Located among the picturesque Alps at the junction of the western, southern and central parts of the European continent, Switzerland is interesting for travelers for its natural and cultural diversity.
Among those who wish to spend their holidays here not boring and profitable, there are true gastronomes. Their goal is to get acquainted with the national cuisine of the country, where everything is considered to be of high quality – watches, knives, cans and Swiss dishes.
Swiss cuisine – what it is
Swiss cuisine developed when the country was conditionally divided into German, French, Italian and Romansh language regions. At the same time, it was surrounded by the strongest states in Europe.
In addition, the natural factor played a role – the country is located mainly in mountainous areas with a temperate continental climate.
The originality of the national cuisine of Switzerland is evidenced by a number of its features:
- pronounced tradition of Swiss cuisine;
- a vivid manifestation of the culinary peculiarities of certain regions of the country;
- simplicity of recipes for national cuisine;
- cheese is one of the main culinary ingredients;
- a variety of confectionery products and their fillings;
- the popularity of potatoes among vegetable components of dishes;
- active use of bread.
What influenced the formation of Swiss cuisine
The formation of the foundations of the Swiss cuisine was influenced by:
- culinary traditions of neighboring states – Italy, France, Germany, Austria;
- variety of domestic gastronomic preferences;
- historical development of farms, mainly livestock, farms.
The ability of local chefs to use locally sourced produce has defined the range of ingredients in the local cuisine:
- dairy products – milk, yogurt, butter, cheeses;
- meat – pork, beef;
- poultry – chicken, turkey;
- lake and river fish;
- potatoes, cabbage, carrots;
- rye, wheat, barley, beans;
- fruits – plums, pears, apples;
- berry crops – grapes, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.;
- spices and spices.
Popular cooking methods
In the process of cooking, Swiss chefs use more often traditional methods of processing ingredients, provided for by recipes:
- frying, including on the grill;
Cooking dishes that use cheese in the recipe can be accompanied by melting it.
Swiss cheese and its popularity
Cheese is Switzerland’s culinary pride. Local cheese makers, actively using traditional recipes and product manufacturing technologies, produce delicious and original cheeses of consistently high quality. For their preparation, only natural ingredients of local origin are used.
Today, this alpine country produces about 450 types of cheese. The overwhelming majority of them are made from cow’s milk, sheep and goat raw materials account for only about 1% of the production of local cheese dairies, for example, Gaishkeise goat cheese.
Certain types of Swiss cheese are spiced up by streaks of mold (Bluchatel), moldy crust (Tom Vaudoise) or an unusual filling – pieces of truffles (Montreux).
The most popular Swiss cheeses, made according to classic recipes:
- Emmental is a hard cheese with large holes and a sweet and spicy taste. A delicate herbal aroma and a fruity-nutty aftertaste complement the gastronomic pleasure obtained from tasting the product.
- Gruyere is a yellowish creamy hard cheese. Its taste is sweetish-fruity with nutty notes. The product has a dense texture without holes. Cheese with this name can only be produced in the Swiss district of the same name.
- Sbrinz is an extra hard cheese; a special tool is used to cut it. The taste of this Swiss delicacy combines notes of spices, herbs, milk and caramel. Experts say that only brown cows’ milk is used for the production of Sbrinets.
What to try from traditional dishes
For a tourist who has arrived in Switzerland to get acquainted with its gastronomy, traditional national food is of interest.
A Christmas dessert familiar to Swiss chefs since the Middle Ages. It is baked from wheat flour-based dough mixed with kirsch, honey, candied fruit and almonds.
Soup based on rye or wheat flour, pre-fried or mixed with butter. In French Switzerland, corn flour is often used to prepare this dish.
The soup is boiled in water or milk with the addition of salt or sugar. Today, the simple traditional recipe has been expanded with the addition of herbs and spices.
Flour soup is served during Lent.
One of the most popular Swiss cuisine. It contains melted cheese, 2-3 varieties, white wine and spices. In different regions of Switzerland, the recipe may differ in the choice of cheese varieties – Moitier, it is prepared from Gruyere with Vachrain, and for the Geneva fondue, Gruyère is mixed with Raclette. Tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, bell peppers, etc. are used as additional ingredients.
