Tourist’s guide to Swiss cuisine – the best dishes to try

Swiss cuisine has been formed over the centuries under the influence of the culinary traditions of neighboring countries – Italy, Germany, France. As a result, the gastronomic preferences of the Swiss are multifaceted and diverse, however, as the culture and traditions of the country. Each region has unique culinary preferences. For example, in the Italian cantons located in the southern part of the country, pasta is skillfully cooked. The French part of the state is famous for its luxurious fondue and raclette. The German people presented Swiss cuisine with numerous sausages and rösti. In the eastern regions, jerky beef and fish are perfectly cooked.

Swiss cuisine

The national cuisine of Switzerland is one of the most traditional and conservative, local residents revere centuries-old traditions, many dishes are prepared according to old recipes that have not changed for centuries.

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Traditional swiss menu

Swiss cuisine can be safely called ordinary, as a rule, simple products are used. However, in some cases, quite original and bold combinations of ingredients are found.

It is important! Product certification and quality control is carried out by a state organization.

Dishes to which the Swiss quality mark is assigned:

Cheese raclette - a national Swiss dish
Cheese Raclette
  • cheese raclette;
  • Welsh rye bread;
  • jerky from Graubunden;
  • bratwurst sausages.

The Swiss make sure that the national food is not only tasty, but also healthy, for this, products for each dish are carefully selected.

Interesting fact! A traditional Swiss breakfast – pastries with cheese and a cup of coffee with milk, lunch is also as simple as possible, but the locals have a hearty and hearty dinner.

Each region of the country is famous for certain treats.


National treats are traditional for Zurich – the German-speaking part of the country. The main ingredient is potatoes. There are several ways to prepare a dish – with the addition of bacon, vegetables or Appenzel cheese.

National treat of Zurich - Rösti

Tirggel Cookies

Tirggel Cookies

Traditional christmas dessert. It is baked in the form of figures. After baking, one side remains white and the other becomes golden. In addition to honey, spices are included in the cookie recipe.

The national dessert recipe spread throughout Europe, however, the old, original way of cooking was preserved precisely in Zurich. According to legend, the wife poisoned her husband with the help of honey treats.

Interesting fact! The first mention of cookies dates from the middle of the 15th century.

Tirggel cookies

Dessert is traditionally baked by Christmas, so the figures symbolize the biblical theme. The recipe for treats is as simple as possible – flour, water, sugar and water, spices are added to taste. Dessert is baked at a temperature of +400 degrees, this is what gives the treat a typical brownish tint.

In addition to cookies and rye, the cuisine of the Zurich region is famous for its mushroom dish with cream and granola sauce, which was invented by the doctor Maximilian Oscar Bircher-Banner at the end of the last century.

Mehlsuppe Flour Soup

Mehlsuppe Soup

As the main component, wheat or rye flour is used, if the soup is prepared in the French-speaking part of the state, corn flour is added. Previously, a national dish was considered traditional for poor families. Today he is eaten on fasting days. In addition to flour, the recipe involves the addition of milk, salt, favorite spices, bacon, various herbs, meat broth.

Good to know! To give the soup a more pronounced taste, the flour is fried.

Swiss honey gingerbread cookies

Delicious dessert made from wheat flour, honey, candied fruit and almonds. Gingerbread men came up with merchants over seven centuries ago. They were first filed in the 14th century at the Church Cathedral.

Swiss honey gingerbread cookies
Basler läckerli

Good to know! The official name – Basler Läckerli – appeared at the beginning of the 18th century.

Fasnachtskiechli – a kind of dessert, this is ordinary brushwood, in translation means – knee-high patch. In different regions, a Swiss dish is served under the appropriate name:

Fasnachtskiechli Chilbiblätz brushwood
  • in Bern it is called Chilbiblätz;
  • in the French-speaking part of the country – Merveilles.

In Basel, brushwood is prepared during the carnival days; in other regions, refreshments are baked when it is necessary to consecrate the church.

When traveling in northwestern Switzerland, do not deny yourself the pleasure of trying onion pie with cheese.


Cheese fondue

The basis of the Swiss national treats is cheese, most often the varieties Gruyere and Vaheron are used. The recipe also includes white wine and your favorite combination of spices. One serving is for 2-4 people. You need to eat it with bread, dipping a slice in the cheese mixture.

In each region, fondue is prepared from a specific combination of cheeses. Also in Swiss cuisine there are varieties of fondue:

  • tomato – where tomatoes are used instead of wine;
  • hot – with chili peppers;
  • mushroom – with champignons.

Good to know! Dessert option – chocolate fondue – melt chocolate, add cognac, cream and spices. Fresh fruit is dipped in a sweet mixture.


In Swiss cuisine, there are two options for the dish – classic and restaurant.

In accordance with the traditional recipe, a piece of cheese is melted, then the cheese mixture is mixed with vegetables directly in a plate.

Raclette at the restaurant

The restaurant serves potatoes in a bag and a plate of vegetables. They also bring a device consisting of a roasting pan where pieces of meat are prepared, and a tray where cheese is put and melted. Then the guest mixes vegetables, meat slices and melted cheese on their own.

Good to know! Fondue and raclette are prepared in every city, but the canton of Vaud is considered the Swiss homeland of the first treat, and Wallis is considered the second. In addition, once in Wallis, try an exquisite national pie of potatoes, cheese and apples. It is best to eat fish in regions where there are lakes – Geneva, Zurich, Biel.

Pape Vodua

In translation, the name of the dish means thick soup from the Vaud region. Prepare it from a mixture of potatoes and leeks, which are stewed in cream. However, the main ingredient is a special kind of sausage made from minced pork with cabbage in a natural shell.

