Characteristics of the Swiss cuisine

Characteristics of the Swiss cuisine

Swiss cuisine combines influences from German, French and Northern Italian cuisine , but also offers dishes typical of Switzerland. Historically, it has been a side of farmers, so traditional Swiss dishes are more common, with the main ingredients being potatoes and cheese. Foods that are often associated with Switzerland include specific types of cheese and milk chocolate .

Swiss cheese

Each region has its own type of cheese – the variety of products is amazing! Examples include the soft and melted Vacherin cheese . The fragrant Appenzeller . The full flavor of Sbrinz . Emmentaler known for his large holes. All of these – and about 450 other cheeses – create a great culinary experience.

The most popular cheese dishes are fondue and raclette . Both were originally regional dishes promoted by the Swiss Cheese Union to boost their sales.

Swiss cheese | Fondue

Fondue – Melted cheese with bread cubes.

Bread cubes are placed on the fork and rotate in melted cheese that is served in traditional ceramic fondue vessel , called “caquelon “.

Raclette – Melted cheese served with ” Gschwellti “, cocktail gherkins and onions as well as sour fruits.

Swiss chocolate

Chocolate came to Europe in the 16th century , and in the 17th century it became famous and began to be produced in Switzerland. In the second half of the 19th century, Swiss chocolate began to gain a reputation overseas. The invention of Daniel Peter ‘s milk chocolate , as well as the development of Rodolfo Lindh ‘s conch ( fondant chocolate ), are closely linked to the rise in popularity of Swiss chocolate.

Swiss chocolate | Fondue

But Switzerland has not only exported and exported chocolate, but its chocolate products go abroad, and the names of their manufacturers remain known to this day. The Josty brothers open their famous chocolate shop in Berlin . Solomon Wolf and Tobias Beranger ran their famous cafe in Chinoy, St. Petersburg. The Cloetta brothers opened chocolate factories in Scandinavia , and Karl Fazer set up Helsinki’s first pastry shop; later its products became known under the brand name Cloetta-Fazer. Even Belgian chocolate has Swiss roots . Jean Neuhaus opened a pastry shop in Brussels and his son Frederick invented praline chocolate in 1912.

There are many regional dishes in Switzerland. One example is the Zürcher Geschnetzeltes – a veal dish sometimes containing veal liver and mushrooms, served with cream sauce and rošti (Rösti), well known throughout Switzerland.

Roshti is a popular potato dish that is eaten throughout Switzerland. It is a flat meatball made of grated, cooked or raw potatoes and fried in hot fat. Initially it ate for breakfast, but then was replaced with granola , which in some regions of Switzerland is known under the name ” Barchmyusli ” ( “Birchermüesli “). It was created by Swiss physician Maximilian Oscar Bircher-Brenerokolo in 1900, which contains oat flakes, lemon juice, condensed milk, grated apples, hazelnuts or almonds.

For breakfast and dinner, many Swisss enjoy sliced bread with butter and jam. There is a great variety of breads in Switzerland . Bread and cheese are a popular dish for dinner. 

Specialties from different regions of Switzerland

Swiss specialties | Fondue

Recipes from the Italian part of Switzerland


For centuries, this dish has been viewed as a poor food . It is made from corn puree , which in this area is mixed with cheese and served as a main course or as a garnish of rabbit sliced. During the winter months, sweet chestnuts ( Marroni ) are available throughout Switzerland. They are sold either roasted and hot along the way, or in the form of vermicelli ( cooked, mixed with sugar ) as dessert.

A whole range of chestnut products are available during the many chestnut holidays in Ticino. These include bread, pasta, pralines, and more. Roll-shaped zincarlin is a typical fresh cheese from Valle di Mugio . It is made from cow’s or goat’s milk and seasoned with black pepper .

Amaretti is a delicious, small Italian pasta made with beaten egg whites, sugar, ground almonds and / or apricot kernels. They are great airy and crunchy cookies .

Romandy ( in French speaking Switzerland )

There is a kind of vegetable tart , called Cholera – which is Valle. It probably owes its name to the fact that it was created during the cholera epidemic. Fish dishes are popular around the Geneva Lakes, Neuchâtel and Biel , most often serving turkey, perch and trout. The Benichon Festival , held in the autumn, offers a great opportunity for one to enjoy the specialties of the region.

More recipes from the French part of Switzerland:

  • Caracas: Swiss chocolate with thin crust.
  • ‘Papet vaudois’, from the canton of Vaud, is a dish of leeks and potatoes (hence its name ‘vaudois’). It is usually served with cabbage (Saucisse au chou).
  • Rocket: cheese grated on potatoes, served with small gherkins, canned onions and more.    Kalberwurst is a creamy sausage made in the Canton of Glarus.
  • Kalberwurst is made with veal, milk, ground cookies and spices. Although most sausages are smoked, kalberwurst is not one of them. It is often cooked with onion sauce.

Dishes from Switzerland | Fondue

Recipes from the German part of Switzerland

  • Älplermagronen. ( Alpine Shepherd’s Food ) This is a dish containing everything the shepherds have on hand at home: pasta, potatoes, onions, small pieces of bacon and melted cheese. Traditionally Älplermagronen is served with apple sauce instead of vegetables or salad
  • Zürcher Geschnetzeltes is a dish made from sliced meat cooked in creamy white wine sauce and often served with roast
  • Rosemary with emmental is a dish made with old bread, apple and sugar. It is a very popular sweet dish made from leftovers. The recipe comes from Emmental (the “Emmen Valley”) in the Canton of Bern, the birthplace of the famous Emmentaler cheese
  • Landjäger is a semi-dry sausage traditionally made in Switzerland, but also in southern Germany, Austria and Alsace. It is popular as a snack food during nature outings. It is also called soldier food as it does not need to be refrigerated
  • Riz Casimir is a rice dish with curry sauce and ground pork combined with tropical fruits : pineapple, banana and cherries, sometimes with currant buns
  • Tergell are traditional Zurich Christmas cookies, mixed with flour and honey. They are thin, firm and sweet
  • Zopf ( Zopf ) bread. There are dozens of types of bread in Switzerland, and this is typically the Swiss specialty that the Swiss usually serve at the table on Sunday

Zurich and Zug

  • Zürcher Geschnetzelte is a veal dish, sometimes containing veal liver and mushrooms, served with cream sauce and roast, which is well known throughout Switzerland.
  • Hüppen are biscuits rolled out and usually filled with chocolate. Hypenes are part of a family of wafers common in Switzerland.
  • Other Zurich-related wafer cookies are Offleten. They are identical in size to circles that are extremely thin and fragile. They are usually prepared without filling. They are the opposite of soft waffles that are best eaten warm.
  • Zuger Kirschtorte is a circular, approximately five centimeter diameter cake that consists of two biscuit marshmallows. In the middle, they are glued with butter cream and tapered with almonds on the edge. The butter cream also contains kirsch and smeared the sweet on all sides.       
  • The taste of Zuger Kirschtorte is delicate, its texture is creamy, crunchy at the edges, with a dominant aroma of kirsch – a pleasant finish to any holiday or meeting with friends!