The finished fondue is served in a special container – kakelone. In the process of eating, slices of bread, planted on a long 2-tooth fork, are dipped in cheese paste.
Swiss fondue is distinguished by its aroma and range of used spices.
An old Swiss dish made using a special 2-level oven. On its lower tier, cream cheese is melted, and on the upper tier, ham, vegetables, mushrooms, etc. are fried.
When ready, the selected ingredients are poured with melted cheese in individual plates.
This is Zurich-style meat. For its preparation, veal is cut across the fibers into thin strips, fried until a crust appears and stewed in a creamy sauce with the addition of white wine, vegetables, fried mushrooms and spices.
In the menus of cafes and restaurants in Switzerland outside the canton of Zurich, Geschnetzeltes is referred to with the obligatory prefix Züri.
Favorite Swiss dessert, a specialty of the canton of Zug. Local pastry chefs bake it on the basis of a sponge cake made with lemon zest and nut meringue. The buttercream with which the cake is smeared is prepared using kirsch. It gives the food a cherry flavor and aroma.
A high-calorie alpine casserole, a traditional winter food of Swiss shepherds. To prepare it, boiled pasta and potatoes are placed in layers in a deep saucepan, poured with creamy sauce with melted cheese.
Onions, pieces of bacon and nutmeg are added to the dish.
Alplermagronen casserole is traditionally served with apple sauce .
An original thick Swiss soup, traditional for the canton of Vaud. To prepare it, culinary specialists stew a mixture of potatoes and leeks in cream. Cabbage sausages made from minced pork with the addition of finely chopped cabbage are used as the main ingredient.
Hearty soup, which is usually cooked in Switzerland in winter. His homeland is the canton of Graubünden. Here it is prepared according to the classic recipe, adding pearl barley, ham, salted meat and vegetables to the barley broth.
The composition of the additional ingredients of barley soup in different regions of the country may differ from the traditional recipe.
A traditional dish similar to potato pancakes. The main ingredient in resti is grated potatoes, raw or boiled, from which small diameter pancakes are formed. In different regions of Switzerland, this classic recipe is complemented with spices, herbs, bacon pieces, etc.
Fried until golden brown, the sashti is served as an appetizer or as an independent dish.
Fillet where before
Fillets of small perch caught in Lake Geneva are grilled, dipped in a sauce of white wine, lemon juice and ghee. The fish is served with baked potatoes and fresh vegetables. Filet de Perches are traditionally complemented with white wine, on the basis of which the sauce is prepared.
Festive dishes in Switzerland
The menu of every national cuisine, incl. Swiss, includes dishes that are prepared on holidays.
Festive Christmas cookies. Sugar, honey, spices are added to the yeast-free dough kneaded in water and rolled out thinly.
They are baked for 1.5 – 2 minutes at a temperature of 400 C ° in tins, on the bottom of which images with Christmas motifs are squeezed out.
The finished baked goods have an original color – white on one side and golden on the other.
Tirggel are traditional Christmas cookies.
Swiss pear bread, traditionally baked at Christmas and the waiting days. Pieces of dried fruit, mainly pears, are mixed with nuts, spices and a little dough to form a loaf, which is wrapped in thinly rolled yeast dough and baked. An alternative recipe involves distributing the filling over the rolled dough and rolling it into a roll.
In German Switzerland, this bread is baked all year round.
Swiss analogue of brushwood. The inhabitants of Basel bake it on the days of the carnival. In other regions of Switzerland, this dessert is served, for example, on the days of the consecration of churches. Its name also changes from one region to another.
The recipe for making festive brushwood is short – the dough, kneaded with cream, flour and eggs, is rolled thinly. Cooked biscuits are fried in oil and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Drinks are a special part of the menu that will be offered to guests in Swiss cafes.
This dessert drink is always presented in the menu of cafes and restaurants in Switzerland. It is served with the addition of cream, vanilla, cinnamon, etc.
The Swiss include medicinal and tonic herbs in this refreshing tea, combining them with delicious and aromatic natural ingredients such as berries. The rich assortment allows you to choose a drink according to your needs – to quench your thirst, invigorate, relax, etc.
