Some people argue that there is nothing called, Swiss food because what is regarded as the popular Swiss foods generally originate from regional foods and specialties found all over the 26 cantons of Switzerland. You will come across plenty of popular Swiss foods with heavy German, French, and North Italian influences, with mouth-watering bases of potatoes, Swiss cheese, or Swiss ingredients that were easily available to the first Alpine farmers. You will never be hungry when in Switzerland. Here are some of the popular and tasty Swiss foods that you must try:
Popular and Tasty Swiss Foods
It is a great meal to enjoy with your friends and perhaps one of the most iconic food items that people associate with Switzerland. This popular dish is made of melted cheese and various other ingredients, like white wine, garlic, corn flour, and cherry brandy. Once prepared, it is served in a unique ceramic pot known as a caquelon, with a small burner below it to keep the dish at a constant temperature. You need to cut small pieces of bread and with the help of a fork dip them into this hot cheese. The term, “Fondue” refers to those dishes in which food is dipped into a pot that contains hot liquid, like for example, chocolate fondue and fondue bourguignonne.
Rosti is one of the popular and tasty foods that everyone must try at least once. It is a potato dish made by frying or baking round shaped patties made of finely grated raw or semi-cooked potato. It is crisp outside and melting inside. Sometimes cheese, onion, bacon, and apple can be added to the mixture. It is consumed as a side dish with fried eggs, spinach, or sausage meat. Originally, it was eaten during breakfast by the Bern Farmers but nowadays along with Switzerland, people from all over the world enjoy it.
You must have eaten muesli for breakfast but may not know that it was discovered by Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner in 1900. Believing that a diet made of fruits, vegetables, and cereals was good for human beings than a heavy meat diet, he discovered this dish, which is a mix of rolled oat flakes, lemon juice, nuts, fruits, and condensed milk. This dish was served to the patients in his Zurich sanatorium. To date, it is eaten by people of Switzerland, and not only for breakfast but sometimes during the evening also.
Raclette, made of cow’s milk is the name of Swiss cheese and is regarded as one of the most popular meals in Switzerland. During the old days, a whole wheel of cheese was held up near to the fire and as the cheese got melted, it was cut off and eaten. The name is derived from French racer, which signifies “to scrape”. Nowadays, the slices of raclette are melted using table-top raclette grills or pans and are eaten with small potatoes, charcuterie, veggies, onions, bread, and pickled gherkins. With a modern raclette grill, you melt the cheese on a single grill layer and can spread it over grilled meats and veggies.
Bűndner Nusstorte, sometimes also known as an Engadiner Nusstorte, is a tasty, caramelized nut-filled pastry originating from the canton of Graubunden. It is prepared in small private bakeries, each of which has different variations. Enjoy this as a delicious dessert along with coffee or tea.
Next in the list of popular and tasty Swiss foods is Älplermagronen. Sometimes, also called herdsman’s Macaroni, Älplermakkaronen is a traditional all-in-one-dish that derives from the German part of Switzerland. It uses all those ingredients that were available with the herdsmen who were taking care of their cows on the mountain pastures of the Alps slopes. These include potatoes, choose, macaroni, cream, apples, or milk. The classic version is made by layering the cooked potatoes and macaroni with cheese and cream, before baking it. People generally serve it with fried onion rings and stewed apple sauce over it. Sometimes, the dish comes with bacon, also. Whatever ingredients you use, though Älplermakkaronen is a hearty meal.
This popular Swiss food, which in German converts to “sliced meat Zurich style”, has been enjoyed across the country since the 1940s when it initially came in cookbooks. Originated in the Zurich area, this dish is traditionally prepared with strips of veal mixed with beef stock, cream, along with white wine. Some contemporary recipes may also call for sliced veal liver and mushrooms. Zürcher Geschnetzeltes is usually seasoned with pepper, salt, lemon juice, and paprika. Usually, people eat it with Rosti, rice, tagliatelle pasta, or noodles. And if you do not fancy veal, you can substitute it with pork or chicken when you make it yourself.
Leeks with sausage and potatoes
Papet Vaudois is best defined as a mash of leeks as well as potatoes that are stewed for several long hours. The ultimate result is an earthy, onion-tinged mixture that makes the right root bed for the fat sausage, special to the canton of Vaud. With deep roots in the canton, Papet Vaudois is akin to the area’s emblematic dish, and is notorious crimson sausage, loosely stuffed as well as plump should not be missed.
Basel-style roasted flour soup
Earlier, it was said that a girl who belongs to Basel could not marry until she knew how to make a roasted flour soup. Though there are numerous ways to make this dish, in a basic way, it is just flour, onion, beef stock, and butter topped with a preserved grating of Gruyere. Legend has it the soup was invented when a distracted cook was chatting away, leaving the flour cooking in a pot till browned accidentally. Instead of ditching the mishap, it was turned into a dish that has survived. This soup is a must-have at the Basel Carnival, which is launched with its serving at 3 am.
Polenta and braised beef
The Italian-speaking canton of Ticino has been mixing Polenta- a Cornmeal dish, cooked in the form of a porridge- for centuries. Traditionally, it was cooked on a slow flame in a copper cauldron, until it becomes hearty and thick. Come winter, savory braised beef, packed with wine-included flavors, is a staple food which is usually paired with polenta, in a perfect combination of culinary traditions and rustic tastes.
This is yet another one in the list of popular and tasty Swiss foods. This dish was conceived near the French-Swiss border in the department of Haute-Savoie, home to the local Reblochon cheese. Though the cheese dates to the 16th century, Tartiflette was fashioned only during 1980 by the Reblochon trade union to help improve sales. And it worked. Today, Tartiflette is a staple food at most of the ski resorts, mainly those in the Swiss-Romande. This rustic plate is a starchy mix of thinly sliced potatoes, smoky pieces of bacon, caramelized onions, and oozy, creamy, and nutty Reblochon cheese.
All those trails and mountains to hike in Switzerland, one needs to carry some snacks while climbing up, right? This is the point where the semi-dried sausage comes into the picture. This is a traditional Swiss snack that is prepared by combining beef, pork, red, wine, lard, and sugar. The term, “landjäger” means land hunters, describing the fact that these sausages are convenient and popular among hunters and backpackers who carry them while they travel.