Basel Fasnacht: food to celebrate
Basel's Fasnacht (carnival) is a feast for the senses that begins with the Morgenstraich procession at 4am. Colourful masks, lanterns and costumes abound, as do three Fasnacht specialities whose aroma fills the air for Basel's "three most beautiful days": Mehlsuppe (brown flour soup), Zwiebelwähe (onion tart) and Fastenwähe, a caraway-seed pretzel enjoyed with beer.
Fribourg fondue: moitié-moitié
Half Gruyère cheese, half Vacherin – that’s how you make a Fribourg fondue, Switzerland's favourite. Exactly why this warm "cheese soup" became our national dish is unclear. Perhaps it is down to symbolism: just as the country comprises four languages and cultures, a fondue also brings together various elements that make a greater whole. A fondue is shared democratically, and enjoyed with (plenty of) drink, laughter and chat.
Villars: the sweet speciality
Villars Maître Chocolatier: chocolate tradition since 1901. This much-loved manufacturer produces a range of classics from chocolate bananas to mousse-filled Têtes Choco Perrier and Kirsch-soaked cherries dipped in chocolate. Among the latest creations are Larmes d'Edelweiss (milk chocolate with edelweiss liqueur), and hand-made pralines made with fresh Gruyère cream.
Cardinal: innovative beer ideas
Cardinal has always been an innovative brewery: when the pope presented the Cardinal of Fribourg with his red hat in 1890, the brewers created a celebratory beer called "Cardinal". The same delight in innovation characterises the brewery to this day, as witnessed by new creations such as Cardinal Eve. Anyone interested in experiencing more such creativity should visit the Cardinal Museum: tastings included.