (non-protected may well come from France, Germany or a range of other places), is the classic hole filled “Swiss Cheese” of cartoons. The mild and normal versions are a bit bland, but the strong has a good flavour to it.
  • Gruyere from the touristy village of the same name. A classic choice for melting.
  • Appenzeller is the least well known of the three (outside of Switzerland anyway) and I think the most interesting by far. Be sure to try some. They also have the best adverts.
Beyond these there are endless cheeses that are found in each area and time of year.
Then there are of course the famous cheese based meals….
  • Fondue is one of the classic dishes associated with Switzerland, and most Swiss people do own a set. Best eaten in cold weather, with wine or black tea on the side. Remember not to lose your bread in the pot or let your mouth touch the fork. An interesting (especially to watch) variation on this is Chäsbängel which is basically a fondue filled baguette that I have only seen at Basel Herbstmesse, trying to eat it without causing an eruption of liquid cheese is something of a challenge.
  • Raclette. This tends to be less well known than Fondue, but works much better during summer. Traditionally it should be a fat slab of cheese where you keep scraping the melted top off, however for practical reasons it is most commonly seen as thin slices that you put under a mini grill.
  • Chäswäie / Käsewähe more of a snack than a full meal. A savoury cheese pie that can be found in most cafes and bakeries.
  • La Boîte Chaude comes from the Jura and is far less known than Fondue or Raclette and is unsurprisingly rather rare to come across. Basically a oven baked cheese dish.
  • Chässchnitte is sort of prepared like French toast, but with a more Welsh Rarebit like savoury nature. Apparently it is a big part of Swiss-army life
There are also a few show dairies about where you can see it being made like Gruyere or Emmental amongst others (anywhere touristy will probably have one somewhere around it)
Chocolate
Unsurprisingly the options here are also pretty extensive.
At the top (expensive) end you have local specialised chocolate shops. This will almost always be the best option (but not the cheapest). The most famous (make your own mind up on best or not) is Sprüngli in Zürich which has expanded so much that they have their own factory elsewhere now and chain stores in various other places (even in Dubai) - but every city/town will have at least one independent special shop, many of which double as cafes (Eg: Hofer in Solothurn, or Walder in Neuchatel). Just to make the point here is an article about the endless options in Zürich.
The 2nd fanciest option is the Läderach chain of shops which can be found just about anywhere with tourists and/or more than 10,000 inhabitants. They are high quality and most notable for the gigantic slabs of chocolate in the windows. At the one in Bern you can book to do a chocolate workshop.
If you just want to buy a standard chocolate brand then supermarkets will be the cheapest option. They offer a big range of chocolate in just about any location, and in tourist areas the chocolate section tends to be massive.
Frey, Cailler, and Ragusa are the most interesting options that are hard to find outside of the country. There is of course Lindt and Toblerone, but they are so common the world over that I wouldn’t bother myself with buying them in Switzerland.
Kagi Fret is slightly more biscuit than chocolate but is one of the truly Swiss brands that most outsiders wouldn’t know about.
The Branche praline/nut bars (Cailler are the best option, Coop do their own cheaper brand) are very Swiss too.
One interesting choice of chocolates are Katzenzungen (cat’s tongues). The box design from the type sold at Coop is wonderfully odd. Though they are not truly Swiss.
At Easter the shops fill up with ranks of chocolate hares who stare at you with manic smiles, which are probably meant to be cute - but to me look like evil murder-bunnies.
You can visit the Cailler chocolate factory my post on that here, or the Alprose museum which is in the arse-end of nowhere. There is also the Villars factory in Fribourg, which you can’t tour but you can buy discount rejects from. And the Ragusa factory in the Jura too…
Breakfast / Znüni
Znüni (literally meaning 9am) is the slightly earlier version of elevenses. It might be a pile of bread-rolls and gipfeli (croissants) or it might be loafs of bread with jam, cheese, and meat. Either way it is the go to choice for how to celebrate your birthday or other occasions at work.
  • One very traditional breakfast or Znüni is to get a bread-roll and stuff a branche chocolate into it. Like a DIY Pain au chocolat.
  • Müsli and Birchermüsli. One of the few Swiss-German words to enter the English language.
