Mandelbärli: a Bern classic
Culinary highlights – Bern's emblem, the bear, also features in the city's cuisine. For decades, the Bernese have enjoyed Mandelbärli ("almond teddy bears") made from almonds, sugar, butter and egg white, from the confectioner Beck Glatz. They were inspired by the bear dance portrayed on the bell, cast in 1596, of the Holy Spirit Church. Flavours include chocolate, honey and lemon, as well as the classic vanilla.
Ämmitaler Ruschtig: quality
Culinary highlights – Ämmitaler Ruschtig ("Emmentaler Rustic") is the name of a quality label awarded to the finest foodstuffs from the Emmental. The region may be best known for the cheese with the characteristic holes, but the label is also given to outstanding meat, vegetables, berries, bread and other products. From old favourites to rediscovered delicacies, all are lovingly made with the best ingredients.
Berner Platte: a gourmet celebration
Culinary highlights – Ham, bacon, spare ribs, knuckle of pork, marrowbone, sauerkraut, beans, potatoes: the Berner Platte ("Bernese platter") is a gourmet feast whose creation can be dated precisely: to 5 March 1798. On this date, the Bernese defeated the French army at Neuenegg, and to celebrate, held a great feast. Everyone brought whatever they had – and the Berner Platte was born. And thankfully, it still exists today.
Züpfe: Sunday special
Culinary highlights – Bern's traditional Sunday bread is Züpfe, an ornate plaited loaf that has its origins in traditional farmers' cuisine. It is made of bread dough with added butter and milk: exactly how much has been a matter of dispute among bakers since time immemorial. One thing is essential, however: a coating of egg yolk, to give the loaf its characteristic golden colour. As well as forming part of a substantial brunch on Sundays, the Bernese Züpfe is traditionally enjoyed as part of the New Year's Day celebrations.