The Most Popular Dishes From Switzerland
Updated on December 16, 2022 by Team ShineSheets
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Who has never heard of Toblerone knows nothing of the great wonders of the culinary world. The Toblerone is the most famous and popular chocolate in the world, produced in Switzerland, a country with a chocolate tradition since the 17th century. The variety of flavors and combinations of ingredients is immense and unparalleled. Chocolates make Switzerland an attractive country for all those who are passionate about chocolate, since despite being the best in the world, with the best quality and the most extreme combinations, Switzerland has varied gastronomy in this sense, making it a heaven for any child, gourmand or foodie with a refined taste for sweets.
But Switzerland is not only for the best skiing in Europe or just chocolate. It has a culinary culture influenced by its neighbors and immigrants, such as Italian, German, and French cuisine, that make an impact on the exquisite dishes prepared in the nation. Curiously, many people claim that Swiss gastronomy as such does not exist because its dishes are versions of dishes from the countries mentioned above. However, the country’s cuisine has centuries-old traditions and, therefore, although influenced, is considered its own.
Culinary history and influences
Switzerland is a small country of about 41,288 square kilometers. Throughout the country’s territory, there are different typical dishes that have been marked by a distinctive climate. Throughout Switzerland, you can see several predominantly milk-based ingredients. Its cheeses are famous all over the globe, as are its chocolates, also with a high dairy content. And as far as Switzerland is concerned, one cannot forget the exquisite meat dishes with excellent cooking methods and seasoning, which are very common in the cities of the valley and lowlands, in many cases accompanied by its popular cheese. Not only is meat accompanied by cheese, but most of their dishes contain it – fondue, raclette, and their version of macaroni with bacon, among other ingredients.
The cheese tradition is of great importance, and they are known for the meticulous care with which they are made. The Federal Office of Agriculture of the nation ensures that the hands of buyers get a product. Although it is cow’s milk, it is free of hormones and antibiotics in the cattle used for that purpose.
There is also a smaller percentage of goat cheeses with an intense flavor and soft texture that makes them perfect for spreading. There are countless cold dishes and sauces that use fresh cheeses, in the same way hard and extra hard cheeses are widely used. The Emmentaler is one of the most famous and well-known. It is used for grating in fondue since, when grated, it is golden brown and with the desired texture that this dish commands. For raclette, semi-hard cheese is more suitable, which is made with pasteurized or raw milk, with a maturation period of approximately 5 months.
Some essential ingredients
A curious fact is that, among the most consumed brands of “Swiss” cheeses, there is a very popular one in the United States that is bought as Swiss without having been made there, the Baby Swiss. With a style similar to that of the nation, this cheese has a mild flavor with a very appealing hint of sweetness.
To toast to chocolate, cheese, and the Swiss way of life, a diner can raise a glass of wine – the age limit for purchasing this typical drink is fourteen years old. Apple juice, also called cider, is a daily occurrence and bitter beer is very traditional, served in a jug from its respective barrel.
Switzerland has everything to make a diner happy – a pleasant climate, exquisite dishes, the best chocolate in the world for dessert, and a good white or red wine. If you want to visit this fairy tale land, just book an apartment at Karta and buy tickets on your next jet to Alpes!
Typical dishes of Swiss cuisine
It is a dish of Swiss origin that consists of sausages such as sausage, bacon, ham in different varieties, potatoes, pickles, tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, zucchini, and of course, its inevitable raclette cheese. Sometimes monkfish or salmon plus some prawns are also included. This dish is cooked in an electric appliance with a metal plate that melts the cheese along with the rest of the ingredients. There are exquisite versions with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, asparagus, and the incomparable sirloin raclette is one of the variations that should not be missed.
When we talk about raclette, we refer to the cheese that gives its name to such preparation, which is a cheese with an orange tone in its characteristic hard rind, and inside, it keeps a very beautiful soft yellow tone as far as cheese is concerned. It has a protein content of 30 grams per 100 grams of cheese and 33 grams of fat, which makes it a divine cheese with average nutritional qualities.
Raclette comes from the French verb racler which can be translated as to scratch, and this term is very new despite the ancient tradition of making this cheese. Because of its traditional way of cooking, which is to cut the cheese in half and spread it out to be melted over a fire, it is believed that it was lumberjacks in distant times who invented it because they were always exposed to the cold inclement weather and when they had potatoes and cheese, they melted a very good portion of cheese and enjoyed a rich and hot dish. It was not until 1909 that a famous poet began to call this delicacy raclette.
Älplermagronen or Alpine Macaroni
As far as pasta is concerned, Switzerland is not far behind, and its important influence from Italy has made it worthy of good versions of dishes with this ingredient, especially because the nation abounds in the most important of all the partners that pasta deserves: cheese.