  • Butterzöpf is a plaited bread that is the traditional go-to for Sunday morning breakfast (or any breakfast)
  • Croissants are called Gipfeli (little peaks). The Nussgipfel is a rather good option.
Meat
  • Cervelat a beef/pork sausage. This is a key part of Swiss culture. To be truly Swiss you must go hiking with a pack of these and roast them over a little fire (having first cut the ends in a cross shape). The experience will be far more memorable than the flavour though it must be said.
  • Bratwurst and brot can be found almost anywhere as an easy fast food option. Oddly the bread is literally a chunk of bread - it has no resemblance to the shape of the Wurst so you have to alternate bites between each. This can make eating it and holding a drink something of a balancing act. Whether or not you have mustard with it is something of a regional rule - leading to the Senfgraben.
Dried meats
Every little region has its own special ham or similar type of cured or dried meat. You can normally get a plate of mixed dried meats and cheeses at restaurants. I refer you to this comment for more details.
But again there are endless more around the country like: the thick Saucisson from the Romandie,
Apéro
The Swiss really bloody love an Apéro. There is no better way to end the day, have an event, or just do whatever, than with a few drinks and light snacks.
Meals
A key part of lunchtime in Switzerland is saying “En Guete” (basically “bon appetit”) to everybody you see doing anything between 11:30 and 13:30.
One thing that surprised me is how much the Swiss utterly love to BBQ and regard summer as grill-season. The ownership and enthusiasm to break out the grill puts even the Aussies to shame. Starting a little fire in the countryside to cook something is always popular - you see makeshift fire pits everywhere.
  • Salad. Having a salad before a meal is downright essential. Usually it is a not very exciting green or mixed salad - but the Swiss utterly must eat one before a meal. Probably the most interesting salad option is Nüsslisalat. Wurst-Salat is common too, but I consider that more German.
  • Soup is also pretty common before (or as) a meal. Bündner Gerstensuppe is one of the very Swiss options, though most areas have their own special types like Soledurner Wysüppli, or the Mehlsuppe served at Basel Fasnacht.
  • Regional platters. Berner Platte, Appenzeller platte, etc:. Slices of cold meats, cheese, and some veg (or at least a gherkin).
  • Älplermagronen kind of like macaroni cheese, often served with apple sauce.
  • Rösti is the classic Swiss-German meal. So much so that the language divide between the French and German parts is called the Röstigraben. Basically it is a big hashbrown.
  • Pastetli / Vol-au-vent is kind of like an open topped pie made with puff-pastry. Usually a soft crust with a creamy mix of meat and mushrooms inside.
  • Zürcher Geschnetzeltes
  • Le papet Vaudois
  • Fleischvogel (literally translates as meat-bird). Technically the German Rouladen, but the name makes them stand out - not least as there is no bird in it normally.
  • Cordon Bleu. Basically a schnitzel. Take a large bit of pig/veal, hit it until it is thin and tender, combine with cheese and ham, cover in breadcrumbs and fry. Tasty, hearty, and most of your days calories in one easy go.
  • Mountain/lake fish they might be far from the sea but it is easy to spot big trout and other fish in the lakes and rivers.
  • The Swiss-Germans go as crazy as the Germans for asparagus in the springtime. Expect it to dominate the menus then.
  • Less well known, but in autumn rich venison and other game dishes appear on menus and are a perfect fit for the season
  • Aromat is an MSG based condiment found on most tables.
Dessert
There are various staples
  • Fruit Wähe a flan type cake with fruit on top. Easy and found all over.
  • Vermicelle. Basically spaghetti like worms made from pureed and sweetened chestnut. Usually served with cream, and sometimes schnapps too. Especially common in autumn and my favourite dessert option.
  • Meringue. Supposedly coming from the town of Meiringen. Which is also noted as the death site of Sherlock Holmes. You can combine both into one and get a Meringue with Sherlock Holmes on it. The french speaking town of Gruyeres does a thick double cream with Meringue dish (and it is one the best attempts outside of the UK of proper thick cream).
There are also various regional cakes:
  • Bündner Nusstorte is the classic. Very rich so you only need abit, but it lasts well so no rush with it.
