7 Must Have Swiss Eats

1. Alpine Macaroni

Okay this one is at the top because it is my absolute favorite! It is basically a fancy macaroni with strong swiss cheeses, cream, butter, small cut potatoes and longer, thinner macaroni noodles. It is then topped with crispy fried onions and wait for it.... ApfelMousse! (apple sauce) I'll be honest I don't think I'll ever be able to eat macaroni any other way. It is incredibly delicious and super popular with the kids.

The first time I had it was actually with the Simmler family at their farm. It is the kids' favorite lunch. Susanne had actually baked the macaroni with the onions on top which is not always typical, you can add the onion laters. Then you can top it with as little or as much cold apple sauce as you want. I liked it so much I made it in my flat for dinner two nights. You dice up the golden potatoes and boil them. Naturally you then make the macaroni and add the potatoes in after. You add your strong mix of Swiss cheeses (really your choice) with some cream and butter. Top with some crispy onions and bake or just dive right in and add you apple sauce.

As mentioned in my previous blog I had also eaten the Alpine Macaroni on top of Jungfrau and this was the height of Swiss experience for me.

2. Swiss Raclette

Raclette is actually the name of a Swiss cheese commonly sold in the Alpine countries for the dish of Swiss Raclette. It is based on heating the cheese to get it melted on a skillet or grill then pouring the cheese over sausage, boiled potatoes, onions or pickles. Usually Raclette is served with all of these things.

At Besen Beiz you can order Raclette and it comes with onions, pickles and bread but you can order a sausage or potatoes on the side which folks usually do. This dish was actually mentioned in Swiss texts in as early as 1291.

Raclette is a strong cheese that can turn people off at times so it could be an acquired taste for the Swiss. Pairing it with potatoes or sausage though is simply the best.

3. Obviously the Swiss Chocolate

In a few upcoming blogs I will be ranking my favorite Swiss chocolates as Switzerland has an international reputation as some of the best chocolate in the world. There are many companies that have been around for many years still producing chocolate in Switzerland like Nestle and Lindt, only a few of the many famous chocolate brands.

In 1875 a man named Daniel Peter, who was a Swiss pastry chef, developed the very first solid milk chocolate using condensed milk. This milk was of course invented by Henri Nestle. Cailler was actually the very first Swiss chocolate brand created in 1819 which is now known as Nestle today. In 1901 chocolate producers actually got together and created a patent protecting all Swiss chocolate producers. Is it time to quit my job and become a chocolate maker in Switzerland? Yes.

4. Swiss Fondue

We all know Fondue, but I will explain anyways. Fondue is a traditional Swiss cheese dish served in a large communal put over a portable stove with usually a candle keeping the cheese hot and melted. Originally the only thing dipped was fresh bread into the cheese and it was a social event. Over time the word "Fondue" has been used for other things similarly to the cheese like chocolate and broth.

Fondue is actually a passive past particible of the French verb fondre which means "to melt". The earliest findings of fondue was actually from a book written in Zurich in 1699. This original recipe also included wine mixed in with the melted cheese.

After World War II the Swiss Cheese Union began to send out Fondue sets to event organizers and Swiss soldiers and is now the symbol of Swiss unity.

5. Appenzeller Kase

This one was tough for me to write but I had to include it. When coming to Switzerland this is something you must try. Appenzeller cheese is named after the Appenzellerland of Switzerland where this special cheese has been made since the middle ages. The landscape around Mt. Santis provides the raw milk for this cheese and 52 small villages in the area, mostly on mountainsides, produce this interesting cheese.

It is a semi-hard cheese usually sold in full-fat or quarter-fat. It is quite a greasy cheese but the flavors on the official Swiss Cheese Union website describes the flavors as clean and aromatic. It is the most popular cheese sold in Switzerland and loved by every Swiss person I have met.

Personally: The cheese tastes and smells just terrible. It is the only cheese I have every disliked. Truly giving the term "stinky cheese" a reason for existing. Even when entering cheese markets here, the Appenzeller is usually wrapped up separately due to the overwhelming smell. they wouldn't want it to stink up the shop or stick to the other more mild cheeses.

6. Gurkensalat

This is any easy one that anyone can make at home. The reason this is included is that I have eaten more of this dish since I have been here than probably anything else. It is a very nice, light dish that goes well with pretty much anything you are eating. Instead of a traditional lettuce salad, this is what we would have instead.

Susanne would slice the cucumbers up very thin and pile them in a bowl. Then she would add salt, pepper, dill and Italian dressing. That's it! And it is so good I could eat it with every meal. Essentially every country seems to have their own variation of this simple salad.

7. Rosti

Rosti is the fancy Swiss term for hashbrowns, or since the Swiss were first Rosti is probably the right word. Originally is was a breakfast dish for the farmers of Bern being an easy and cheap dish to create. It also has alternative names like a potato pancake.

Traditionally Rosti is served with spinach and two sunny side up eggs but now so many variations of the dish are offered. there are so many traditional Swiss restaurants that serve Rosti for all meals but now it is mostly sold for dinner. Rosti is mostly served in the German speaking regions so when passing on to the French regions of the country it is actually called Rostigraben which literally translates to "Rosti Ditch".


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