Pape Vodua

Interesting fact! The sausage is the property of the canton of Vaud; a certificate with a unique number and seal is attached to each product. At the beginning of October, a Day dedicated to Pape Vodois’s dish is held in the region.


Pasta Alplermagronen

In translation, the name means – pasta of alpine shepherds. It is believed that it was prepared from everything at hand – pasta, potatoes, bacon and, of course, melted cheese. Serve it with apple sauce.

The recipe for Alplermagronen varies depending on your geographic location – the potato is not used in the Uri canton, and bacon is not added in some other regions.

Cherry cake

In the canton of Zug, the best cherry cake is prepared, in the original recipe, kirsch is used. A feature of the national pie is cherries, it is believed that the most delicious berries are grown in the canton of Zug. The famous cherry trees were already known in 1627.

Interesting fact! Berries are used to make vodka, as well as a variety of desserts.

Cherry cake

A traditional cherry cake is a biscuit, nut meringue, which is smeared with butter cream with the addition of cherry syrup.

The author of the recipe is local pastry chef Heinrich Hyun. Charlie Chaplin and Audrey Hepburn loved to enjoy dessert.

Also traditional for the cuisine of the central part of Switzerland is a meat pie with cream filling. It is served in a bowl for first courses.

Polenta corn porridge

This is porridge, which is cooked from crushed corn grits with the addition of cheese. Served as a main dish or side dish. For centuries, only poor families have eaten polenta. For the first time, corn in Switzerland (canton of Ticino) began to be grown in the 17th century. However, only after two centuries the national dish began to be cooked exclusively from corn flour, initially porridge was prepared from a mixture of different varieties of flour.

Cooking Polenta

In accordance with the traditional recipe, corn flour is kneaded with water, mixed with a wooden spoon and boiled for 30-40 minutes until thickened. After this, the mixture is laid out in a tray, cools and cut into portioned pieces. Polenta is served with mushrooms, anchovies or pieces of meat.

Interesting fact! In Switzerland, polenta is sold in the form of a semi-finished product; it can be cooked, fried or baked, served sweet or salty.

The canton of Ticino is also popular with roasted chestnuts, they are sold on city streets, and sweet vermicelli is made from mashed chestnut.

Jerky - Bundnerfleysh

In the canton of Graubünden, a visit to a restaurant requires a guest to know the local cuisine. Local dishes have such intricate names that without outside help it is quite difficult to figure out. However, all the treats are simple and tasty. Perhaps the most popular – Bundnerfläish – jerky. The national treat is prepared from different types of meat, the traditional recipe is from beef, the more expensive option is from game, venison is in special demand.

For several months, meat has been felled under the scorching sun on the street, previously it is rubbed with spices, salt and herbs. Before serving, the treat is cut into thin slices, which are best tasted with red wine.

Interesting fact! The unique features of Swiss cuisine are fully manifested in the cuisine of Graubünden. For several centuries, during the winter, the canton has lost touch with civilization, so the locals are a good judge of food preparations, and each recipe is a real culinary art bordering on magic.

Emmental Cheese

Switzerland is associated with cheeses for many; in the country there are hundreds of varieties of this treat, which has become national. Each region has unique cheeses prepared according to unique recipes. Emmental is considered the most “Swiss”; it has a slightly sweetish flavor, seasoned with a mixture of spices. Gruyere is another famous cheese, it has no holes, and the taste has spicy nutty notes. The oldest cheese is Appenzellern. The recipe for this treat is more than seven hundred years old. The secret lies in a special mixture of herbs and white wine, which is impregnated with cheese.

Drinks in Switzerland

The most popular soft drink in Switzerland. This is a common soda, the main component of which is whey.

Rivella Lemonade

Interesting fact! Apple juice and a chocolate-based drink are also common in the country.

Brandy Kirschwasser

Too strong drinks in the country are not in demand, local residents prefer beer and wine more.

If you want to try Swiss strong alcohol, pay attention to the traditional national drink – cherry vodka. The taste is more like brandy. Experienced tourists also recommend trying plum and pear brandy.

Do cats eat in Switzerland?
Do cats eat in Switzerland?

Officially, there is no ban on the use of domestic animals (catfish and dog dogs) in the country. In the press periodically appear materials confirming that cats eat in Switzerland. Wildlife advocates demand a ban on such egregious facts. However, there is still no corresponding legislative act in the country. Why? Apparently because such exotic culinary traditions remain rather exceptional and extremely rare.

Disputes over bans on koshatina activates after interviews with peasants appear in the press, who admit that they sometimes allow themselves to cook cutlets from cats. The villagers do not see anything reprehensible in this.

It is important! Some peasants are cunning and, under the guise of beef meat dishes, serve cooked dog meat or catfish.


Veterinarians believe that more than 99% of Swiss people refuse to eat a cat. However, animal advocates have an absolutely opposite opinion on this issue – 3% of the country’s inhabitants regularly eat meat of domestic animals – dogs and cats. Representatives of state structures believe that it is impossible to regulate people’s culinary preferences through laws. The discussion about the ban on eating meat from dogs and cats ended with the fact that in some cantons the sale of meat of pets (cats and dogs) was banned in restaurants and retail outlets.

In any case, in Switzerland there are much more original and tasty dishes worthy of the attention of tourists. Swiss cuisine is original and colorful, combining the best traditions of Italy, France and Germany. This fact gives the national cuisine versatility and multinationality.

An educational video not only about food in Switzerland from Kasho Hasanov.

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