L'Etivaz AOP: a Swiss original
High up on the lush alpine meadows of the Lake Geneva Region graze the brown-and-white cows that are at the origin of L'Etivaz. They produce the healthy milk for this celebrated summer alpine cheese, which is made in large copper cauldrons over an open fire. This was the first cheese to receive the Swiss AOP (Registered designation of origin) label.
Hobelkäse: cheese champion
Every spring, Gstaad is filled with the sound of ringing cowbells as farmers lead their stock up to alpine pastures as high as 2,000 metres: to lush meadows strewn with aromatic herbs, and into the healthy mountain air. There they make Hobelkäse "plane cheese", which after maturing for two to three years is so hard that it can only be sliced with a tool like a carpenter's plane. Add a glass of white wine, some crispy bread fresh from the wood-fired oven, a sunny terrace – and the holidays can begin!
Vaud sausages: heavenly
Several famous and much-loved sausages originated in the Lake Geneva Region. The best known is the saucisson vaudois, but no less popular is the saucisse aux choux, made with cabbage. The boutefas meanwhile, which can weigh as much as a whopping 2 kilograms, is a monument to the sausage-maker's art.
Züpfe: Sunday special
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.