  • Birnbrot is a pair based pastry. Slightly towards a mince pie in theory, but a different taste and texture.
  • Zuger Kirschtorte is fairly famous, though I have yet to try it.
And the list just keeps on going
Drinks
  • Rivella is basically the Swiss national soft drink - like Iron Bru is to the Scots. The taste isn’t especially good or bad. What does make it memorable is that is is made with milk serum (though you would never know that from the taste or look).
  • Tea. You get various alpine herbal types, including in some places Edelweis which is quite good. (Needless to say you can’t get a proper British tea)
  • Coffee tends to be quite small (despite the high price) and cappuccino is often something of a disappointment. “Haus” or “Special” coffee means with enough schnapps to knock out a small animal. “Kafi Lutz” is a popular choice during Fasnacht.
For alcoholic drinks saying cheers (or prost as it is) is a somewhat tedious affair as you have to clink the glass of every single person whilst looking them in the eye and saying their name. I rather miss the quick and easy British way of saying cheers, waving your glass in the air for a second, then drinking.
  • Beer. There are an amazing number of breweries from national to local level - the one-man website Bov.ch is trying to visit and review all of them. Feldschlossen is the mass produced default beer that is everywhere. Better than the default lagers in the UK, but still best avoided for something more interesting and local if possible. Finding a more local beer in bars or the supermarkets won’t be a problem. If you are on a tight budget then Coop lager is 50 cents a can (no idea how it tastes myself though).
  • Wine. The Swiss make surprising quantities of wine in just about every region of the country, most of which is drunk domestically so you rarely see it abroad. It is generally more expensive than imported wines but is also generally good quality (or at least it is now, apparently it was awful 20 years ago when wine imports were limited and there was no real competition).
  • Whisky. The Swiss do make some surprisingly good (to my taste) whisky. Säntis malt is the most common option.
  • Schnapps. Various local varieties, not a big fan myself.
  • Appenzeller Alpenbitter. Not a fan myself but it is rather popular.
  • Absinthe. Invented, banned and then re-legalised in Switzerland. The beautiful and rather forgotten Val de Travers in Neuchatel is the place to go for this. The train station at Noirague is well stocked with the stuff and is a starting point for a hike in the beautiful Aruse gorge or the Cru De Van. Further up the valley you can visit dedicated bars and distillers.
Misc sweets/bits:
  • Kambly little biscuits from the Emmental region.
  • Biberli. A slightly marzipan like cake from the Appenzell region. The little packets you find in supermarkets are great for taking on your travels. Though the proper stuff from a bakers is rather different - and much better really (if less practical).
  • Ricola the classic sweet with the classic adverts. Interestingly they are a very ethical company and fund various types of research.
  • Heiss maroni. Not uniquely Swiss, but so super-common during the colder months that it is a real part of Swiss culture in winter..
submitted by travel_ali to FoodWriting [link] [comments]

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In this Zurich Classic betting preview I’m going to look at nine teams who could wind up being the last ones standing. I’ll start with the odds and then assess the top contenders, some sleepers to consider, and some long-shots who might just cause a surprise. I’ll also provide my picks for the best bets at the 2019 Zurich Classic. Zurich Classic betting tips & predictions – the Zurich Classic is played annually in New Orleans, Louisiana. From the event’s inception in 1938 through 2004, it was played at a series of courses in New Orleans. In 2005, the tournament moved to its current home at TPC Louisiana in Avondale. The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is an 81-year old golf tournament that is held at Avondale in New Orleans, Louisiana. Before you place your bet check out our golf betting tips. The winners for the past two years when the format was changed to team play are the following: 2017: Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith. 2018: Billy Horschel and Scott Zurich Classic of New Orleans betting tips: Top tips. With an eye-catching pair like Adam Scott and Jason Day in the line up, it’s no surprise to see punters piling into the duo. It is more of an eye-opener, though, to see Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel at 25/1 with bet365. The all-Aussie team of Jason Day/Adam Scott are the betting favorites to win the Zurich Classic at +720. Day finished tied for fifth at the Masters earlier this month while Scott ended his play at Augusta tied for 18th. The close second betting favorite to win the Zurich Classic is the all Euro duo of Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood at +750.

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