The Älplermagronen is the famous macaroni from the Alps, which, in the Swiss style with apple compote, is a version of macaroni and cheese, and what a cheese it is! Grated Gruyere cheese is the one chosen to add the Swiss touch. It is made with small macaroni, boiled potatoes, bacon, lots of cream and vegetable broth, adding onion, pepper, and salt for a better seasoning. Finally, it is served with applesauce, an abundant fruit in this nation. It provides 632 calories per serving of flavor that is enjoyed in bites.
This dish is most popular in Central Switzerland, where it is frequently consumed. Its origin is of Italian influence, and its simple preparation makes it the favorite dish of many people in Switzerland.
What better way to survive the frost than eating warm cheese, melted by the fire of the campfire. It is a pleasure that can tempt the strong. Perhaps this is how this dish originated. Fondue comes from the French language melted and is a typical dish of the Swiss nation.
It is believed that cheese fondue began to be consumed with the custom of shepherds to soften pieces of cheese in the fire so it was soft and warm. Perfect to face the cold climate of the mountains. Jura, the northern Alps, and the entire French-Swiss border are places where this dish is commonly consumed, but it is believed to have originated in the area between France and Italy, and from there, it has spread all over the globe. In ancient times, cheese was melted together with a mixture of cognac or white wine, eggs, and butter. Even so, it was a classic of gastronomic tourism in 1930 in Savoy, France, and Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont, part of the Italian region.
Curiously, some experts trace the origin of fondue back to the time of the famous story The Iliad, since it mentions a dish characterized by a mixture of goat cheese, flour, and wine. Something very similar to today’s fondue. Fondue is a transcendental dish in Swiss history and daily life, attracting countless diners with its taste and possibilities.
Today the dish is made with a group of Swiss cheeses (gruyere, emmental, comté, etc.), wine, and cherry-based brandy. Then, different accompaniments such as bread skewers, pieces of meat, vegetables, or fruits are dipped. It will also depend on the fondue, which can be either cheese or chocolate fondue, which has been famous since the 1960s, or meat fondue, which is a fondue of fresh veal or beef. In addition, different countries have generated creative variants such as the Japanese sukiyaki, the beef fondue called fondue Bacchus, or bressane made of breaded and fried chicken, which is well known in France, in a region characterized by the quality of its poultry.
Of course, the natives like to magnify this food always with gruyere cheese, a cheese produced in the Alps, or the creamy Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese, also from the Alps. And it should always be served in a caquelon, a large iron pot, sometimes made of baked clay, perfect to maintain the temperature of this food, and which is placed on the table.
Whoever does not want to have at least one rösti for breakfast should cast the first stone! As the saying goes, rösti was originally the breakfast of farmers in the canton of Bern, who needed a lot of energy to work all day long. Rösti was made with bread, but nowadays, it is prepared with potatoes.
Rösti is a typical dish of Swiss cuisine and consists of a good amount of previously cooked potatoes (some also prepare it with raw potatoes). Potatoes are widely cultivated in Europe and especially in Switzerland. In fact, it is believed that much of the food in these countries is based on this tuber, which the colonists introduced in the seventeenth century. Curiously, the potato was cultivated in its beginnings as a decorative form in Swiss homes. Still, after the XVIII century, the panorama changed, and the natives realized something very important that would change all their gastronomic history. The potato was excellent food. Then, these farmers were very creative in creating delicious recipes based on this tuber, among them the rösti.
Rösti is a cooked potato cut into thin slices, with which small tortillas of varying sizes are made and then fried in oil in which the onion and bacon are also browned with melted butter. As with everything in the city, you can always add cheese on top or grate some apples in the preparation.
This divine preparation enjoys total acceptance. From the most classic restaurant to the smallest street stalls, you can try a crispy rösti potato that you will not regret, especially if it is for breakfast.
This exquisite delicacy of the gods originated with the arrival of the colonists to the New World, they got in the fruity cocoa plantations the incredible taste of something that had to be possessed. However, not even Hernán Cortez himself could imagine all that would happen after he took the first shipment of cocoa to Europe. Europeans were immediately amazed by the marvelous beverage, and the demand increased more than he could have imagined. Although many countries have a chocolate tradition, Switzerland’s fame is enormous, being identified on the blue planet as the best producer of its derivative: chocolate.
Chocolate production in the country began approximately in the 19th century, when Cailler, Sushard, Nestle, Tobler, Daniel Peter, and Rodolphe Lindt founded factories and evolved in the field of chocolate; from the first factory in 1819 to the invention of the machine that turns the chocolate around, making the chocolate melt smoothly in the mouths of chocolate addicts.
Lindt & Sprüngl was the first factory established in Switzerland and, to this day, is an international tourist site. At the end of the factory tour, it offers unlimited chocolate tasting – really the dream of any sweet tooth! The Vollenweider confectionery, on the other hand, has the joy of having been the manufacturer of the first chocolate that traveled into space.
Chocolate is the union of sugar with cocoa components such as butter and mass. The cocoa beans are washed and subjected to a process and then mixed with the rest of the ingredients to produce tablets, bonbons, truffles, among other delicious chocolate inventions. If you need to know the history of chocolate, you really should take a plane to this country and taste more than you can see!
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