Traditions

Typical food

"Swiss cuisine combines influences from the German, French and North Italian cuisine. However, it varies greatly from region to region with the language divisions constituting a rough boundary outline. Mind you, many dishes have crossed the local borders and become firm favourites throughout Switzerland. These dishes include, among others: 

Cheese fondue
Melted cheese with bread cubes. The bread cubes are picked up on the fork and swivelled in the melted cheese, which is served in a traditional ceramic fondue pot called ‘caquelon’. 

Raclette
Melted cheese served with ""Gschwellti"" (jacket potatoes), cocktail gherkins and onions as well as pickled fruit. 

Alplermagronen
A kind of gratin with potatoes, macaroni, cheese, cream and onions. And most importantly, stewed apple on the side. 

Rösti
A flat, hot cake made of grated, cooked jacket or raw potatoes and fried in hot butter or fat. The dish is bound by nothing apart from the starch contained in the potatoes. 

Birchermüesli
Developed around about 1900 by the Swiss doctor Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Brenner, it contains oat flakes, lemon juice, condensed milk, grated apples, hazelnuts or almonds. 

Swiss chocolate
Chocolate came to Europe in the course of the 16th century, by the 17th century at the very latest it became known and was produced in Switzerland as well. In the second half of the 19th century Swiss chocolate started to gain a reputation abroad. The invention of milk chocolate by Daniel Peter as well as the development of conching (fondant chocolate) by Rodolphe Lindt were closely connected with the rise of Swiss chocolate's renown. But Switzerland not only exported chocolate, its chocolatiers went abroad as well and their names remain well-known to this day: the Josty brothers, who opened their famous chocolate shop in Berlin or Salomon Wolf and Tobias Beranger who ran the famous Cafe Chinois in St. Petersburg. The Cloetta brothers opened chocolate factories in Scandinavia while Karl Fazer established the first confectionary shop in Helsinki; later this developed into the Cloetta-Fazer brand. Even Belgian chocolate has Swiss roots: Jean Neuhaus opened a confectionary shop in Brussels and his son Frederic in 1912 invented the praline chocolate. To find out more about Swiss chocolate visit

Swiss cheese
One could quite easily explore Switzerland travelling from cheese dairy to cheese dairy. Each area of the country, each region has its own types of cheese – the diversity of products created from one single base ingredient – good Swiss milk – is quite astonishing! Such as, for example, the soft and melting Vacherin cheese. The aromatic Appenzeller. The full-flavoured Sbrinz. The Emmentaler, famous for its big holes. The world-famous Gruyère. Or the Tête de Moine which is shaved into decorative rosettes. All of these – and their round about 450 other cheese siblings – make a fondue, a raclette, an «afternoon snack platter» a culinary experience. By the way, the stalls of farmers and cheese merchants at the weekly markets are a true treasure trove. Many of the cheeses sold there come straight from the Alpine pastures and are cut from the wheel. The many demonstration cheese dairies and Alpine cheese cellars are also well worth a visit."

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