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Traditional Swiss cuisine

Traditional Swiss Dish - Rosti

When it comes to a country’s traditional cuisine, it is impossible for it to be a perfect stand-alone entity, not influenced by surrounding influences, however when ti comes to traditional Swiss cuisine, it is a bit special in regards to the amount of regional influences that it shows from its neighbors. Because of its location on the European continent, influences from France, Germany and Italy are extremely prominent because historically speaking, Switzerland has been a farming country in which the most popular foods were cheeses, potatoes and chocolate.

The reflexion of its neighbors influence is not only apparent in its cuisine, but more-so in the diverse range of peoples that the country houses, the official languages spoken in Switzerland being French, Italian, Romansh and German.

Traditional Swiss dishes tend to be regional in nature, depending on the main population influence in the respective region. Italian food for instance if very common in modern Switzerland, like it tends to be in most other Romance language countries, however traditional Swiss cheeses include Emmental cheese, Vacherin and Appenzeller.

Keeping in mind that this is a very mountainous country, the diet tends to be very calorie heavy, as such the traditional breakfast will include bread, margarine or butter, honey, cheese of course, milk, cereal, as well as hot or cold chocolate and coffee and tea.

The lunch would be equally heavy, being made up of things like pasta, potatoes, various types of meats, seafood and vegetables.


French dishes

Possibly the most famous of the dishes on the menu is fondue, in which cheese is melted in a pot and is eaten by dipping small pieces of bread or potatoes in it.

Papet vaudois is a dish made from leeks and potatoes, usually served with ‘Saucisse au chou’.


German dishes

Alplermagronen is a unique all-in-one dish, made up of a variety of ingredients that the herdsmen had at their disposal in their alpine cottages, hence why it is known as the ‘Alpine herdsman’s macaroni. It is made up of macaroni, potatoes, onions, pieces of bacon and melted cheese.

Rosti is yet another simple dish, similar to hash browns, traditional to the Swiss German region, but it is also eaten by the French-speaking Swiss.


Italian dishes

Pizzoccheri are an interesting variation of tagliatelle, shorter and made of buckwheat flour, cooked along with greens and cubed potatoes.

Polenta, while regarded as a meal for the poor for hundreds of years, is nowadays a staple dish of the area.

However it has to be noted that contemporary master chefs and cooking in Switzerland are starting to steadily drift away from the rustic and traditional into other areas, focused towards more natural and innovative dishes


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