Food for thought

A matter of taste.

There is no such thing as a single Swiss cuisine. As you travel through Switzerland you’ll find Berner Rösti, buttery home-fried potatoes in Bern; Malakoff cheese fritters in Canton Vaud; and cornmeal specialities and freshly caught perch from Lake Constance in Canton St. Gallen. The Valais is famous for its raclette, melted mountain cheese served with steamed new potatoes and pickles; Graubünden for its Capuns, tender dumplings wrapped in Swiss chard leaves; Zürich for its Geschnetzeltes, creamy shredded veal; and Ticino for its luganighe sausages and fabulous risotto. Switzerland has an incredible number of traditional regional dishes – a world record in proportion to its size.

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Flavours of the market

Every city and large village holds a market once or twice a week, with the freshest foods from farmers, butchers, bakers and cheese makers. The markets in Bellinzona , Chur, Basel and Solothurn are particularly enticing.

Traditional food at the Swiss Open-Air Museum

This museum in Ballenberg near Brienz works to keep history alive – and that includes the history of food. From spring to autumn, you can watch the butcher, the baker, the cheese maker and the chocolate maker at work. It’s enough to make your mouth water…

A delicious hike

The high path between Chasseral and Frinvilliers near Biel offers not only spectacular views, but also the chance to visit a dozen or so métairies along the way: alpine huts where regional specialities such as cheese, Rösti and ham are served.

Direct from the land

Nearly all the fruits, vegetables, jams, wines, cheeses, and sausages from the canton of Vaud can be found in a single shop, La Ferme vaudoise in Yverdon-les-Bains.

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Ladle in hand

You can learn some of the secrets of Swiss cooking by enrolling in a cookery course. These take place all over the country, from Geneva to the Engadine, and from Schaffhausen to Ticino. More experienced cooks may choose to study with one of Switzerland’s superchefs: Chef of the Year 2007 Markus Neff at the Hotel Fletschhorn in Saas-Fee, Vreni Giger at the Restaurant Jägerhof in St. Gallen, Kurt Röösli at the Hotel Waldhaus in Sils- Maria, Urs Gschwend at the Hotel Giardino in Ascona, or Irene Dörig at Irene’s Cuisine in Friedlisberg near Zürich.

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