Pinot noir: blue-blooded character
With its 36 hectares, the city of Lausanne is the leading public owner of vineyards in Switzerland. The vines of the Domaine de la Ville are cultivated in integrated production, and since 1803, the fine Pinot noir grapes have been auctioned publicly on the second Saturday in December in the Town Hall. The resulting top-class wines are also available at many top restaurants.
Perch fillets: a culinary delight
Anyone travelling along the sunny side of Lake Geneva will notice them time and again on menus: freshly caught "filets de perches" (perch fillets), served fried, à la meunière, or in a fine white-wine sauce. Professional fishermen sail out onto the lake early in the morning to collect the perch from their nets. Their glittering catch can be bought at the harbours in Lausanne, Montreux and Vevey, as well as at the region's markets. Or you can simply head out onto a breakwater with your rod and try your luck.
Pavés Tony: sweet "cobblestones"
In the picturesque Old Town of Lausanne lies the Rue de Bourg, birthplace of the celebrated Pavés de la Rue de Bourg. These "cobblestones" with their exquisite filling and coating of fine chocolate were created at the Confiserie Chez Tony. You can still buy them here – either the classic version, or filled with Kirsch, absinthe or damassine (plum brandy).
Saffron: more precious than gold
Saffron flourishes in only one place in central Europe: the Valais mountain village of Mund. Just five kilograms are harvested a year, laboriously by hand. For Mund saffron comes from the three red stigmas of a crocus flower; it takes 12,000 flowers to make just 100 grams. The delicacy can be enjoyed in saffron risottos, saffron fondues, parfaits or other desserts.