Foods of Switzerland

Find out about traditional Swiss cuisine and dishes to be found throughout the country...

Food in Switzerland is very diverse and seasonal and most towns have their own specialities influenced by the proximity of France, Germany or Italy and their cuisines.

Typical Swiss cooking uses little by way of herbs or spices and can be very rich.

One of Switzerland’s most famous dishes is the cheese fondue. Traditionally from the Swiss Alp region, this is a mixture of two to three cheeses, melted together in a pot with white wine, kirsch or cider (depending on the region). Small pieces of bread are dipped into the melted cheese.

Another dish, raclette, is also based on melted cheese. Traditionally, a large block of raclette cheese is held over an open fire and the melting layers are scraped off. This melted cheese is eaten with potatoes, bread and other accompaniments.

Other traditional Swiss foods include rösti, grated potatoes fried on both sides and formed into pancake or small cake, muesli, nusstorte (walnut tart) and chocolate in all its forms.

Most towns and villages have a weekly market selling local, seasonal farm produce.

Cheese

Swiss cheese is mostly made from raw milk unless otherwise stated. Pasteurisation is often frowned on and Swiss hygiene regulations are less rigorous than those of the European Union. Some cheeses are still produced by hand in the traditional manner.

Most cheese is made in the valleys. Famous Swiss cheeses include Gruyère, Emmentaler, Tête de Moine, Sbrinz, Vacherin and Appenzeller.

Chocolate

Considered to be the best in the world by many, Swiss chocolate (schokolade [German], chocolat [French] or cioccolata [Italian]) is another food institution in Switzerland.

The Swiss hold the world record for individual chocolate consumption with each person eating over 10 kilograms per year. The three biggest names are Nestlé, Lindt and Suchard.