Switzerland is a small country located in the heart of Europe, known for its beautiful landscapes, charming villages, but Switzerland is also home to a rich culinary culture, with a diverse range of Traditional Swiss Food dishes and drinks that reflect the country’s history and regional influences.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most iconic and beloved foods and drinks of Switzerland, from fondue and raclette to Swiss chocolate and Swiss beer. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking to expand your culinary horizons, Switzerland has something to offer for everyone. So sit back, grab a fork and a glass, and join us on a culinary journey sharing all things Swiss!
Traditional Swiss Food And Drink
Swiss cheese is known for its distinctive holes, or “eyes,” which are a result of the production process. Swiss cheese is made from local cow’s milk and has a mild, nutty flavour. It is often used in sandwiches and local pasta dishes, as well as in dishes like fondue and raclette (which we explain further down!). Cheese for sure is one of the most popular things eaten in Switzerland in general, with cheese being part of many breakfast choices to dinner choices. Alternatively you can always find cheese on a cheese/charcuterie platters.
Swiss chocolates are known for its high quality and smooth texture, and is often considered some of the best chocolate in the world. Swiss chocolate is made from cocoa beans that are grown in countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Ecuador, and is typically sweeter and less bitter than other types of chocolate.
Boxemännchen (little brioche men)
Linked to St Nicolas’ Day, baked little brioche men known locally as boxemännchen represent the baked treats given to children leading up to the Christmas celebrations. They come in all forms and sizes, usually baked with many different doughs, then decorated with chocolate eyes, and other cute features.
Fondue is a Swiss dish that consists of melted cheese that is served in a communal pot and eaten by dipping bread or vegetables into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. It is a popular dish for parties and is often served with various accompaniments such as pickles, cured meats, and vegetables. We personally think this is one of the most popular traditional Swiss food choices that tourists try during their visit to Switzerland!
Rösti (a type of potato dish)
Rösti is a Swiss dish that consists of grated potatoes that are fried until they are crispy and golden brown. It is often served as a side dish, but can also be served as a main course with various toppings such as cheese, bacon, and eggs.
Zürcher Geschnetzeltes is a Swiss dish that consists of thin slices of veal or pork that are cooked in a creamy sauce and served with rösti. It is a popular dish in the city of Zürich, and is often accompanied by vegetables such as bell peppers and mushrooms.
Did you know that in every canton in Switzerland there is a specific type of bread being sold? Since we live in Ticino, the local bread (pictured below) is something you can find in all the local supermarkets. It’s our most favourite, and we find the best one can be bought in the Lidl supermarket. It’s a little crunchy, but super fluffy inside and most delicious when just baked of course!
Raclette is a Swiss dish that consists of melted cheese that is scraped onto a plate and eaten with boiled potatoes and various accompaniments such as pickled onions, gherkins, and cured meats. It is typically served at a raclette party, where a special raclette grill is used to melt the cheese. A delicious traditional Swiss food choice that everyone should try at least once!
Birchermüesli is a Swiss dish that consists of soaked oats, fruit, nuts, and milk or yogurt. It was invented by a Swiss doctor, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, and is a popular breakfast or snack food in Switzerland.
Switzerland has a long tradition of winemaking, and produces a variety of white, red, and sparkling wines. Swiss wine is often made from grape varieties that are native to the country, such as Chasselas and Pinot Noir. Some Swiss cantons are known to have more variety and choices, such as the Valais canton.
Rivella is a popular Swiss soft drink that is made from a secret recipe of herbs and spices. It has a distinctive red color and a slightly sweet, fruity flavour. We personally have not tried this yet, but it does seem to be popular in the local supermarkets.
Switzerland, just like wine, has a long tradition of brewing, and produces a variety of lagers, ales, and specialty beers. Swiss beer is often made with high-quality ingredients and is known for its clean, crisp taste. Many cantons have their own beer or wine too – we’ve locally tried only some Ticino canton beer so far!
Swiss sausages are a type of sausage that is made in Switzerland. They are typically made from pork or beef, and are flavored with spices such as cloves, coriander, and garlic. Swiss sausages are often served as a snack or as part of a larger meal.
Swiss mountain cheese
Emmental or Gruyère are a type of cheese that is made in the mountains of Switzerland. It is made from cow’s milk and has a nutty, slightly sweet flavour. It is often used in dishes like fondue and raclette like mentioned above, and is also popular as a table cheese.