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Swiss Cuisine: Culinary Traditions of 3 Nations, Fondue, Raclette, Roesti

Swiss Cuisine

The peculiarity of Swiss cuisine is that it combines influences from the best culinary traditions of three different nations; namely German, French and North Italian. This is a country with a small area, which is densely populated by many nations. It features different culinary traditions: both its own specific dishes, as well as cuisines influenced by the surrounding countries. This is the reason that Swiss dishes highly differ from region to region, and it is very difficult to name a list of “national” cuisine specifications or “traditional Swiss food”.

Switzerland was historically a country of farmers, so traditional Swiss dishes tend to be plain and made from simple ingredients. Though food ingredients and the way of their preparation differ all over the country, we can pick up some peculiarities. Thus, many Swiss favorite dishes are variations of combination from potatoes, meat and cheese served with different types of sauces, the preparation of which is considered a high form of arts.

In spite of regional differentiation of Swiss food specialties, some dishes managed to cross the borders and become favorites all over the country. One from the most well-known dishes is cheese fondue. Especially melted cheese with dried bread cubes served in a traditional pot called “caquelon”.

This is probably the most famous Swiss menu. Fondue is made out of melted cheese and a little bit of white wine. People eat it by dipping small pieces of bread in the melted cheese. The secret lies in the right mixture of different flavors of cheese. Typically, fondue is served on cold winter days in a cozy atmosphere.

Another favorite again is the cow’s milk-cheese called Raclette. It is cooked by heating the cheese and scraping off the melted part, which is being served with potatoes, gherkins and onions. One more beloved dish is called Roesti, which is being made from grated, cooked potatoes fried in butter or oil. Originally, it was served as a breakfast dish eaten by families of farmers in the canton of Bern. Although it was considered to be food for the poor living in the German part of the country, it stamped the concept of so-called Roesti Curtain (Roesti Graben), which has become the cultural borderline between the German-speaking and the French-speaking population.

Of course, we should not forget about muesli, which was invented in Switzerland in around 1900s. Muesly is a breakfast dish based on rolled oats served by cow’s milk or soymilk, yogurt, dried or fresh fruits, nuts and seeds.

Coming to Swiss chocolate and cheese, it would not be an exaggeration if we state that the Swiss people are the best experts in this field and suggest only high-quality products. Swiss Gruyere or Emmentaler cheeses, chocolates Cailler or Lindt are world famous. Coming to local specialties, we need to differentiate the Laeckerli of Basel, the Rueeblitorte of Aargau or the cherry cake of Zug.

Switzerland is a great place for not only having new life experiences but also for tasting several new dishes. Therefore, this country is highly recommended for those who like to eat delicious food!

Swiss Cuisine