Non-alcoholic carbonated drink based on milk whey. As additives in the drink include sugar, lactic acid, natural flavors.
Rivella is a Swiss milk-based soda.
The products of Swiss winemakers attract the attention of connoisseurs of this sunny drink with their sophistication and taste. Most of the wine grape varieties are grown by the cantons of Vaud (Chasselas), Vallee (Pinot Noir, Gamay), Zurich (Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon), Ticino (Merlot), Geneva (Chablais).
Gourmets taste mostly young wines in Switzerland. At the same time, local producers offer dry varieties more often than others. In the popularity rating of Swiss wines, the leaders are Chasselas, Pinot Noir and Gamay.
In 2005, gastro-tourists arriving in Switzerland, after a long-term ban, again had the opportunity to taste the famous local absinthe. This alcoholic drink is produced here with a strength of 50 ° – 80 ° and contains aromas of wormwood, anise, mint, lemon balm.
Lovers of this drink can visit the Absinthe Museum in the town of Motier (canton Neuchâtel).
This is a traditional fruity brandy of 40 ° ABV with a cherry-almond aroma obtained from the distillation of must from pitted black cherries. Kirsch is often served chilled as an aperitif. In the German cantons, this drink can be used to round off a daily dinner.
Besides cherry, the Swiss make brandy from other fruits. Popular are Pflyumli (plum drink) and Williams (brandy made from pears).
Simple Swiss recipes and the availability of their ingredients keep your home culinary collection updated.
New Year’s salad
- tarragon – 1 branch;
- cucumbers, fresh and pickled, medium-sized – 2 pcs.;
- medium-sized pears – 4 pcs.;
- meat products: carbonade, cervelat, boiled-smoked ham – 400 g each;
- lemon juice;
- mayonnaise – 5 tbsp.
- Wash tarragon, chop, mix with mayonnaise and lemon juice.
- Peel the meat products, cut into strips.
- Peel and chop the cucumbers.
- Peel and cut the pears into thin strips.
- Combine cooked meats, vegetables and fruits.
- Season the mixture with mayonnaise-tarragon dressing and cover.
Insist the salad for 2 hours, then serve it on the table.
- olives and olives (pitted) – 50 g;
- wheat flour – 250 g;
- fast emerging dry yeast – 1 packet;
- raw eggs – 4 pcs.;
- low-fat cream – 100 ml;
- olive oil – 1 tablespoon,
- butter – 2 tablespoons;
- beef ham – 240 g;
- sugar cane sand – 5 tsp;
- sweet mustard – 1 tbsp.;
- spices: salt, ground black pepper, dried dill.
- Pour yeast into a bowl, add wheat flour, mix.
- Mix raw eggs, cream, spices, granulated sugar, salt and beat everything.
- Mix the whipped mix with flour and yeast.
- Add finely chopped olives, olives, beef ham to the dough.
- Grease a rectangular shape with butter and distribute the finished dough in it.
- Bake the dish in the oven at 210 C ° for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180 C ° and bake for another 30 minutes.
Cool the finished cake, remove from the mold, cut and serve as a light snack.
Ingredients for the dough:
- wheat flour – 4 tablespoons;
- cocoa powder – 2 tablespoons;
- instant coffee – 2 tsp;
- baking powder – 1 tsp;
- raw eggs – 3 pcs.;
- granulated sugar – 100 g;
- milk – 2 tbsp. l.
Ingredients for the cream:
- fat cream – 250 ml;
- granulated sugar – 1 tbsp. l .;
- instant coffee – 1 tsp;
- chocolate – 100 g;
- crushed almonds – 125 ml.
- Mix flour with cocoa, coffee, baking powder and sift everything.
- Beat the whites, add sugar and add the whipped yolks to the mix.
- Add loose components to the egg mixture, pour in milk and mix.
- Pour the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 8 minutes in an oven preheated to 220 ° C.
- Put the finished cake on a damp towel, sprinkle with sugar, roll into a roll and leave for 5 minutes.
- Whip the cream with the coffee and 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, add crushed chocolate and almonds.
- Unfold the roll, apply cream and re-roll.
Decorate the dish with cream, chocolate or coconut, cool for 2 hours in the refrigerator, then serve.